“What in the world are you going to do with a degree in Liberal Arts? Well, I guess you could always be a teacher or something!”
If you’re a Liberal Arts major, you’ve probably heard people say things like that a thousand times over. Sometimes it’s enough to make you wonder why exactly you chose to major in the classics, instead of pursuing a “real” degree like Engineering or Business. It might be true that Liberal Arts is not what usually comes to mind when people think of the best major for landing a high-paying job after graduation, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope just yet. There are literally thousands of career opportunities out there for well-rounded individuals, and only a few of them involve teaching! Most career studies have shown that potential employers care more about an individual’s skills than they do their actual college major, so there’s a lot of room for you to get your foot in the door. Hard skills such as communication, writing, and critical thinking are precisely those which a Liberal Arts education aims to develop.
It’s no secret that the job market is particularly challenging right now, so finding a suitable position is going to require some extra effort and persistence. This is particularly true for Liberal Arts scholars, but here are some career opportunities that you might not have previously considered:
Management— It takes a special type of person to lead people, and management in any field is a unique challenge. You’ll be called upon to supervise the daily activities of a diverse group of people, and your interpersonal skills will be put to use on a daily basis. Managing employees requires a personality that brings out the best in others, and the position offers constant challenges. This is a particularly enjoyable field for Liberal Arts majors because you’ll be required to think quickly in a wide variety of situations, and put operational theories into practice.
Sales-- Selling for a living is one of the most challenging professions, and those who don’t excel don’t last very long. If you expect to excel in any career field though, it’s imperative that you master the art of selling, both your products and yourself. Sales professionals must be experts at dealing with customers, and be adaptable to a wide range of social settings. The broad scope of a Liberal Arts education is an excellent preparation for this field.
Social Work-- If you truly want to make a difference in the world, you should at least consider serving in a social work position. While you’ll almost certainly never get rich in this selfless field, social work will allow you to serve those who need help the most. The circumstances of the less fortunate are often very complicated, and they require commitment and patience to work through. A Liberal Arts background will prepare you very well for this field, and you’ll be able to empathize with your clients’ situations.
A solid Liberal Arts background will prepare you for many career fields, but it’s incumbent upon you to do the research and present yourself as the best candidate for the job. For more information, feel free to check out an e-book that I uploaded, “Top Jobs For Liberal Arts Majors.” It contains some tips on selling yourself to employers, as well as a look at the long-term employment prospects for Liberal Arts students. Good luck!