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The Surprising Benefits of a Liberal Arts Degree

While specialization in a chosen field may be the goal of a college education for some, it is important to choose a well-rounded degree program. Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online Bachelor of Science in Liberal and Applied Studies is built on the premise that the foundational skills of critical thinking and communication are invaluable for solving problems in any field.

Learning to Ask Good Questions

Consultant John Ager discussed this essential element of the critical-thinking process with Chris Teare of Forbes: “Critical thinking manifests itself in the questions people ask. Although most of the people I work with have a STEM-based education, those with a liberal arts education can just as effectively ask insightful questions.”

Ager goes on to explain how this plays out within the evolving landscape of global business: “Given the increasing interactiveness of technologies, systems, and economies, success requires many of us to consider factors outside our realm of expertise, which requires us to ask questions.”

Through innovative broad-based coursework, the SOSU BS in Liberal Arts and Applied Studies program requires students to select from clusters that include the arts, natural sciences, behavioral sciences such as psychology, and applied sciences like computer science.

SOSU’s degree plan develops the tools necessary not only to join the various conversations of multiple industries but also to lead them successfully. Based on personal preferences and aspirations, students receive guidance from advisors through the course selection process.

Clear Communication Is Critical

Critical thinking as well as clear written and verbal communication skills enable efficient problem solving. SOSU’s program helps students build these skills so they can tackle all types of challenges. Problems sometimes remain unsolved when team members all have the same perspective, background or tool set. Graduates of a liberal arts program are equipped with the critical thinking and communication skills that enable them to offer a more holistic perspective.

Risk management expert Dan Glaser extolled these virtues of the liberal arts in U.S. News & World Report: “In today’s uncertain world, one of the few certainties is the importance of critical thinking. Interdisciplinary and lateral thinking are vital skills. It’s not specialist degrees versus liberal arts degrees: We need both. Liberal arts teach students how to think, and this is the primary skill needed in all disciplines, especially rapidly advancing technical fields.”

When hiring new employees, companies seek candidates with strong communication skills, as effective communication is central to the success of any project, and progress toward goals requires those who can ask good, thoughtful questions. Whether preparing for further education in the form of advanced degrees or looking to increase their value within their current career, our students develop skills to succeed wherever their education may lead them.

Learn more about SOSU’s online BS in Liberal and Applied Studies online program.


Forbes: Critical Thinking at Work and in the Liberal Arts

U.S. News & World Report: The Risky English Major? Not So Fast.

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