Do employers value these skills?

Employers from many career fields consistently list the Arts-related skills outlined here as some of the most important and valuable in prospective employees. We asked! The University of Regina Career Centre surveyed employers from many different career fields about the abilities they value in the workplace. They responded with high rankings for the types of skills an Arts degree can help you develop. For instance:

  • 96% rated verbal/written communication skills as being either important or very important
  • 83% rated analytic skills and the ability to interpret complex information and ideas as being either important or very important
  • 85% rated the ability to examine problems from multiple perspectives as being important or very important
  • 93% rated the ability to solve problems as being either important or very important
  • 78% rated the ability to generate insights, new approaches and fresh perspectives as being important or very important
  • 72% are less concerned about what candidates studied than with how they think, their general skills, and their attitude

Employers who answered 'yes' to the last question included respondents from the following fields: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; Arts, Recreation and Entertainment; Educational Services; Finance and Insurance; Health Care and Social Assistance; Information and Cultural Industries; Manufacturing; Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration; Real Estate and Rental and Leasing; Retail Trade; Transport and Warehousing; Utilities; and Wholesale Trade.

156 employers were surveyed from various industries, mainly located in Saskatchewan (82%) and other provinces, from a mix of large and small companies.

Here's what some other employers have to say about Arts graduates:

"Our new employees are increasingly expected to step into a position and perform quickly in a fast-paced, information-based environment. We find Liberal Arts graduates know how to learn, think critically, and communicate effectively. These skills serve graduates well initially and can also help catapult them into more senior roles".
     - Todd Shwartz, Human Resources Consultant with the City of Regina

"Arts graduates have many transferable skills which they bring to today's workforce. Their ability to think critically, understand global perspectives and their excellent communications skills serve them well in many different capacities".
     - Karen Aullie, Assistant Chair of the Public Service Commission, Government of Saskatchewan

"A Liberal Arts education provides individuals with a diverse skill set that positions them well to do a wide number of tasks with minimal training. Individuals with this type of background tend to be 'faster on their feet', or able to 'turn on a dime', as opposed to individuals who are trained for a very specific career and don't necessarily think 'outside of the box'".
     - Sheila Kelly, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

"Critical thinking, creativity, understanding power dynamic, knowing how to say and write what you mean - none of these tools come in boxes. As an alumnus of the University of Regina's Faculty of Arts and as someone who works in Regina's Community Development sector, I've come to appreciate that an Arts degree isn't about knowing all the answers, it's about learning how to find solutions".
     - Shawn Fraser, City Councillor, City of Regina

Priya Virmani Priya Virmani will soon have completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology and a minor in Religious Studies. In the meantime, she has a side job with Virmani Productions, a full service hair/makeup, photography, event planning and design firm that she co-founded with her sisters. Priya says her Arts degree has strengthened her personal development as well as her business sense. “I’ve been fortunate to enroll in classes that really pertained to my personal interests in things like culture, belief and interpersonal relations. But I also owe a lot to my Psychology classes for what I can apply to dealing with clients, and to marketing our products and services to the general public. I’ve learned countless lessons that I know I’ll draw on in the future.”