Why Your BA Is Worth More Than You Think

Why Your BA Is Worth More Than You Think

By: Abbas Virji
  7130 reads

A common misconception - especially in the student world – is that a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree does not hold much value compared to specialized degrees such as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Computer Science. This is far from true. While BA graduates may experience some challenges in finding work immediately after graduation, people with BA’s go on to have very rewarding careers and are popular hiring choices. In a recent survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 74% of business and nonprofit leaders say they would recommend a twenty-first century liberal education to a young person they know in order to prepare for long-term professional success in today’s global economy. This is even more evident when you see that “one-third of Fortune 500 CEO’s have liberal arts degrees”.

So what makes a BA so valued by employers? Well, the first part is transferable skills. Remember that Q-course you took to fulfill your WQB requirements? Well, your success in that course was dependent on what you had already learned – transferring your skills learned in classes related to your major. That trait is key for employers, who are often looking for someone that can apply what they learned directly into a job, except in a wider range of fields. For example, if you majored in English, you’re not just learning about literature. You’re also learning about how to develop a compelling argument, tailor your communication, and present your ideas clearly and concisely. Those are all skills an employer may find valuable, and the versatility you have with your BA makes you a good candidate.

Other highly valued traits of BA’s is their resourcefulness, strong work ethic, flexibility and adaptability. These are achieved through the wide range of classes they may be taking, as well as out of class experiences such as volunteering, participating in student clubs, and part-time or seasonal work.  

What else makes a BA stand out? Well, remember all those critical thinking classes you took? That’s exactly what employers are looking for. Someone who not only thinks well, but also asks questions others may have not even thought of. The wide range of exposure you have to all these different courses with a range of learning methods allows you to think differently for each course. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about what you think, it’s how. And that piece of experience from BA students is definitely something employers highly value.

Finally, as you’ve probably noticed, employers highly value BA degree holders because of their flexibility. They can put them in a range of roles – everything from copywriter to web developer – and still have a confident feeling that whatever needs to be accomplished will be done. Individuals with BA’s are able to adapt in a range of environments, and that’s definitely an important skill to have today, where technologies seem to change every month. In fact, “most people will have six to 10 jobs during their careers, and liberal arts majors are the most adaptable to new circumstances.” A liberal arts major provides a solid foundation for adapting to different types of work, allowing quick adaptation to a variety of career options.

So there you have it, your BA may be worth a lot more than you think. Look out for more related articles on our CSI blog in the coming weeks!

*Lead image: creative-commons licensed photo by Dolly

Adapted from:

George, C. (2013), Busting the BA bias. 1st & 2nd Year Career Planning Guide, Fall
, 10-11.

Posted on November 01, 2013