What is a Liberal Arts Degree?
Liberal Arts is more than just a subject matter. It is a multidisciplinary program that combines several disciplines, such as humanities, formal sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences.
In this course, students cover subject matters that allows them to build strong analytical and creative thinking skills. The majority of disciplines covered, such as philosophy, history, language, among others require complex and subjective perspectives from numerous angles as well as emphasize that there is more than one solution to any problem. In general, this degree program not only exposes students to the educational aspect of the program, but also to ideas, skills, and subjects in technology, business, among other areas. This allows students to get an overall view of the problems and challenges they are likely to face in the job markets or work environment and how to tackle them.
Generally, liberal arts programs in universities are offered under a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree program. Find the best universities for a liberal arts degree here.
What are the requirements for a Liberal Arts Degree?
Requirements for a liberal arts program vary depending on the institution you wish to enroll in and the country you are in. In general, most universities will require a high school diploma or GED certificate to be admitted to this program.
What are the key skills for Liberal Arts?
- Effective verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong research skills and quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills.
- Analytical, critical, evaluative, and creative thinking skills.
- Information literacy and numerical skills.
- Ethical decision making and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to be tolerant of cultural differences and cross-cultural knowledge.
- Adaptability, self-awareness, and pattern intelligence skills.
- Strong interpersonal skills.
Types of Liberal Arts Degree Programs & Specializations
In most cases, students can choose to major or minor in a particular area within the liberal arts program such as business, communication, journalism, law, politics, research, among others. Whichever direction you choose, you’ll become a valuable candidate in the job market in various industries such as technology, international relations, marketing, communication, and management.
While technical skills such as those gained through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are essential in the job market, having fundamental soft skills are just as important. In fact, most employers value soft skills more.
It’s important to note that different universities offer varying core courses in this program. However, some of the topics that you may cover include:
- History or art history
- Creative and professional writing
- Arts or visual arts
- Social sciences
Here are some specializations:
Under this program, students can opt to major or minor in any one of the following disciplines, such as literature, linguistics, philosophy, ethics, religion, speech, among others.
In this program, students can specialize in performing arts, theatre arts, fine arts, music, literary arts, among others.
In formal sciences, students can study the following subjects, including mathematics, statistics, logic.
Natural science programs will focus on equipping students with fundamental skills in disciplines such as biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, botany, archeology, geology, zoology, earth sciences, among others.
Social science programs will cover various topics in psychology, law, sociology, politics, anthropology, gender studies, economics, among others.
Career Options for Liberal Arts Majors
Employers in the job market are explicitly seeking liberal arts majors due to their versatile skill set and their ability to learn quickly. A degree in liberal arts means that you are a creative thinker, curious, and initiative oriented which sets you apart from other candidates. Below is a list of jobs and career paths you can take as a liberal arts major:
- Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists are responsible for establishing and maintaining a suitable public image for an organization or company. They communicate the company’s position to the public through press releases as well as develop social media strategies to shape the public opinion of the company or organization.
- Broadcast News Analyst
These professionals are responsible for examining, evaluating, and interpreting broadcast news from various sources. They write columns, commentaries, or scripts as well as coordinate and occasionally serve as a news anchor.
- Business Analyst
These professionals develop and monitor data quality metrics as well as ensure business data and reporting needs are fulfilled. Generally, their duties revolve around creating comprehensive business analysis, outlining issues, solutions, and opportunities for businesses, among other activities.
- Advertising/Marketing Managers
Advertising and marketing professionals are responsible for creating marketing or communication strategies that aim to convince the target audience to buy a service or product.
- Intelligence Analysts
Intelligence analysts are responsible for gathering and assessing information from different sources, including geographic information systems, law enforcement databases, surveillance, among others, and using this information to forecast and counter organized criminal activities such as terrorism.
- Client Service Specialists
Client service specialists are responsible for managing clients’ records and directly interacting with clients to build collaborative relationships. They set up, process, and archive clients’ records as well as route incoming calls and support requests to the appropriate personnel.
- Business Development Manager
Business development managers are responsible for identifying sales leads, presenting goods or services to clients, and managing collaborative relationships with new contacts or prospective clients as well as overseeing the development of marketing strategies, creating reports, among others.
- Research Analyst
These professionals conduct research, evaluate, interpret and present data about markets, operations, economics, finance/accounting, customers, among other fields, to determine potential sales of products or services and the products which companies should focus on producing to meet market demands.
Editors are responsible for evaluating writers’ work and correcting grammatical, punctuation or spelling mistakes before publication. While writers are responsible for creating a variety of content such as short stories, web content, scripts, among others for various audiences.
- Communication Specialist
Communication specialists are responsible for drafting and distributing press releases that contain updates to print and broadcast media outlets.