Year after year, the skills employers value most in the new graduates they hire are not technical, job-specific skills, but written and oral communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking—exactly the sort of "soft skills" humanities majors tend to excel in"
Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation will be well-rounded freethinkers. They will be erudite and articulate; creative and critical. They will value and be capable of virtuous, civil and productive conversation.
Liberal Arts is the future
The employment and life prospects for graduates with this set of attributes are excellent. There is a demonstrated demand in Australia and globally for graduates who can think critically and creatively and possess excellent social skills.
A 2016 report, The New Basics – Foundation for Young Australians, reveals that demand for critical thinking skills in new graduates has risen by 158 per cent in recent years. This finding is based on an analysis of 4.2 million online job postings from 6,000 sources. Graduates of The Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation will be future-proofed, as compared with those preparing for many traditional vocations.
In 2017, Deloitte Australia analysed the needs of the Australian workforce and businesses. It reported findings that concur with predictions of the Foundation for Young Australians about the future skills framework - the kinds of skills that will be in demand for 2030 and beyond. It highlights a serious market gap in non-technical soft skills. Deloitte “forecasts that soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000”. Its analysis reveals a clear and growing demand for sharp graduates who are good at communication, teamwork, problem-solving, emotional intelligence and ethical decision-making. Soft skills and talents of these kinds, also known as enterprise skills – precisely those that a liberal arts education instils – comprise “ten of the sixteen ‘crucial proficiencies in the 21st century’ identified by the World Economic Forum”.
A distinctive feature of the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilization is that it is philosophical through and through. Philosophy focuses on the clear and systematic expression of ideas, the logical development of arguments and the careful use of examples and analogies. A philosophical education develops communication skills, persuasive powers and writing abilities. Crucially, philosophy graduates are able to address unfamiliar, novel problems.
There is evidence that high-achieving philosophy graduates have good prospects for rewarding mid-career earnings. For example, median earnings of BA graduates majoring in philosophy “exceed those of majors in any other humanities field, and are the 16th highest in a study comparing salaries across 50 majors in the United States”, according to data collected by PayScale.