Liberal arts degrees have taken a great deal of heat in recent years as many graduates are unable to find jobs. People assume that a liberal arts degree has no value, but this is not true. Liberal arts degrees are designed for specific types of jobs, and one problem with the degree is that students who were not able to complete other degrees look on liberal arts as a “fall back” position rather than seeing it as a pathway to a particular type of employment.
What Types of Jobs Can I Get With A Liberal Arts Degree?
According to an article about liberal arts degrees that quotes several experts, a liberal arts degree is an ideal preparation for a flexible attitude toward job searches. If you are undecided about your ultimate career path and want to explore several different work fields, a liberal arts degree may be right for you.
A liberal arts degree can be a great stepping stone to careers in business, education, intelligence, law, and public policy. However, these careers may start slowly; liberal arts majors tend to start in entry-level, low-paying jobs but may eventually out-earn their counterparts in specialized fields.
Most experts advise planning for more than a four-year degree or adding useful job skills to your liberal arts degree such as fluency in a second language to make yourself more marketable.
What Do Liberal Arts Majors Earn?
Some of the highest-paid jobs held by liberal arts majors are in real estate, management, business, and sales.
Real estate salaries start off small but can build to a much better income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate brokers earned a median salary of $54,910 in 2010.
Management is another field in which liberal arts majors tend to do well because of their flexible learning style and ability to think globally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a top-level manager of a business may earn a median salary of $140,870. However, this type of salary is only reached after years of working for a company and “working your way up” through the ranks; few new graduates can expect to command this type of pay.
Finally, sales is a field almost anyone can enter with a minimum of experience and training and do well through perseverance and hard work. If you have an outgoing personality and like to work with people to convince them to buy products, sales can be a very lucrative profession.
Specialization May Be The Key
While a four-year liberal arts degree is definitely an accomplishment, many liberal arts majors plan to continue their education in a more specialized field. For example, many liberal arts majors go to law school or take an advanced degree in education. These fields command higher salaries than many “general” jobs although they take much more work to secure these degrees.
If you plan to continue your education after your bachelor’s degree, be sure to do the things that will set you up successfully to be accepted to graduate school. This means keeping your grades up, taking more challenging classes, and doing well on standardized entrance examinations.
A liberal arts degree is a means to an end rather than the end itself. A good liberal arts degree is one that prepares you for a variety of job and life experiences and helps you adapt to new situations with flexibility and good critical thinking skills.