Liberal Arts in Your Life

Short Response: Information literacy in your life

This post is from an assignment for my perspectives in liberal arts class.

The prompt is:

Discuss the importance of developing information literacy skills.

How might having strong information literacy skills impact your academic or professional career?

I have heard and read how liberal arts degrees are useless, but I completely disagree with that thought. I believe that studying liberal arts is more important now than ever and as the information age grows, the foundation of knowledge we develop while studying liberal arts will become even more valuable.

There are numerous skills you can learn through studying liberal arts, skills like research and information retrieval, critical thinking, reading comprehension, speaking, and writing. The list of skills is too vast to cover them all, but the value is not just in the skills you develop. There is also value in the knowledge you gain from studying a wider range of topics such as history, philosophy, social sciences, mathematics, and creative arts. Having a well-rounded education in these topics creates a foundation of knowledge that is important when learning new subjects, skills, and understanding politics and current affairs. A great example of why liberal arts is important is the rise of fake news. In the information age, we are constantly bombarded with misinformation online. We must know how to filter through this information and find the truth. To do that we need a solid foundation of knowledge to work from. We also need to develop skills in research and information retrieval as well as an ability to discern fact from fiction, credible sources from satire. The ability to research and process information is important because we need to be able to form our opinions based on factual information, we need to be able to make informed decisions in life whether that decision is to buy a new car, stay home because of a scary new virus, or vote on the next president.

Studying liberal arts can have a positive impact on your academic and professional career. In academics, the ability to read and understand new material will help you get through your course work. As you develop your skills in research and writing you might find writing assignments become easier, at the very least they become less dreadful because you know how to do the research and how to write the paper. You might find as you grasp a better understanding of mathematics you start using math outside of class to budget your finances or invest your money. I think because in your academic career you are still developing these skills, the impact might not be as noticeable but as you enter the workforce you will see the difference in your professional career. Today, many employers aren’t looking at what type of degree you have, in less you are going into a specialized career such as a medical doctor or lawyer. The degree only shows the employer you can commit to something and achieve your goals. It is proof you have the skills necessary to learn and be successful. What’s more important to an employer is that you can adapt and keep up with a quickly changing work environment by learning new skills, communicate effectively, and solve problems effectively. An employee who has the skills necessary to quickly learn a new skill and adapt to a new role within a company is a valuable asset to the company.

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