General Education Program

Strengthening intellectual, creative and professional lives

What Employers Want



  • The Changing Nature of General Education/Liberal Education


Liberal Education in the
Twentieth Century

Liberal Education in the
Twenty-First Century


  • intellectual and personal development
  • an option for the fortunate
  • viewed as non-vocational
  • intellectual and personal development
  • a necessity for all students
  • essential for success in a global economy and for informed citizenship


  • through studies in arts and sciences disciplines ("the major") and/or through general education in the initial years of college
  • through studies that emphasize the essential learning outcomes across the entire educational continuum—from school through college—at progressively higher levels of achievement (recommended)


  • liberal arts colleges or colleges of arts and sciences in larger institutions
  • all schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities, as well as across all fields of study (recommended)

Adapted from College Learning for the New Global Century, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2007, page 18, figure 5.

Top Ten Things Employers Look For in New College Graduates

While you may think that choosing the “right” major is key to getting a good job, your long-term professional success will depend far more on acquiring the right skills for a rapidly changing workplace.

  1. The ability to work well in teams—especially with people different from yourself
  2. An understanding of science and technology and how these subjects are used in real-world settings
  3. The ability to write and speak well
  4. The ability to think clearly about complex problems
  5. The ability to analyze a problem to develop workable solutions
  6. An understanding of global context in which work is now done
  7. The ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems
  8. The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings
  9. The ability to understand numbers and statistics
  10. A strong sense of ethics and integrity

Source: "How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today's Global Economy?" (Results of a national poll by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 2007).







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