To excel in the automated world Canada shouldn't forget the liberal arts: study

A new report on the skills needed for jobs of the future says in the technologically disrupted world Canada will need more liberal-arts graduates.

The study by the Royal Bank of Canada says that as more workplaces become automated there will be a growing need for people who have honed human skills in areas such as critical thinking, communications, active listening and curiosity.

It says these skills are often cultivated by liberal-arts programs, which could include disciplines like philosophy, geography and English literature.

The document also makes a number of policy recommendations, including the creation of a so-called ``GPA for skills'' that would define how abilities in these areas can be measured and presented on student transcripts.

The study collected input from more than 5,000 employers, youths, workers and educators from across Canada.

The report says enrolment in liberal-arts programs fell 17.5 per cent from 2011 to 2017, while the number of those studying mathematics as well as computer and information science climbed 45 per cent over the same period.