But the advantage possessed by career-oriented majors may be short-lived. Once in a career path, the more general skills of communication, organization and judgment become highly valued. As a result, liberal arts graduates frequently catch or surpass graduates with career-oriented majors in both job quality and compensation. A longitudinal study conducted several years ago by the National Center for Educational Statistics found that the wage differentials that existed between career-oriented majors and academically oriented majors were all but eliminated within 10 years after graduation.
In the end, success in the job market is likely less about the specific concentration a student has in college than the development of a range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to a rapidly changing work environment — the historic goal of a true liberal education.