What Can You Do with a Liberal Arts Degree?

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What Can You Do with a Liberal Arts Degree?

Many work prospects are available with a liberal arts degree. Students who major in the humanities will learn to think critically, be creative, and communicate effectively. These abilities will be useful in a variety of situations. Employers don’t care what a person’s degree is called as long as they can apply it to their chosen career. Some of the possible careers for liberal arts degrees are listed below.

The American Community Survey, which polls over 3 million individuals each year, compiles a list of Liberal Arts careers. Some of these positions may pay a premium for talents in these areas but demand further education, internships, and work experience. A list is available for exploration at the University Career Center. Some of these occupations necessitate additional schooling or work experience. Some occupations require more specific training than others.

1. What Do You Mean by Liberal Arts Degree?

A liberal arts degree is a wide phrase for degrees that emphasize creativity and the humanities rather than technical or scientific competence. Liberal arts students develop problem-solving, effective communication, and debating skills. Four main characteristics define liberal arts education. Critical thinking, cooperation, communication, and creativity are the “four C’s.” These qualities are valuable abilities that students can apply to various occupations.

CNBC Make It looked at occupational data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to uncover jobs that pay well for liberal arts graduates’ abilities but require a bachelor’s degree. According to Glassdoor, all of these positions pay at least $55,000 per year, more than $12,500 more than the average salary for liberal arts majors.

Liberal arts degrees emphasize soft skills or abilities that are more difficult to define, such as effective communication, good writing, critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence, rather than hard skills, such as open-heart surgery or Python programming.

Liberal arts graduates are extremely adaptable, according to a study from The Hamilton Project, which discovered that liberal arts majors transition into a remarkable array of occupations, holding a wider range of positions than students from other disciplines. Mark Cuban, a “Shark Tank” investor, believes that a degree in philosophy will be worth more than a typical programming degree in ten years since it emphasizes big-picture and critical thinking.

2. Career Opportunities with Liberal Arts Degree

Advertising or Marketing Executive

Advertising and marketing are popular jobs for communications majors and those with equivalent liberal arts degrees. They put their skills to work in ad campaigns, curated social media postings, website content, and presentations to market products and services. Practical communication abilities, as well as research and presentation expertise, are required for this position. An advertising executive or marketing manager’s average compensation is roughly $135,000 per year.

Content Editor

Because of their strong literary abilities and attention to detail, English, communications, and journalism majors frequently choose employment in journalism, writing, or editing. Writers and editors can work for a single publication or launch their freelance venture. In this field, the average pay is around $61,000.

Market Research Analyst

Because market research necessitates analytical and critical thinking skills, it is an ideal job route for liberal arts graduates. This profession requires exceptional numeracy and problem-solving skills and analyzing data to make marketing judgments. Market research analysts usually earn around $63,000 per year.

Human Resources Manager

Human resource positions necessitate excellent communication skills, which liberal arts majors gain over their undergraduate years. A human resource manager’s responsibilities include employing personnel, ensuring their well-being, and settling employee problems. As a result, interpersonal skills are essential in this position. The average annual wage is $61,000.

Community Health Worker/Social Service Manager

Many liberal arts graduates work in one of the “helping professions,” assisting the less fortunate. For example, social service and community managers develop programs that assist vulnerable populations in identifying their needs and developing solutions. Employees must work as a team and create relationships with those in need; therefore, problem-solving and communication skills are beneficial in these professions. In this area, the average income is roughly $67,000.


These professionals, who are most often found in non-profit or advocacy organizations, plan and oversee campaigns and activities to garner funds and other types of donations. According to the BLS, most businesses seek new workers with great communication and organizational abilities. $55,640 is the median annual wage.

Public Relations Specialist

The major goal of this work is to create and maintain a positive public image for a company or organization. Employers seek applicants with great interpersonal and writing abilities since these personnel write press releases and manage a company’s social media presence. The average annual salary is $59,300.

Training and Development Specialist

These people assist firms in training and teaching new skills to their personnel. While many persons who enter this sector have human resources or business administration background, those with teaching experience and good interpersonal and speaking abilities are highly valued. The average annual wage is $60,360.

Broadcast News Analyst

Sometimes known as anchors, these journalists host news programs on television and radio. They may also provide commentary on news programs, discussing and analyzing current events or expressing an opinion on them. According to BLS, this profession requires communication abilities, interpersonal skills, and perseverance. While a communication or journalism degree can help you get a career, businesses value relevant internships or work experience more. $62,910 is the average annual wage.

Technical Writer

If you have prior knowledge in an area such as medical, engineering, or computer science, becoming a technical writer will pay you far more than other writing jobs. After reviewing product samples and meeting with designers and developers, these writers create instruction manuals, how-to guides, and journal articles. The average annual wage is $70,930.

Human Resources Specialist

These employees find screen and interview candidates for open positions inside a company. While accounting or business studies or experience will help you get this job, many employers also look for good writing and interpersonal abilities. $60,350 is the average annual wage.

