You may have heard it said that a liberal arts degree will do little to improve your job prospects after college. We often hear stories of the “starving artists” who studied their subject of interest in college but are now barely scraping by, still trying to find work. However, that isn’t necessarily the case with everyone who holds a liberal arts degree. After all, some liberal arts degrees are far more versatile than you’d think. Here are five liberal arts degrees you can put to work in different or adjacent fields if you can’t find work directly in your field of education.
- Sociology. Sociology, or the study of human societies, is a valuable background for careers in market research because of the courses you will take in social research methods, statistics, computer applications, population groups, social movements and a foreign language.
- Economics. Economics is considered a very “practical” major, but it is offered as a liberal arts program at many universities across the U.S. because of its emphasis on human behavior as it relates to buying and selling, rather than strictly buying and selling in and of itself. Economics is a globally-focused, math-intensive major, and there is a great emphasis on critical thinking. These are all skills high in demand in the world of finance and business, particularly international business. Economics is also a good inroad into law. Applicants to law school who majored in economics for their bachelor’s degree scored higher on average on their LSAT, according to information on the Vanderbilt University website.
- Political Science. Even if you never end up going into politics, you can find political science a useful tool for landing a job. For instance, newspaper columnists should have a strong understanding of political science before writing about the political issues that matter to them.
- Communication. It may be tricky to find a job directly related to communications, but that doesn’t mean your education isn’t valuable. Nearly every employer out there is looking to hire a candidate with strong communications and interpersonal skills. One line of work where these skills are particularly in demand is human resources. Good human resource managers are great at resolving conflict, communicating with an organization’s employees about their benefits, and gauging job applicants’ interpersonal skills in the hiring process, all skills that can be gained through communications.
- Psychology. Those who have a bachelor’s degree in psychology will typically have a difficult time finding work in their field without first having a master’s degree. The good news is that a psychology degree holder at the bachelor’s level is often qualified to try their hand in another field, such as technical writing. Some technical writing positions require you to research and write material that requires a psychological and social science knowledge base for magazines, newspapers and journals.
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