The Bachelors is required simply because it's an easy screening mechanism; the colleges have already whittled the list down to a more manageable size for the manager to go through. It used to mean that a person had an interest in learning beyond what was required, which was nice for jobs. Now it's just that their parents/friends/teachers have told them to go.
Really I'm saying simply that people are expecting and demanding the wrong things out of a liberal arts (traditional definition) degree. Most of the time what they'd really want is a vocational degree, or at least something more similar to what the English do with law school, where you enter directly out of high school.