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Success After Eastern

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The Value of a Liberal Arts Degree

Every Eastern student graduates with a major—a focused set of courses in their chosen career field—supported by electives and other classes. Regardless of their major, all Eastern students receive a broad foundation of academic courses that form Eastern’s liberal arts core curriculum. This academic core is the backbone of an Eastern degree, providing students with skills essential to professional and personal success, including:

  • The ability to think critically and solve problems
  • The ability to communicate professionally in oral and written form
  • The ability to work independently and/or in teams
  • A commitment to ethics
  • The skills needed to succeed in a culturally diverse world
  • Information technology literacy
  • The ability to adapt to changes in the workplace
Those are the skills that American employers expect in the workforce.* 

91% of employers agree that for career success, “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate major.

80% of employers agree that, regardless of their major, every college student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences.

96% of employers agree that “all college students should have experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own.”

78% of employers say that “all college students should gain intercultural skills and an understanding of societies and countries outside the United States.”

 * Independent surveys conducted for the Association of American Colleges and Universities

At the same time, employers strongly endorse an emphasis on applied learning.



of employers think that requiring college students to complete a significant applied learning project before graduation improves the quality of their preparation for careers.



of students agree that an applied learning project increases their chances of being hired.



of all Eastern students have had at least one applied learning experience before graduation.

Eastern Alumni

Katelyn Root  ’20
Liberal studies/Elementary Education

Katelyn Root ’20

Kate is an aspiring elementary school teacher. “Liberal Studies gives you the opportunity to learn a lot of different subjects. I’ve taken geology, macroeconomics, politics and many other classes besides just ‘elementary education.’ This has helped me expand my horizons as a learner and future educator.”

Alexis Kurtz ’16

Alexis Kurtz ’16

“The liberal arts core and Honors Program gave me incentive to explore subjects that were outside of my discipline. I was pushed to open my mind to the larger world, and to approach all theories and pieces of art with critical thinking. I am confident in thinking for myself, and creating my own work, as well as thoughtfully and productively questioning the work of others.”

Adam Brzozowski ’08
Economics/History/Political Science

Adam Brzozowski ’08

Adam is the associate director of research analytics at C Space. At Eastern, he learned to “synthesize very long chains of interrelated thoughts, resulting from extensive research, into a coherent and informative narrative through writing. In the business world, and in consulting in particular, having the ability to think in depth about a topic is a foundational skill that, surprisingly, not everyone has.”

Matthew Nemeth ’13

Matthew Nemeth ’13

Matthew is a professional saxophone player and business advisor with the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. “My Eastern experience not only prepared me for a professional career in music, but it also gave me the tools to succeed as a professional business advisor. I often lean on my liberal arts education to help me use a global perspective to better coach and mentor businesses that I advise.”

Emily Mantel ’18
Environmental Studies

Emily Mantel ’18

Emily designed an individualized major called Environmental Studies and is now a technician at Eco Rental Solutions. “Eastern gave me the tools throughout my classes and experiences to further myself in my career. With my individualized major and a liberal arts degree, the classes covered an array of topics that opened more doors that I didn’t think possible.”

Hilary Osborn ’12

Hilary Osborn ’12

After receiving a M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in May 2018, Hilary accepted a position with Willdan Group, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Manhattan. “My theatre degree gave me poise and confidence to work in a corporate environment, and the extensive writing in all my Eastern classes gave me the communication skills I need to succeed in my profession.”

The Liberal Arts

David Ngibuini ’14 is a portfolio manager at Cigna, the global health services company.  He interned at Cigna’s on-campus Technology Early Career Development Program while earning his computer science degree. In this video, David talks about the role that Eastern’s liberal arts curriculum played in preparing him for success.

David Ngibuini