Liberal Arts

There was a time when the mention of majoring in liberal arts evoked stares and gasps from others. The thinking has always been that a liberal arts education was irrelevant and would not lead to a lucrative career.

But with the global world easily at our fingertips, career options have become so varied and multifaceted that the kind of coursework covered in a liberal arts degree program may prove valuable to a variety of career fields.

Flexibility, critical thinking, creativity, and strong written and oral communication skills are important abilities that are part of any quality liberal arts degree program. According to a report issued by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, more than 75 percent of employers included in the research said such qualities are important factors when hiring employees.

Education Requirements

There are a variety of liberal arts degrees available in both online and traditional settings.

While each program may be crafted with slight differences, the core topics that should be included in any quality liberal arts program include grammar, rhetoric and logic. The four skills mentioned previously also are important, so be sure to choose a program which teaches them.

An associate degree in liberal arts takes roughly two years to complete and will provide an emphasis on foreign language, literature, science, math, economics, history, philosophy, sociology, psychology, the arts and humanities. Those who complete an associate degree program are eligible for some entry-level positions; however, the majority of those who earn an associate degree choose to continue their studies in the pursuit of an undergraduate degree.

An undergraduate degree, also known as a bachelor’s degree, takes four years to complete, or an additional two years for those who already possess an associate degree. Most bachelor degree programs are designed to provide students with the kind of education that enhances their understanding of the social and physical world. Emphasis is placed on analytical and critical thinking skills, which can be applied to numerous careers.

A master of liberal arts degree is a graduate-level degree that can take an additional one to two years to earn following the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree. Most master degree programs in the liberal arts present a broad range of topics. Candidates then are required to craft an interdisciplinary thesis which focuses in-depth on one topic.

Future Outlook

According to information published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, most employers are more concerned with a prospective employee’s skills than the kind of degree they possess. Because of the broad range of skills taught as part of a liberal arts education, those who possess a liberal arts degree work in a variety of business and industry.

Some of the most common jobs for those who possess a liberal arts degree include economist, political science/government, history, foreign languages and literature and sociology. Annual salaries for the kinds of careers which make use of a liberal arts degree range from a low of $31,345 to high of $47,782.

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