According to a survey, the number of liberal arts graduates entering the technology business from undergrad surpassed the number of computer science and engineering majors between 2010 and 2013. (Olivarez, 2017). Liberal arts majors are taught to look at everything from a human perspective, including data. As a result, they can conclude and create interpretations based on what they’ve learned from many fields. Businesses require these critical abilities, emphasizing the value of liberal arts in the data age.

3. How Can I Boost My Liberal Arts Career?

Postsecondary professors in colleges and universities and managers in the fields of marketing, arts, design, entertainment, and media are common jobs for holders of advanced liberal arts degrees. In 2018, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AMACAD) poll indicated that liberal arts graduates with postgraduate degrees are becoming more evenly dispersed across all industries. Liberal arts majors grow in their jobs through gaining practical experience, technical understanding, and leadership abilities in general.

Politics and society, literature, mathematics, natural science, history and philosophy, and theology are topics included in a liberal arts master’s program. A bachelor’s degree is necessary for admission, although no specific major is required. The applicant must also submit an essay and letters of recommendation and the transcript.

The liberal arts doctoral program integrates PhD-level coursework in various fields and can be tailored to a student’s specific interests. Before admission, applicants must submit a curriculum plan and a final dissertation proposal. While admittance to a Ph.D. in liberal arts program appears to be flexible, it is competitive, at least in the field of education.

4. Liberal Arts Skills Required

Individuals with a liberal arts education are recognized for being well-rounded. They are innovative, empathic, research-oriented, good communicators, and critical thinkers. Liberal arts majors are problem solvers who think outside the box and refuse to be limited by constraints.

Research: Liberal arts majors understand how to research to obtain important data for decision-making. Like the technical writer, the market analyst does a lot of research to come up with a product that will help the company achieve its goals.

Management analysts: For example, are analytical liberal arts graduates who use data to show the how and why of human behavior. In addition, the liberal arts majors are rich in cultural understanding, and its emphatic nature is demonstrated when examining data.

Communication — the liberal arts graduate can communicate vocally and write their views and ideas. The historian, curator, archivist, and even the fundraiser all know how to use rhetoric to their advantage.

Critical thinking: A liberal arts major who works as a social and community worker or a health educator understands how to apply critical thinking abilities to persuade a community to work toward a common goal.

Liberal arts majors are described as sharp observers and explorers who are forward-thinking. They are successful postsecondary educators because they inspire students to work toward their objectives. As postsecondary educators, liberal arts provide motivation.

Problem-solvers — liberal arts majors are creative problem-solvers. From advertising to a graphic designer, management analyst, and fundraiser, these professions always look for new ways to stay ahead of the competition.

Liberal arts majors’ unconstrained attitude allows students to demonstrate innovation in advertising, communication, history, human resource management, social and community service, and, most notably, education.

5. Alternative Careers for Liberal Arts Students

Filmmaker – The liberal arts themes assist students in providing a strong framework for each narrative, which is a vital skill in storytelling. In making and developing films, filmmakers consider the cultural backdrop and societal commentary. The job prognosis for this category, classified as producers and directors, is 10%, which is substantially quicker than the 4 percent average for all occupations.

Testers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Software Developers

One of the best attributes of liberal arts graduates is learning how to learn, and those who work in the software business are excellent examples. More liberal arts majors are pursuing careers designing and executing software testing in the technology sector. When it comes to detecting problems and offering ways to improve how software interacts with humans, liberal arts students’ critical and analytical thinking skills come in handy. As a result, the need for this type of job is expected to increase by 22%.

Life coach: A life coach helps clients develop self-awareness to enhance many elements of their lives. Some life coaches focus on spirituality and emotional wellness, while others specialize in job and professional growth. Life coaches can earn professional credentials, and the industry is expected to increase at an annual rate of 8% through 2029.


Psychologists are mental health professionals who study, interpret and record human or animal mental processes and behaviors. To better understand interpersonal, cultural, and organizational interactions, psychologists use principles, procedures, tests, and empirical methods to detect behavioral patterns. 

Psychologists then work with clients to improve their behavior, function, and overall quality of life by identifying and treating the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that obstruct healthy growth. Psychologists must have a master’s or doctoral degree in clinical, counseling, or research psychology to work in various businesses. Psychologists’ salaries vary depending on their employer, but they often range from $67,000 to $90,000 a year.


Archaeologists investigate humans’ origins, evolution, and behavior by excavating, recovering, and researching specific cultures, languages, customs, and geographic areas. Archaeologists utilize tools and equipment to find features like foundations, hearths, storage pits, and artifacts such as coins, beads, tools, ceramics, and other buried objects and then map or diagram the locations where items are retrieved.

Archaeologists then use the items and fragments they discover to learn about ancient civilizations’ history, customs, and societies. To work as an archaeologist, you must have a master’s or doctoral degree and field experience to get the refined abilities needed to grow as a professional. Archaeologists might earn anything from $40,000 to $71,000 per year.


A liberal arts education prepares you for life, not just a certain profession. It breaks down barriers, allowing you to pursue career routes that may appear trivial at first look but prove to be beneficial to your overall professional development. While the STEM path may be lauded as the “one true” professional path, folks with liberal arts backgrounds have repeatedly proven critical to an organization’s overall success.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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