Is a Liberal Arts Education worth the money?

What is the return on investment (ROI) for a liberal arts education? Is it worth the money compared to something more career-oriented like business or engineering?

According to a recent study by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the median return 40 years after enrollment approaches $1 million – more than 25% higher than the median for all colleges. That is a significant positive return over the course of a career, making an education at a liberal arts college a very practical choice.

In a Washington Post article on the Georgetown study, Susan Svrluga suggests that liberal arts students develop flexibility (I would call it intellectual agility) and draw on a deep source of knowledge they can later access in their careers as a result of taking general education courses along with their major field of study. In this way, liberal arts graduates are strengthened by a well-rounded and diverse perspective to take on the workplace.

This reminds me of a great post by Michael Simmons (, where he writes “Modern polymaths …[build] atypical combinations of skills and knowledge across fields and then [integrate] them to create breakthrough ideas and even brand new fields and industries where there is little competition.”

And that’s exactly what a liberal arts education equips a person to do.

4,668 views Debbie Schmidt