What's the value of a BA?

Considering studying at VIU in one of our BA programs? Take some time to read these articles to explore the impact that a liberal arts education can have on your future work and life.

The Article:

"Silicon Valley executives are hiring philosophers to teach them to question everything" – by Michael J. Coren, Quartz

The Take-Away:

"Still, practical philosophers like Taggart insist philosophical inquiry is the essence of an executive’s job. Philosophy, unlike other fields, offers no assumptions, just relentless inquiry. By subjecting every belief to critical reflection, Taggart’s clients start down a path of inquiry that can lead to genuine understanding, better business decisions, and, eventually, happiness. But that only happens after a painful period of reflection, which will often involve abandoning the deceptive stories we tell ourselves."


The Article:

"How Robots Will Save Liberal Education" – by Eboo Patel, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Take-Away:

"People need interaction with other people to become better people, better citizens, and better employees. We have long relied on liberal education to produce such people, and all indications are that we will need it for many more years to come."


The Article:

"Don't apologize for your liberal arts degree" – A Gen Y feature by Brad Ferguson in The Globe and Mail

The Take-Away:

"What a postsecondary education in the liberal arts offers is experience in critical thinking about messy, complicated concepts. It offers a platform for the generation and evolution of ideas, and a safe space to take risks and develop the kind of courage that defines our greatest innovators, entrepreneurs and world-changers."


The Article:

"Why Top Tech CEOs want Employees with Liberal Arts Degrees" – Fast Company article by Elizabeth Segran

The Take-Away:

"...liberal arts training allows people to think about technology itself in fundamentally different ways."


The Article:

"Critics of the Liberal Arts are Wrong" by Annette Gordon-Reed, TIME magazine

The Take-Away:

"Indeed, according to surveys, employers have expressed a preference for students who have received a broadly based education that has taught them to write well, think critically, research creatively and communicate easily."


The Article:

"Study Links Liberal Arts to Success in Life" – U.S. News & World Report: University Directory story by Kevin Walker

The Take-Away:

"A study released this month shows that a liberal arts education is associated with greater odds for students to become leaders, be seen as ethical, appreciate arts and culture and lead a more fulfilling and happy life."


The Article:

"The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today's Global Marketplace" – Huffington Post US edition article by Edward J. Ray, President of Oregon State University

The Take-Away:

"Most people will have six to 10 jobs during their careers, and liberal arts majors are the most adaptable to new circumstances. No one knows what the jobs of the future will be, but a liberal arts degree provides a great foundation for adjusting to new careers and further education."


The Article:

"Why Study the Liberal Arts?" by Richard Sigurdson, former Acting Dean of Arts,The University College of the Cariboo

The Take-Away:

"If you are shying away from Arts courses because you think that you need training in specific skills to get a job, you may be mistaken. First, a liberal arts education does provide you with tangible, practical skills that employers value highly. What is more, you will obtain skills and knowledge that are never obsolete. The world is changing rapidly and there may be a danger in preparing yourself too narrowly to fit a certain slot that may not even exist by the time you get into the job market."


The Article:

"The Role of the Humanities" by H. Northrop Frye (1911-1991), academic, writer, teacher and administrator, and world-renowned scholar in the field of literary criticism, examines the role of an education in the humanities as we encounter an increasingly technological society. (Consider it was written in the 1980s!)

The Take-Away:

"The humanities graduate is not condemned simply to teach what he has been taught. In fact he is much less likely to be a victim of technological unemployment than someone who has learned only specific skills."


The Article:

"Ten Ways to Market Your Liberal Arts Degree" by Randall S. Hansen, published in Quint Careers

The Take-Away:

"Employers can train new hires in specialized skills on the job. But they can't train workers to have the critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and the capacity for lifelong learning that today's organizations require."


The Article:

"Experts Say a Liberal Arts Education is Still Relevant" by Selina Chignall, published in iPolitics

The Take-Away:

"Getting a liberal arts education is not just helpful for the future of an innovative and knowledge-based economy — it's crucial for developing soft skills, which employers increasingly desire."


More for your BA Reading List - ah.viu.ca/reading-list

Need more information?

Request Information

Want to talk to someone about specific questions?

Contact a Representative

Ready to join us at VIU?

Apply Online