Rewarding Career Ideas for 5 Liberal Arts Majors

There's a common misconception about limited job prospects for liberal arts degrees. But there are more career options than you think—here are just a few!

At this point, you may feel like college is going to last forever. It’s difficult to imagine life outside of classes, football games, and on-campus celebrations. But you’ll be entering the workforce before you know it, and you’ll need to have a solid career plan in mind. Some college majors lend themselves more obviously to careers than others—things like Elementary Education, Accounting, Criminal Justice, and Nursing. But what if you're majoring in something like Sociology, Philosophy, or English. There’s a misconception that liberal arts majors such as these only prepare you for a career teaching the subject; however, if you use your imagination and do your research, you’ll find that there are many other options available to you. Here's a look at just a few potential career you could go into majoring in five common liberal arts fields. 

1. Sociology careers

Sociology is the study of human social behavior, especially the study of origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society. This major lends itself well to a wide range of careers, including foster care worker, mental health worker, aging specialist, advertising assistant, day care worker, and public relations specialist. Studying how individuals function in society provides you with a deeper understanding of how society functions. Your knowledge will prove valuable for a wide range of occupations that require you to work with the public.

Related: What Career Path Is Right for Your Personality?

2. English, Writing, and Literature careers

If you're studying Writing, English, or Literature, you’ve developed a valuable skill that many employers will find highly desirable: the ability to communicate effectively and succinctly through writing. You might consider becoming a media planner, marketing manager, copywriter, editorial assistant, legal assistant, or personnel manager. There’s rarely an organization these days that doesn’t need a writer to help with emails, blogs, or contract documents. If you know how to turn a phrase and connect with readers, publishers, marketers, and even science organizations will be rushing to get you on their team.

3. Art History careers

Art History is the academic discipline that studies the development of painting and sculpture throughout time. You may love to paint, draw, or sculpt, but few people are lucky enough to make an immediate career out helping display and promote the work of others. You may consider occupations such as antique dealer, corporate curator, art advisor, art investor, curatorial consultant, or arts organization consultant. Working in the field could even help you to connect with those who can aid you in gaining exposure for your own work.

Related: A Passion for the Past: How to Use a History Degree

4. Foreign Language careers

At first glance, it may seem like a major in Spanish, French, German, or Foreign Language in general will only prepare you to teach others how to speak it, but in today’s global economy, this is no longer the case. The ability to speak another language can set you up for an international career, with exciting option such as intelligence researcher, linguist, foreign services officer, international trade economist, FBI agent, or foreign diplomat. Fluency in a foreign language could be your ticket to exploring the world and connecting people from various cultures in common goals.

5. Philosophy careers

Philosophy is the rational investigation of truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. Although at first glance it may seem as if there isn’t a viable way for a Philosophy major to contribute to society, philosophy majors have been known to pursue careers such as lawyer, systems analyst, hospital administrator, psychologist, financial consultant, and Salvation Army worker. This ability to think in a larger context can help in variety of fields, allowing your expertise to turn figurative ideas in to real-life application.

Related: 8 Reasons to Use the Career Center Before Senior Year

Of course, all the majors above lend themselves well to teaching; just know that this is far from your only option. The bottom line is that you should pursue what you love, but also think about how that may transfer to a future career. You may be surprised where your skills will be in demand. You’re limited only by your own imagination, your drive, and your research in the field of your choice.

Find more great advice on making the most of your academics for your future career in our Majors and Academics section.

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