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Emphasis on STEM and skilled trades is priority du jour, but what about the value of liberal arts?

University of Michigan MSIS

College and university campuses are kicking into high gear for the fall semester.

Students are moving in, figuring out their way around campus, and, it they haven’t already, declaring a major.

Parents tend to be pleased with a major that leads the student along a well-marked career path – a major like business, engineering, or nursing.

If the student chooses a liberal arts route, parents may ask, “What the heck is my kid going to do with a philosophy degree, or a history degree?”

Andrew Martin, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, and Dave Bargerretired founder and CEO of JetBlue Airways who's now with Connor Capital, joined Stateside today to explain how that liberal arts degree can lead to both a great career and personal fulfillment.

Barger said employers seeking talent look for individuals with “intellectual curiosity.” They also look for effective communicators – people who can be persuasive in an argument, and people who can assess changing landscapes.

“That liberal arts education is just foundational for that type of leader down the road,” he said. “So that’s what I’m looking for from a talent perspective, and that’s what I would share with a parent, a counselor, and again, the student.”

For the full conversation, listen above.

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