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One in five bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. is a business degree. However, according to a recent panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival – a joint venture between the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic – companies will ultimately prefer liberal arts majors for CEOs or managers. Why? Business grads have the technical skills they need to land their first entry-level job, but generally lack crucial writing and critical thinking skills – typical of liberal arts majors – to successfully grow and succeed in a career. The panel at Aspen Ideas Festival stressed the importance of a well-rounded business education that includes a liberal arts education, specifically the development of an active mindset that pushes learners to challenge themselves and think about business issues from different perspectives, and “to understand the cultural or historical context of whatever business decision they’re making.” Will business curriculums change, or will we see a rise in the hiring of liberal arts majors for business positions? A decade from now, those earning what was once dubbed the “laughing stock of the college degree” just may end up having the last laugh.
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