Delving Into the Liberal Arts Major
Liberal arts degree programs are generally concentrated in the literature, language, philosophy, science, history, and math subject areas. For example, the University of Texas liberal arts degree planner shows plenty of courses in those subjects. Because liberal arts studies are pretty broad in nature, the courses in the programs help teach students a wide variety of skills they will need to excel in a number of fields and industries.
While the specific degree requirements and courses in liberal arts degree programs will likely vary between institutions, students are generally prepared with the same knowledge and concepts they need to understand liberal arts studies. Some courses in liberal arts degree programs include general education courses such as history and sciences as well as courses in literature, arts, humanities, cultural studies, political science, philosophy, communication, and writing.
Most liberal arts degree programs also require that students fulfill a foreign language requirement, as well as complete assignments and projects to ensure understanding of the material covered in liberal arts courses. Students may be required to create and submit different types of literary works and pieces, present speeches and presentations to their professor and/or peers, and required to read books and/or novels, in which the student will likely be evaluated and tested over.
Associate degrees in liberal arts are typically geared toward teaching students the basic concepts they will need to pursue entry-level jobs in the business and professional world. Associate degrees generally take students about two years to complete and are a great starting point to enter the career world or pursue higher degrees.
Students earning an associate degree in liberal arts will study a number of subjects, which commonly include composition, art, literature, anthropology, and geography. Through taking and mastering these courses, students have obtained a number of skills including essential writing, arts, language, philosophy, and math skills.
Bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts delve into more specific concentrations and concepts relating to the field. Bachelor’s degrees take students about four years to complete and are concentrated on focusing more into liberal arts as a study. Liberal arts bachelor’s degree programs have a larger concentration on liberal arts specific material.
Through the courses required in bachelor’s degree liberal arts programs, students will learn how to effectively communicate, through both verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as learn how to manage and solve everyday real life problems that commonly occur in the workplace. Students will also develop analytical thinking skills and are prepared to pursue a number of careers in a wide variety of industries.
A master’s degree in liberal arts requires a lot of research and generally should take students between one and a half and two years to complete, after the completion of an undergraduate education. One of the requirements for entry into a master’s degree program is a bachelor’s degree.
Master’s degrees in liberal arts further expand the studies students have already endured in liberal arts and teach and expand their knowledge by requiring the students to analyze and study theories in the area. The degree is generally geared towards helping students advance analytical, creative thinking, and problem solving skills.
Doctorate degrees require an immense amount of research and analysis of theories and are usually sought by individuals wanting to conduct research as a profession or those who wish to become a teacher or instructor in their specialized area. Some common liberal arts doctorate degrees include research and studies in literature, philosophy, the arts, and social sciences.
Doctoral programs give students a wide knowledge of experience, theories, and concepts in the field and ensure that graduates have strong written and personal communication skills as well as the ability to problem solve and think critically.
Supplementing Your Liberal Arts Major
The concentrations of a liberal arts degree include a focus on a number of different areas of concentration which generally include history, sciences, literature, communication, philosophy, and the study of humanities. By learning the basics and foundations of such a wide variety of subjects, liberal arts graduates are prepared to enter the career world and pursue a number of jobs in different fields and industries.
Graduates may also have the opportunity to qualify for a larger amount of jobs should they wish to also choose a minor concentration to supplement their degree as well. Those who choose to minor in another concentration will not only be knowledgeable in another area, but it is also likely to expand their job opportunities, as they should be able to qualify for careers in both areas of their studies.
Minors that may pair well with liberal arts degrees include business or business administration, marketing, and education. A minor in business would pair well because it would also give graduates a foundation in accounting, marketing, and management, which can fulfill requirements for a number of careers. In addition, business minors also have the opportunity to land upper-level or management positions in fields that relate to liberal arts.
A minor in marketing could give students an edge over competitive marketing jobs, as many graduates pursue careers in marketing after earning a liberal arts degree. Education is usually a good minor to choose because it gives graduates the option to pursue teaching careers in a number of fields.
Learn More About the Liberal Arts Major
- US News and World Report’s Top Ranked Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities
- Open Courseware in the Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts Major in the Job Market
Graduates of liberal arts degree programs learn a number of useful skills to be prepared to pursue careers in a number of fields. Some of the skills students develop in liberal arts degree programs include the ability to think critically and solve everyday problems that will arise in the workplace, the ability to analyze and interpret different types of information, and the ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally. Liberal arts studies also prepare students for knowing how to effectively research and relay information as well as gives them a well-rounded general idea of the basics in a number of subjects, which can be useful for career searching, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All of these skills and the knowledge of a number of subjects and concentrations are likely to be desirable to a number of employers, regardless of the industry in which they work. Employers prefer to hire individuals that can think critically, solve problems, and those that are able to communicate with other people through verbal and nonverbal communication. Graduates who have earned a liberal arts degree can go into a number of fields and industries including (but not limited to): education, political science, marketing, advertising, journalism, film and media, or business.
Some of the common career paths that liberal arts degree graduates may pursue include (but are not limited to): pursuing a career as a teacher, a communications specialist, analyst, human resources specialist or manager, production technician, journalist, or writer. Because liberal arts majors are also commonly required to take foreign language classes, they also are likely to qualify for a number of bilingual jobs, translating, ESL teaching jobs, and jobs that revolve around teaching students and other people different languages.