Human Skills and the Labor Market Outcomes of Liberal Arts Grads

Published on Nov 7, 2018

Updated on Jan 14, 2023

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

Human Skills and the Labor Market Outcomes of Liberal Arts Grads

Emsi (now Lightcast) and Strada are proud to announce the Nov. 13th release of “Robot-Ready: Human+ Skills for the Future of Work.” The result of a year-long project, this report delves into the labor market outcomes for liberal arts graduates and analyzes key skills they bring to employers. To learn more, join us on Nov. 13th for an introductory webinar hosted by Inside Higher Ed.  

Liberal Arts + STEM

With the dramatic rise in college tuition, students and parents are concerned about getting a good return on their investment. As a result, students flock to career-oriented majors like business, healthcare, and engineering, while liberal arts programs languish.


The overwhelming opinion is that liberal arts degrees are irrelevant to the labor market. After all, how many tech companies would hire liberal arts graduates when they could hire STEM graduates?

A lot, it turns out. Last year, Google’s Project Aristotle showed that the best teams at the company exhibited a wide range of soft skills commonly associated with the liberal arts. According to venture capitalist and author Scott Hartley, liberal arts graduates now make up a larger percentage of today’s tech workforce than technical graduates do. And contrary to popular belief, liberal arts graduates do find gainful employment and make solid money.

The Future of Work

So how can we combine the uniquely “human” skills of the liberal arts with the technical skills of STEM? How can we make sure we’re properly training students for the future of work? And what does the future of work look like?

We dig into that and more in our latest report: “Robot-Ready: Human+ Skills for the Future of Work.”

Emsi conducted this research in partnership with the Strada Institute for the Future of Work. For the past year, we’ve pored through our database of over 100 million resumes and social profiles to better understand what people do with liberal arts degrees.

 Download your copy of the report here.