A recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates in Washington, D.C. shows that employers strongly prefer employees with characteristics that are cultivated by a liberal arts education. The online survey, conducted in January among 318 employers nationwide, showed that some of the skills employers value most are: innovation, critical thinking, ability to solve complex problems, ethical judgment and integrity, intercultural skills, and written and oral communication skills.

The study’s findings validate the liberal arts model. What BU’s College of Arts & Sciences and other liberal arts colleges instill in students is a set of core skills that allow them to navigate the professional world with a deftness that is required in today’s work environment. With most people switching careers at least once, and often more than once, in their lives, it is as critical as ever for graduating seniors to not only possess specific knowledge in a field but to understand how to adapt to new situations.

The Hart study found that employers value a blend between a broad liberal arts education and field-specific knowledge. According to the study, “The majority of employers agree that having both field-specific knowledge and skills and a broad range of skills and knowledge is most important for recent college graduates to achieve long-term career success. Few think that having field-specific knowledge and skills alone is what is most needed for individuals’ career success.”

Read the study here.