“Tomorrow's managers will need a relatively diverse skill set,” says Professor Shai Danziger of the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University, “combining liberal arts and management along with the types of skills you acquire in each domain will develop people who can contribute meaningfully to society, both in the workplace and general.”
Professor Danziger, the head of Tel Aviv University’s brand-new BA program in management and liberal arts, and Professor Noam Reisner, head of the International Liberal Arts program, spent a recent morning discussing the new double-major program with the Jerusalem Post.
Offered as a joint program by Tel Aviv University’s management and humanities faculties, the three-year BA in Management and Liberal Arts degree – taught entirely in English – provides students with a comprehensive education in management studies, combined with a rich foundation in the humanities and social sciences. The program, scheduled to begin in October 2022, includes multidisciplinary studies with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and six additional liberal arts study tracks to choose from, including psychology, digital culture and communication, philosophy, literature, Jewish and Israel studies, and Middle Eastern studies.
Professor Reisner notes that in recent years, students in the humanities are taking a more professional perspective to their studies. “There is a growing awareness of the ability to apply skills from a humanities degree,” he says. “Skills such as critical thinking, interacting through complex thinking processes, and problems, and advanced levels of academic and critical writing are all assets which many companies look for in their recruits.” Many hi-tech companies are interested in hiring graduates with degrees in the humanities. “We are simply taking that understanding and making the connection between the two worlds synergetic and overt,” he added.
At the same time, he points out, college students today have a real hunger to sample many different subjects, broaden their horizons, learn critical writing and thinking skills and apply them in a more narrow professional degree. “By offering this degree,” says Professor Reisner, “we are providing a desirable program which has not been offered before, that is more rigorous and structured than taking an entrepreneurship track within a liberal arts program.”
One of the unique built-in advantages to Tel Aviv University’s program, Professor Danziger points out, is its proximity to thousands of startups less than 10 kilometers from its campus, many of whom are seeking professional workers with English and liberal-arts skills. TAU is Israel’s largest university and hosts nearly 3,000 international students each year. Nevertheless, says Professor Danziger, the BA program in management and liberal arts will be both diverse and personalized. “These classes are diverse, providing a multicultural experience. At the same time, we will not have a very large cohort where no one knows you.” In addition, the class will have a community coordinator who will offer a personal touch, to provide help when needed, and ensure that students can avail themselves of all the services that Tel Aviv University offers.
Graduates of the BA program in management and liberal arts will be well qualified to work in the fields of business development, marketing or the humanities, if they choose to go that route. “We provide a comprehensive education in management science, so anything that someone who has a degree in management can do, they can do, both for startups as well as with multinational corporations,” says Professor Danziger.
“We are very excited about the program,” he adds, “and we will try to be as relevant and contemporary as possible, to live by Israeli culture in terms of being agile and adapt while at same time maintaining rigorous academic training in liberal arts and management.”
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This article was written in cooperation with Tel Aviv University.