Free for 90 days: Sign up now and get 90 days managed free after your first deposit. See offer details

Financial Goals

Ep. 040: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education

Author George Anders describes how people who study the liberal arts can be highly successful in an evolving high-tech future.

Articles by Jill Schlesinger

By Jill Schlesinger, CFP®
  |  Published: October 5, 2017

So often on this podcast, and on my radio show, we field questions from recent grads with insane amounts of student loan debt. Sometimes it’s enough debt to wreck a life.

There’s enough blame to go around, but so often it’s a case of students feeling the pressure to go to fancy, high priced colleges to study what seems like an obscure major. But before you think that I am about to argue that every able-bodied student should be studying for a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field, read on…

Let me pose a question. What is wrong with a well-rounded liberal arts degree? A degree, which I might add, can be earned at countless reasonably priced colleges.

George Anders, our guest this week on Better Off makes a strong case in his recently released book, “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education.”

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or know how to write computer code to succeed in today’s work environment.

When you really think about it, it’s amazing how many doors a so called “useless” liberal arts education can open.

As George says, you can be yourself, as an English major, and thrive in sales. You can segue from anthropology into the booming new field of user research; from classics into management consulting, and from philosophy into high-stakes investing. At any stage of your career, you can bring a humanist’s grace to the rapidly evolving high-tech future.

If you’ve got kids starting the college application process, who are resisting calls to declare a STEM major or if you’re thinking about furthering your education by going to grad school, listen to this episode before making any decisions.

This article was originally published on Jill Schlesinger’s LinkedIn.

The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites, unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.

Recommended Content

View All Resources
How to Do a Direct IRA Transfer

How to Do a Direct IRA Transfer

A transfer of your IRA to Betterment is easy and can be done online in four simple steps.

How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve

How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve

Author Mark Spindel, expert on the Federal Reserve offers an account of Congress’s role in steering the evolution of the Federal Reserve and challenges the myth of its independence.

Betterment’s Approach to Financial Advice: An Overview

Betterment’s Approach to Financial Advice: An Overview

Achieving your financial goals is only possible if you plan effectively. Saving enough, choosing the right accounts, deciding when you can buy a house or when to retire—all of these are essential decisions even before you build an optimal portfolio.

Start your investment plan

I am

years old and

  • Not Retired
  • Retired

.

My annual income is

.

Experience the new way of investing. Sign up today.

Start investing smarter

Get started

Refer a friend or family member and get up to 1 year managed free

Refer a friend

How would you like to get started?

Your first step toward a smarter investing future starts here.

Create a Betterment account

Go ahead and join the smart, modern way to invest.

See what we can do for you

Tell us a bit about yourself, and we'll show you the benefits of investing with us.

Get a free investing checkup

Help us get a sense of your investing approach and see how you could improve.

Transfer a 401(k) or an IRA

Move an existing retirement account into a Betterment IRA.

Download the mobile app

Enjoy the Betterment experience anywhere on the go.

Search our site

For more information and disclosures about the Betterment Resource Center, click here. | See our contributors.