Graduates of St. John’s contend, like Socrates, that a good life involves,
among other things, continuing to ask that question at every stage
of life. They also say that St. John’s prepares you to live such a life,
a life of free thinking and considered questioning. And although
these same graduates insist that St. John’s does not prepare you for
a narrow field, they are quick to reply to the question “Where can
I go after St. John’s?” with the answer “Just about anywhere.”
The long-term practical value of a liberal education is well
known. In a 2008 report published by the Association of American
Colleges and Universities, 95 percent of employers surveyed
considered a liberal education important (69 percent rating it
important). Most employers cite critical thinking and communica-
tion skills, flexibility, and the ability to evaluate situations and come
up with solutions as highly valuable in the workplace. And St. John’s
alumni cite these same skills among the results of their education.
Moreover, in a world of rapidly changing technologies andmultiple
careers, where the ability to assimilate new knowledge is itself
perhaps the most valuable career asset—and insurance—one can
possess, Johnnies have an indispensable advantage. Through
tackling civilization’s most profound and difficult writings and
holding them up to rigorous study and discussion, Johnnies learn
how to learn—fearlessly and with such intellectual resolve that
they remain, for the rest of their lives, undaunted by complexity.
What do St. John’s graduates do? They are lawyers,
novelists, founders of publishing houses, artisans, entrepreneurs,
educators, actors, physicians, website developers, screenwriters,
corporate executives, policy analysts, realtors, editors, research
librarians, radio hosts, bookstore owners, software engineers, college
admissions counselors, flight instructors, museum directors.
They pursue all these careers andmore. Some are even philosophers.
Howmany St. John’s graduates attain leadershippositions?
Looking Beyond the Ivy League
New York Times
education editor Loren
Pope identified 50 institutions as top sources of high-ranking civic, judicial, and
military officials listed in the
compendium. St. John’s—along with such
institutions as Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford—was in the top 30.
Careers after St. John’s
a good life?