The Association of American Colleges and Universities, a leader in advancing liberal education, decided to find out the answer to this paraphrasing of Freud’ famous question.
Here’s what they found by surveying more than 300 for profit and non-profit leaders. 95% of the employers surveyed said that their company “puts a priority on hiring people with the intellectual and interpersonal skills that will help them contribute t innovation in the workplace,” and 93% said that “ A candidate's demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than undergraduate major.“
For more on the survey and the “Compact” that has been developed by AAC&U see http://www.aacu.org/leap/presidentstrust/compact/documents/compact.pdf
You can also read more about the survey at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/10/survey-finds-business-executives-arent-focused-majors-those-they-hire#ixzz2Q3qJIXtV
If employers are serious when they speak in these terms, then the liberal arts and sciences are in a strong position to help their students find challenging and rewarding employment, provided they find ways to demonstrate that an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts and sciences really results in these qualifications. Grade inflation has made the transcript less credible, and the hyperbole endemic in letters of recommendations has eroded their credibility. That’s why the AAC&U has pointed to the need for strong internship programs available to all undergraduates and has developed sophisticated advice about designing student portfolios. Their site www.aacu.org is worth studying.