NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED569212
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 68
Career Preparation and the Liberal Arts: CIC Project on the Future of Independent Higher Education. Innovations in Teaching and Learning. Research Brief 3
Katz, Philip M.
Council of Independent Colleges
This brief explores a central question: How does the independent sector of higher education balance expectations for job preparation with the preparation of students for full lives as educated citizens? The debate about the role of liberal arts institutions in preparing students for careers is not new. But several trends have made the debate more intense since 2008: a greater emphasis on the short-term economic benefits of higher education, especially as the perceived cost of postsecondary education has risen; a higher percentage of undergraduate programs in professional fields; a more widespread perception that colleges and universities do a poor job of preparing students for the workforce; and, in reaction, resurgent concerns about too much emphasis on employability. The debates often ignore the demonstrated success of smaller independent colleges and universities with a liberal arts focus in preparing students for careers: graduates of such institutions are at least as likely to find jobs in the first six months, will earn about as much in their lifetimes, and will enjoy a higher level of career satisfaction than their peers who graduate from other institutions. Smaller institutions achieve these outcomes through undergraduate programs with a professional emphasis that incorporate substantial liberal arts content; liberal arts degree programs that integrate career preparation; experiential learning opportunities, especially internships; and innovative career preparation activities that supplement the liberal arts curriculum. Career centers play an important role. [This brief was prepared by the CIC Project on the Future of Independent Higher Education.]
Council of Independent Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 320, Washington DC 20036-1142. Tel: 202-466-7230; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education; Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)
Authoring Institution: Council of Independent Colleges
Identifiers - Location: United States