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Why Choose a Private Liberal Arts College versus a STEM college?

Blog | 03.14.2023

Will students benefit more from a degree in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), or will they be better off choosing a degree from a private liberal arts college? That is one of the crucial questions on prospective college student’s minds as they decide on what path to take as they evaluate their higher education options.

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 74% of those with a bachelor’s degree in STEM are not employed in STEM occupations.
  • 80% of employers prefer candidates with liberal arts degrees because of the skills acquired, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and communication. 
  • Starting salaries are higher for STEM graduates just after graduation. However, liberal arts graduates show higher salary growth over their careers and, in many cases, will out-earn STEM graduates over a lifetime. Over 33% of the Fortune 500 CEOs have a liberal arts degree.
  • Liberal arts education will help students develop a strong sense of social responsibility.
  • Liberal arts graduates are skilled in gathering information, interpreting the information and making informed decisions.

Choosing the right college that fits a student’s passions, interests and long-term goals will help them to be successful no matter what career path they choose.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers degree paths for students to choose the right major. Our professional advisors will assist you in developing a path that is the perfect fit for you.


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