Careers with a Liberal Studies Degree

Find out what types of careers you could pursue with a degree in liberal studies. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Liberal Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Liberal Studies Program?

Liberal studies programs culminate in associate's or bachelor's degrees. Classes in anthropology, art, music, ethnic studies, psychology, sociology, literature, philosophy, communications and most other departments in the humanities will count towards a liberal studies degree. Some possible career options with this degree include elementary school teacher, retail store manager, minister or a public relations specialist. The table below outlines some general requirements for these career options.

Elementary School Teacher Retail Store Manager Minister Public Relations Specialist
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Licensure Required State licensure required None Possible licensure required None
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%* 5% (for all sales managers)* 5-8%* 6%*
Median Salary (2015) $54,550* $38,310* $44,250* $56,770*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Earn My Degree?

Most of your courses will be quite broad in scope and your track towards graduation will be largely self-designed. Anthropology, art, music, ethnic studies, psychology, sociology, literature, philosophy, communications and most other departments in the humanities will offer courses that count towards your liberal studies degree. Usually, 60 combined credits in these fields are required. After completing other degree requirements, such as minor or general education electives, you should be ready to graduate with an associate's or bachelor's degree and to enter the work force.

What Skills Will I Learn and Enhance?

Liberal studies programs offer a way for you to strengthen almost any career skills you want. The independent nature of your degree, along with courses in communications, can help you develop your work ethic and teamwork skills. Literature and foreign language classes may enhance your abilities to read and write critically, self-motivate and speak publicly. Classes in the social sciences can sharpen your analytical skills, familiarizing you with data cohorts and statistical models. At a real-world internship, you'll be given a chance to advance and test these skills while you learn to network.

What Are Some Other Careers I Could Choose?

You could choose a writing-intensive career as a columnist, editor or research assistant. Businesses often hire liberal studies graduates as customer service and relations personnel, coordinators and consultants, who then may advance towards management and executive positions. Many lobbyists, politicians, creative writers, speech writers, journalists and archivists have all started careers with a liberal studies education. A liberal studies degree can also be applied towards a master's degree, and a future career in education or a variety of other fields.

What Might I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are a wide variety of careers available to those who pursue a liberal studies degree and therefore, an equally wide salary range. For example, a retail store manager makes a median annual income of $38,310 in 2015, but a public relations specialist or an elementary school teacher make considerably more - $56,770 and $54,550, respectively. However, teachers require licensure in their state of residence and therefore, additional education. The same is true of those who pursue a career in the ministry or clergy - while some denominations only require a bachelor's degree and some on-the-job training, other denominations prefer a master's degree in ministry leadership.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

An alternate field might be in advertising as an advertising manager generating interest in products or services. Another career might be as an event planner arranging everything from transportation to location to events. These jobs require a bachelor's degree and experience in the fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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