With economic pressures running high, many students choose to study highly specialized fields, ones which focus on the most up-to-date techniques and training in technology or medicine.  Equipped with current information and know-how, students are ready to enter the professional world and to tackle the newest problems of today. 

Yet, the specificity that allows young professionals to address and solve the problems of today also leaves these courses of study susceptible to becoming obsolete.  

However, in studying the liberal arts, "you will have learned how to learn, so that you will be able to do research to answer questions in your field that will come up years from now, questions that nobody could have envisioned [now], much less taught you how to answer," says Nannerl O. Keohane.  

In other words, the liberal arts, studied by some students only in core courses seen only as "required" classes, teach students deeper skills - critical thinking, analysis, and appreciation for the arts, for example - which can be applied by new graduates and by seasoned professionals alike.  

For a more comprehensive case for the liberal arts, view the adaptation of a speech Ms. Keohane gave at the Council of Independent Colleges' Presidents Institute here.