Rubiks cube on a black background with middle section spinning

Boost Your Career Advantages With These 5 Liberal Arts Skills

Liberal arts skills are universally needed in the workplace. Here are the 5 best liberal arts skills it's beneficial to develop to boost career prospects.

As many liberal arts graduates can attest, landing a job with specific requirements is daunting when your studies have been so diverse. Unlike higher education programs tailored toward a particular field (Engineering or Accounting, for example), a liberal arts degree gives you a well-rounded education. I was able to indulge my curiosity in subjects like ancient Greek mythology and North African history while learning French, but when it came time to land my first job, I felt a little lost. How would the skills I learned as a liberal arts major transfer to the workforce? Well, as it turns out, easily. Here are five important skills I use in my current job that I credit entirely to my liberal arts education.

1. Communication (written and verbal)

Effective communication skills are the backbone of the classroom and the workplace. Countless essays and writing assignments taught me how to write with a purpose, whether it be to inform, persuade, or argue. These skills can take you from the job application process to the office when you need to send a carefully worded email to an important client or coworker. Verbal communication is equally important, as liberal arts students know from classroom presentations and debates. Surprised with a boardroom presentation during the first few weeks on the job? Not a problem—you’re a pro! Still feeling a little shaky in front of your team? There are tons of short communication skills courses available to increase your confidence and motivation.

Related: How Useful Transferrable Skills Can Land You a Job

2. Collaborative work

As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work!” Collaborating in a group is one of the most important skills in any environment—professional or otherwise. From students on campus to professionals in a conference room, patience, understanding, and helpfulness can carry you far. Group work may have been a necessary evil during your undergraduate years, but the collaborative skills you develop will make the difference between employee of the month and office pariah. 

3. Analytical thinking and research

Memorizing complex equations or facts from a textbook can only take you so far in the professional world, where the ability to research and analyze information for practical use is far more important. Research projects covering a vast array of topics keep liberal arts majors curious while developing their analytical toolkit. This ability to quickly digest, process, and produce new information will come in handy when your boss asks for a brief rundown of the latest technology in your field.

Related: Easy Ways to Find Research Experience in High School

4. Leadership

While some people are born leaders, it’s a skill learned over time for most of us. Because liberal arts graduates already possess important leadership characteristics—communication, focus on results, and inspiration—studies show humanities graduates may be better leaders than MBAs! In the workplace, taking an active leadership position on a project that interests you will ensure a more rewarding and fulfilling professional life.

5. Planning and strategic thinking

Thinking outside the box requires creativity and imagination—something liberal arts graduates have in spades! The key here is to be selective about where you go once you’re outside the box. The ability to think and plan strategically is a highly valued skill in most organizations because it answers the question: where can we go next?

Related: 9 Tips for Developing Soft Skills Before Graduation

Any liberal arts graduate on the cusp of their professional career can venture confidently into their first job interview knowing they already possess the top five universally desired career skills! The only question left is: where will you go next?

For more tips on how to score a career with your degree, check out our Internships and Careers section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
career skills careers jobs liberal arts skills transferrable skills

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Brooke Maggio

Brooke Maggio

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously in my college search in narrowing down the schools I’m interested in. Using the college search tool, I was able to narrow down my choices to schools that matched what I was looking for. I also used CollegeXpress for their scholarship search, which helped me find scholarships that I meet the requirements of.

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

College Matches