UW Madison to assist liberal arts majors in job search

Dean Simmons:

Call it the cranky parent appeasement program, designed to arm UW-Madison students majoring in art history or Polish or zoology with answers to a common question: How will you get a job in that?

John Karl Scholz, dean of the College of Letters and Science, is launching a large new program to improve career planning and job outcomes for students in his college, by far the largest at the university with more than 16,000 undergraduates in 39 departments.

The effort comes amid some questions nationally about the value of a college degree, especially in liberal arts majors that don’t lend themselves directly to a career path but cost the same — and result in the same debt loads — as more job-ready majors such as accounting or nursing.

Scholz pointed to evidence that majoring in what makes the heart sing does lead to jobs that make the wallet smile.

“Trying to spark their imagination about what they can do with different majors strikes me as really important,” said Scholz, in his second year as dean.