Research in Higher Education

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 131–148 | Cite as

Jobs and liberal arts graduates: Some critical relationships

  • William Toombs
  • Kathie Thomas


Policy deliberations within the university frequently require information useful in shaping discussion and pointing up priorities. Research work among faculty and graduate students often includes data about alumni, students, or staff gathered to answer theoretical questions. This study reports one effort to translate such data into forms useful to the College of Liberal Arts in creating academic policy to meet the altered job market. Organized around the concepts of jobentry, decisions, andchanges in goals, jobs, and majors, the analysis revealed the urgency of the issue, the importance of a satisfaction on the first job, a changing relationship between jobs and majors, the impact of the liberal arts' study on educational aspirations, and the rationale for choices.

Key words

liberal arts college graudates employment job satisfaction occupational goals 


  1. Astin, A. W., and Panos, R. J. (1969). “The Educational and Vocational Development of College Students.” Washington: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  2. Bisconti, A. S., and Gomberg, I. S. (1974). “Liberal Arts Graduates and Their Jobs: National Patterns.” Bethlehem, Pa.: College Placement Council.Google Scholar
  3. Boymel, C. L. (1973). Outcomes of liberal education. Unpublished mimeo, The Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar
  4. Dansereau, H. K. (1968). Survey of the 1955, 1960, and 1965 graduates of the liberal arts program at the Pennsylvania State University. Unpublished mimeo, The Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar
  5. Freeman, R. B. (1971). “The Market for College Trained Manpower.” Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ginzberg, E., and Herma, J. L. (1964). “Talent and Performance.” New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. McGrath, E. J. (1971). Profiles of distinguished alumni. Liberal Education, 57: 337–343.Google Scholar
  8. Perella, V. C. (1973). Employment of recent college graduates. Monthly Labor Review, February, pp. 41–50.Google Scholar
  9. Sharp, L. M. (1970). “Education and Employment.” Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  10. Willingham, N. W. (1973). “The Source Book for Higher Education.” New York: College Entrance Examination Board.Google Scholar
  11. Windle, J. L., Van Mondfrans, A. P., and Kay, R. S. (1972). “Review of Research: Career Planning and Development, Placement, and Recruitment of College Trained Personnel.” Bethlehem, Pa.: College and Placement Council.Google Scholar
  12. Zytowski, D. G. (1968). Vocational Behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© APS Publications, Inc. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Toombs
    • 1
  • Kathie Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Study of Higher EducationThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity Park

Personalised recommendations