11 Career Paths That Will Make Liberal Arts Majors Literally Feel Unstoppable

11 Career Paths That Will Make Liberal Arts Majors Literally Feel Unstoppable

What do you do with a B.A. in English (or Philosophy, or International Studies, or...)? No, it's not just an Avenue Q song anymore, and yes, we've got answers.

1.  Go High Tech with Soft Skills.


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Didn’t think you’d see STEM jobs on here? Well, get comfy with the idea. When researchers funded a study of the top employee characteristics that spell success at Google, 7 of the 8 top qualities were soft skills like good coaching, good communicating, and good critical thinking. You know what was dead last on the list? STEM. So think about it. Your degree may not be techy, but your career very well could be.

2.  Join Startups (or Start One Up Yourself).


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Turns out that over 30 percent of the fastest growing companies were founded or co-founded by liberal arts majors. Even “Shark Tank” billionaire Mark Cuban reportedly looks for philosophy majors when choosing entrepreneurs most likely to succeed. So who knows? Maybe your ability to innovate, disrupt, and be creative can set you on the start-up path as well.

3.  Go Global.


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Companies with global reach crave familiarity with other cultures, and thirst for new perspectives. That semester abroad you took may just be the first step on your journey to job #1.

4.  Close the Deal.


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Sales jobs revolve around connecting with and influencing others. Coincidentally, those history and philosophy courses you probably took taught you about understanding human needs, something essential to being influential. So...natural job fit?

5.  You Can Manage.


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Management roles require the ability to lead with a clear head when diverse personalities collide. Prior knowledge of similar situations can come in handy—even if that insight comes from the conflicts characters face in that story you read during your Intro to Lit class. Drawing connection between the fictional and real is something humanities majors perfect in college, then use in the real world every day.

6.  Strategize That Marketing, Think Out That Brand.


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During one Fairfield English student’s internship at a market research and consulting firm, she came up with a new idea for marketing a client’s product. The company liked her idea so much they offered her a full-time job after graduation. Moral of the story: That student’s ability to hear the client’s story, understand the problem, and determine a solution paid off, and the liberal arts major’s practice picking apart narratives for deeper meaning can help you think your way to that post-grad paycheck.

7.  Do Your School Work.


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No teaching degree? No problem. Public schools still need substitute teachers, staff members, coaches—private boarding and day schools hire college graduates to teach in their area of expertise, and even help them earn teaching credentials on the job. Give it a try—it could be magical.

8.  B-I-NGO.


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Seek out non-government organizations (NGOs) and you’ll find your liberal arts degree can help you spread goodwill worldwide while pursuing your interests and ideals. Fascinated by public health? Go for it! Human rights? You bet! Center for kids who can’t read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too? Eh, that one’s been tried, but you get the idea.

9.  Run on It.


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The liberal arts can make you valuable in politics, where you can offer new perspectives on policy-making at any level. Politicians like Mitt Romney (English), Mario Cuomo (English), and Condolezza Rice (Political Science) all started out with that liberal arts degree. So who knows? Maybe that concentration in basket weaving your uncle teases you about every Christmas will come in handy after all.

10.  Speak in Tongues.


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Got a second language? Maybe even a third? Becoming a translator might just convert your degree into career success. Can you say, "Donne-moi les gros dollars"?

11.  Be a (Human) Resource.


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If other people don’t make you want to scream, try human resources. Plenty of companies need “people” people, and if you have a sunny smile and a helping hand, the HR department could just be the place for you.

Don't take our word for it. Check out this video about Fairfield University alumni who used their liberal arts degrees as starting points for awesome careers, then check out all the liberal arts you can pursue in Stag Country.

Last Modified: 08-30-2018 11:29 AM

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