Post-independence, the main focus of the planners was upliftment of technology and management education. Decade after decade, there has been a churning of technocrats, doctors and managers but ironically very few great leaders. Of late, it has been increasingly felt that there has been a stilted growth and today, there is a paucity of well – rounded leaders.
In an age where jobs are few and applicants many, candidates are not only required to be adept at their respective fields of specialization, but they are also expected to have the capacity to adapt to any given situation, be good problem solvers and be able to multi-task. For this, we need to seriously rethink the British model of specialist education and bring about a Renaissance of Liberal Education. Liberal Education adds to your quality of life by fostering an ongoing investigation of your own environment and the global and historical cultures that complement and conflict with it.
What is Liberal Arts Education?
In the modern context, there are many subjects that fall within the broad scope of the category; which makes it cut across disciplines like humanities, social, natural and formal sciences. However, it can also be mean a dedicated study of just one of the above subjects if you are studying a BA in Philosophy, you could be said to be undertaking a Liberal Arts education. In general, the term refers to degree programs that aim to provide a broader spectrum of knowledge and skills.
Humanities – includes art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern foreign languages, music, theater, speech, classical languages (Latin/Greek).
Social sciences – includes history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, business informatics.
Natural sciences – includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, earth sciences.
Formal sciences – includes mathematics, logic, statistics.
If you wish to go for a degree in Liberal Arts, here are some of the options.
Bachelor of Liberal Studies:
This is a four year interdisciplinary graduate program that provides a bi forked advantage- significant breadth across a variety of fields and meaningful depth in a single field, and the interconnections and integration among fields that allow a fuller comprehension of the modern world. This degree would help you advance in your chosen career, begin a new career, or prepare for graduate or professional study.
Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science:
This three year undergraduate course provides you with a background in both the humanities and the sciences, and gives you useful skills that will make you highly valued by potential employers in jobs across the market. From writing and presenting to thinking ethically and critically, this degree is your preparation for life beyond the classroom. With its flexibility and huge choice of majors, this is a course designed for those who are fascinated by the world and want to learn as much about it as they can. With this degree, you can indulge your interests in both the arts and sciences without restricting yourself to just one specialist area of study.
B.A Social Science:
Social science is the field of study concerned with society and human behaviors. This three year course is a group of subjects focused around what influences people and society to act in a particular way and how these actions can be monitored and modified. You may study theories, methodologies and applications focused on how the principles of behavior evolved based on societies and cultures, and you may learn or analyze the commonalities and differences between these societal impacts. Some programs offer concentrations in areas of social sciences, such as sociology, anthropology, human services or psychology. You may gain skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, decision-making, writing, analysis and research while acquiring comparative, multiple and worldview perspective.
B.A Honors- Philosophy :
It is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. B.A. is three year degree course usually involves considerable research, either through a thesis or supervised research projects. Philosophy studies helps one understand many existing issues. Philosophy encompasses subjects such as sociology, politics, history and literature. Philosophy also helps in studying other science subjects, deal with methodological issues, question assumptions, concepts and structures of argument used in the disciplines. After completing the course candidates can find many career opportunities as it is career orienting in nature.
B.A Honors- Economics :
This three years program generally covers the study of principles of economic theory, micro- and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems, money and banking systems, international economics, quantitative analytical methods, applications to specific industries and public policy issues. B.A. (Hons.) Economics is degree program that focuses on the systematic study of the production, distribution, conservation and allocation of limited resources and in conditions of scarcity in the society, together with the organizational frameworks related to these processes.
Bachelor of Architecture (Honors)
This is an undergraduate Architecture Engineering course. The degree is awarded after successful completion of a five years program or course that covers the study of management aspects and supervision techniques specific to the building industry while developing detailed knowledge about building and construction processes and materials. The five years duration also includes the apprenticeship which is usually in the last semester, which has to be done under a practicing architect. The B.Arch. (Building & Construction Management) degree program often combines the study of architecture, construction, liberal arts, mathematics, and science technology courses.
·Symbiosis school of Liberal Arts, Pune, offering BA/B.Sc. in Liberal Arts.
·School of Liberal Studies, Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, New Delhi, offering Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Bachelor of Economics Honors.
·School of Liberal Studies, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gujarat, offering Bachelor of Liberal Studies.
·Amity University of Liberal Arts, Rajasthan offering B.A Honors –Philosophy.
·Flame University, Pune, offering B.Sc., and BA in Liberal Arts.
·Jindal School of Liberal Arts offering B.A Honors – Liberal Arts and Humanities.
Liberal arts degrees help you escalate your career both in a linear and lateral fashion. A future lawyer can begin her education with a liberal arts curriculum in English, public speaking, government, philosophy, history, economics and computer courses. A human resources specialist can take courses in psychology, sociology, political science, economics or statistics, and organizational behavior that put him ahead of candidates with a strictly business background. Also, a modern languages degree can lead directly into translation and interpreting jobs, but can also apply to international concerns such as foreign services, immigration etc.Developing the skills to work in different languages can also lead to careers in computer programming and ciphering work with intelligence agencies.
After a graduation in Social Sciences, you will get a job as a Sociologist where you would be required to study social groups, their cultures, institutions, and organizations. You may be required to conduct research ethnographies, examine the origins, behaviors and interactions of a social group for in-depth analysis of economic, political or religious insights. Sociological research often contributes to social policy formation. The dual focus on qualitative and quantitative or statistical analysis in the discipline, makes this you fit for the role of a faculty, or in service to government or nonprofit agencies, as well as doing market research for companies in FMCG.
If you have a Graduate degree in Honors- Economics, you generally find the same opportunities for hire as a Master of Business Administration. Economists with a PhD are also highly valued in the policy and research fields, and as consultants to the insurance and legal fields where econometric modeling is required to evaluate liability.
After a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, you can think of working in quite a number of avenues, both in India and abroad. You can join non-profit sectors, education, business as well as government sectors.
As you complete your degree in Architecture honors you would be able to represent a unique set of skills, making demand high for professionals with geological and traditional archeological training. Forensic archeologists conduct the recovery, testing and cataloging of artifacts and human remains for storage or transport. Traditional archeologists may also work on behalf of a museum or university in the reconstruction of a history of a people or environmental event.
Human Resource Professional:
Organizational performance begins with human assets. The innovation of human resource management (HRM) systems approaches to the recruitment, training, motivation, and retention of company’s top talent requires sophisticated training in the field of Human Resources. A degree in human resources also prepares you for leadership in an organization. Working in coordination with executive management, you would be responsible for the development of strategic compensation and benefit plans, procedures, policies, and training. You can also team up your degree with a Diploma in Industrial Psychology.
In a nutshell…
Therefore, if you wish to embrace and proceed with a career which gives you a ‘heads up approach’, a degree in Liberal Arts is the only option as it incorporates the best of content, courses and knowledge and confluences it with the best in pedagogy in terms of experiential learning, use of technology, immersion and mentorship, besides giving you the freedom to strike a tangent in your career.
It is one degree that liberates, you, in the real sense…