Whether you are a new high school graduate, or an adult student, deciding on a college major can be confusing. Most career advisors say major in a subject you enjoy. Therefore, if you enjoy history, literature, languages or sciences, you could end up getting a liberal arts degree in one of these fields. On the other hand, just about everyone goes to college to get a degree because they want a good job and a liberal arts degree is not usually at the top of a highest paying degree list. So you might ask the question, what can you do with a liberal arts degree?
Liberal arts degrees allow you to focus on your area of interest, whether it is the humanities, arts, or social sciences. Although you will take courses in other areas such as basic college level math and science, for the most part you will indulge in your love of exploring ideas. A liberal arts degree gives you the opportunity to explore writings by the main scholars in your field, whether you read 17th century literature, modern art, or Greek philosophy. You will write many papers. Moreover, maybe best of all, you get to share classroom space with other people who share your interests and enjoy long and in-depth discussions about them. So one answer to the question what can you do with a liberal arts degree is you develop strong writing and analysis skills that you can use for the rest of your career.
If you want to stop after your four-year degree, you may have already had family and friends ask you what can you do with a liberal arts degree? You can tell them that publishers and media outlets value writers and editors with liberal arts degrees in fields such as English, foreign languages, and other related humanities areas. You can also use your liberal arts degree to teach grade school, if you take the teacher certification courses required by your state. If you do not get around to obtaining a teacher certification while you are doing undergraduate course work, do not worry, because just about every college and university offers continuing education teacher certification programs for adult students.
Graduate and Professional Degrees
If you decide to go on to graduate school after you earn your undergraduate degree, your choices become even broader. A bachelor’s degree in one liberal arts field usually qualifies you for entry into a master’s or doctoral degree program. You can research and specialize in your favorite author, historical period, or culture. Your graduate degree in a liberal arts field qualifies you to teach in any two or four-year college. You can also go to graduate school for library or museum studies, if you prefer a career path outside teaching.
As you research the question, what can you do with a liberal arts degree, you will probably find out you have more options than you had expected. If you have heard that you need to major in pre-law or pre-med to go to law or medical school, you may be surprised to find out this is not true. In fact, a liberal arts degree with a strong grade point average, and good scores on the LSAT or MCAT, can get you into the law or medical school of your choice. You can even switch paths and go into nursing with confidence, because the critical thinking and analysis you develop through liberal arts study are just as applicable in other fields. When you consider a liberal arts degree, do not believe the negative things you hear about limited career options. Enroll in a liberal arts program. Your degree can pay off in surprising ways throughout your career.