What You Can Do with a Liberal Arts Degree


There’s so much talk about specific college majors and the lucrative careers that can follow, you seldom hear anyone singing the praises of traditional generalist degrees like those in liberal arts. Once the most common area of study for young adults at universities all over the world, this diploma fell out of favor during the rise of the computer age, from the mid-1980’s onward. Today, however, it’s making a comeback as more and more serious students realize that liberal arts coursework is excellent preparation for a diverse range of life work. Here are a few ways how graduates leverage the power of this classic field of study.

Law School

For decades this diploma was considered ideal preparation for law school, and it still holds that reputation today. Many of the nation’s top law degree programs even encourage undergraduates to take a variety of classes under the liberal arts umbrella, even if they major in something like accounting, English, or biology. This curriculum, which consists of hundreds of classes within the social sciences, humanities, hard sciences, and creative arts sub categories, offers young adults a balanced education that is almost the ideal training for a career in law, not to mention the pay grade that you can expect.

Doctoral Track

Anyone with the academic potential to earn a PhD in any subject can do well by taking an undergrad major in liberal arts. For more than a century, PhD candidates have been encouraged by their academic advisors to gain a broad knowledge base in their college studies, and this diploma is the perfect solution. If you’re interested in becoming a licensed psychologist with a PhD after your name, you can begin your post-college quest the day you graduate from a four-year institution. The same is true for young adults who intend to teach at the university level or go into research careers.


In addition to majoring in education or a specific non-liberal arts subject like accounting or engineering, many of today’s prospective teachers go the generalist route during their undergraduate years. But even those students who are headed to law school, a PhD program or a business job, can take advantage of student loans to finance their undergraduate degree. Education loans are usually the smartest way to pay for school because they offer competitive interest rates and longer than normal repayment periods. Whether you intend to teach elementary, high school, or college classes, consider obtaining a liberal arts degree so you’ll be prepared to offer a top-notch education to your future pupils, no matter what subject area you decide to specialize in as an educator.

Human Resources

Human resource departments in all industries offer good entry-level opportunities for college graduates who hold generalist diplomas. Many managers view this degree as perfect preparation for the many roles that new hires play in busy human resource departments. In addition to opportunities in HR, holders of a liberal arts degree can find career-oriented jobs at accounting firms, manufacturing companies, research institutions, non-profit entities, and government agencies. For many years, the IRS and the Social Security Administration have hires fresh college grads with degrees in pretty much any discipline.


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