Episode 78: What Skills Are Employers Looking For? with Ben Merkle of New Saint Andrews College

Ben discusses whether a college degree is a ticket to getting a good job, what skills employers a looking for in new hires, academics at NSA, and the place for sports in higher ed.


Dr. Benjamin Merkle


Does a college degree guarantee a job? In this episode, Robert talks with Dr. Benjamin Merkle, president of New Saint Andrews College, a classical Christian college in Idaho. In their conversation, Ben speaks to why NSA and other colleges are looking for students with a classical education background, how NSA is able to keep their tuition costs affordable and transparent, how a college can keep a good reputation amidst the current college climate, why liberal arts degrees can be kept affordable, what parents need to know before sending their children to secular universities, what students should aim to get out of a Christian college experience, and why college isnā€™t always the ticket to getting a good job. Robert and Ben also discuss our societyā€™s backward prioritization of college athletics over college academics and whether there is a place for sports in a higher-education setting. Finally, Ben answers why NSA and other colleges are refusing to accept federal grants, his best advice for Classical ConversationsĀ® Challenge graduates, and what the most in-demand skill is for students entering the workforce.Ā 


  • [00:00] Is college for everyone?
  • [04:14] What kinds of students are New Saint Andrews College looking for?
  • [15:12] The purpose of a college education
  • [16:21] How the loss of Christian values in higher ed affects society
  • [21:20] Whatā€™s the place for sports in college?
  • [22:29] Why chasing college sports can hurt a studentā€™s future
  • [23:24] Why the right culture is necessary for competitive sports to be fruitful
  • [27:33] Why NSA refuses federal funding
  • [30:18] The most in-demand skills for students entering the workforce
  • [36:42] Farewell to Ben


Youā€™re invited to our 2024 National Events Weekend in sunny Southern Pines, North Carolina! Register at ClassicalConversationsFoundation.org.