For Employers

What Employers Want and What a Liberal Arts Education Offers—a Perfect Match

Employers tell us they are looking for those who can solve problems, think inventively, communicate well, consider multiple and diverse perspectives, work nimbly, conduct research, analyze the past, understand the present, and imagine the future. These tools are the fruits of a liberal arts education.

John Coleman
Dean, College of Liberal Arts
University of Minnesota

Through courses, internships, study abroad, leadership positions, independent research, and related experiences, CLA students develop Core Career Competencies, growing into strong communicators, creative problem solvers, critical thinkers, and valuable team members. In CLA, we work closely with students at every stage of their college career so that they understand and can apply their liberal arts advantage toward successful careers and purposeful lives. It’s no wonder CLA graduates establish themselves as leaders throughout every industry. They're exactly what you're looking for.

CLA is leading the way in conversations about career readiness among peer institutions. Through innovative initiatives that engage faculty and staff across the college, we are helping students see the connections between their education and experiences. We are working together to integrate career readiness into the CLA student experience from the moment they arrive on campus until after they graduate so they can understand and articulate just how career ready they are.

Liberal arts students provide a variety of different skill sets. They are good at critical thinking, have great soft skills, are very driven individuals. They have experience working with groups of different people and are well-rounded students with diverse perspectives.

Target Recruiter

Who are CLA Students?

Today's CLA students study across more than 65 majors and more than 70 minors in diverse disciplines. Consider these key facts about the Class of 2020:

Academics

  • 30,000+ students applied for 2,400+ undergraduate openings in CLA.
  • The average ACT score is 27.3 with 45% scoring 28 or higher.
  • Nearly 78% of CLA students graduated in the top 25% and nearly 32% ranked in the top 10% of their high school class.
  • 100% of students are required to complete a course that incorporates career development.

Diversity

  • 25% are students of color or American Indians.
  • 47% of the University’s students of color and American Indians are in CLA.
  • 33% are first-generation college students.
  • Nearly 11% are international students.
  • Represent 95 countries and all 50 states.
  • A critical mass of CLA students are from Minnesota and are thus more likely to want to stay here due to family ties and other factors.

Experience

  • 33% study abroad.
  • 50% engage in community service activities.
  • 100% are required to have proficiency in a second language.
  • 76% did volunteer work during high school.
  • 69% worked during high school.

Learn More About CLA and Our Students