While technology pervades more and more of what we do, the enduring qualities of a liberal arts education continue to be valuable in the workplace. The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program both attracts and cultivates independent and creative thinkers and excellent communicators. It develops people with broad perspectives who are engaged with--and informed about--their world.
Today's employers are increasingly seeking individuals with not only a depth of knowledge in a specific field but with universal competencies such as clear communication and critical thinking. MALS hones precisely those universal competencies.
In fact, these fundamental competencies are at the core of the work students do in MALS. Each small seminar class requires students to write clearly, concisely and professionally. Students must present their opinions to their classmates and professors convincingly, and form hypotheses and validate and support them with research. They also learn to make critical decisions about material presented to them.
The strong development of communications skills differentiates MALS from many other graduate degrees. Clarity in discussion and writing are crucial in every course in the program and are abilities that transfer easily to the workplace setting.
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program. It addresses important problems from a variety of perspectives rather than the single point of view of a particular academic discipline. In each and every course, MALS student learn to see things from different viewpoints and approach problems in a variety of ways, a striking asset in a workplace setting.
Employers value continued learners. The world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and those who can grow and adapt have the advantage. MALS students, by their nature, are proven lifelong learners. They have self-manifested a desire to continuously gain knowledge and improve themselves.
MALS students are challenge-takers. To return to college to complete a rigorous and demanding course of study, usually while working and fulfilling other obligations demonstrates the ability to persevere and rise to and meet challenges.
The cadre of MALS students is made up of returning adults from many walks of life. In addition to learning from their professors and their wide-ranging reading assignments, MALS students learn from each other, providing an even richer learning experience.
According to a national survey of business and nonprofit leaders, of 17 outcome areas tested, written and oral communication, teamwork skills, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings are the most highly valued by employers. (Hart Research Associates. Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2015.) All are supported by a MALS education.