The College of Arts and Letters is introducing a new business economics minor for students in the College who want to pursue a liberal arts education while also developing literacy in basic business economics principles.
“Our students already develop a number of skills that are critical to success in any career or profession — the ability to write well, speak confidently and intelligently, and analyze complex situations and information,” says John T. McGreevy, dean of the college. “What this new program offers students is a solid grounding in basic economics and business principles.
The minor consists of five courses: microeconomics and macroeconomics, taught by the faculty in the Department of Economics; one course each in accounting and finance, taught by faculty from the Mendoza College of Business; and a course in statistics taught by faculty from either Arts and Letters or the College of Science.
The program, McGreevy says, is designed to complement the marketplace adaptability of liberal arts alumni. “Even now,” McGreevy says, “our graduates are admitted to the best professional schools and service programs. And the 45 percent or so of our graduates who enter the paid labor force right away have extraordinary success on the job market.
“People who majored in English, history, psychology and music—they’re already getting jobs that people might think are only there for business majors. We’re simply introducing this new minor to allow interested liberal arts majors to add the ‘vocabulary of business’ to their repertoire of skills as well.”
According to the Notre Dame Career Center, graduates from the College of Arts and Letters have the same successful track record as Notre Dame graduates overall: Just one year after entering one of the toughest job markets in a decade, for example, a full 97% of the Arts and Letters Class of 2010 are either employed full time, enrolled in graduate or professional school, or working in a service program.
Looking at longer-term career trajectories, Dan Hesse a 1975 graduate who majored in government and international studies and who now serves as CEO of Sprint Nextel Corporation—says the skills developed by liberal arts students prepare them to excel throughout their professional lives.
As he reports in the 2011 Liberal Arts at Notre Dame brochure, “The Bell System conducted a multi-decade longitudinal research study years ago that correlated management career success with undergraduate major. The study found that liberal arts undergraduates were the most successful … [and] my personal experiences are consistent with this study’s conclusions.
“Liberal arts majors tend to be good critical thinkers who can deal with ambiguity—the absence of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers—which is the more akin to how the real world works,” Hesse says.
The business economics minor for students in the College of Arts and Letters will launch in fall 2012.