What Can I Do With a Liberal Arts Degree?

A liberal arts degree is available in a diverse range of career fields. Most liberal arts graduates actually make decent salaries and work within business or science fields. There are emerging opportunities in entrepreneurship, such as creating an independent start-up enterprise, and consulting, such as independently working with corporations. Students who major in liberal studies develop core competencies that employers value.

Professional Writer

Professional writers do everything from editing manuscripts to writing articles and reviewing books. Most aspiring writers want to publish novels and screenplays, but many are self-employed professionals who sell their articles and stories to online and traditional journals and magazines.

Some writers go into the traditional journalism, while others work in radio and television collaborating with others to develop engaging content. Many writers actually generate advertisement content for online companies. Technical writers need a strong background in specific scientific and technology theories, services and products.

HR Consultant

High organizational and financial performance starts with human assets, or staff resources. HR professionals are usually responsible to recruit, train, motivate and retain employees in a variety of organizations. HR directors work with executives to develop strategic company policies, operational procedures and benefit and compensation plans, procedures, policies, and training. HR consultants have a master’s degree or above and spend their time working one-on-one with clients to improve their organizational, operational and managerial effectiveness. Many HR professionals study Industrial/Organizational psychology (I/O), so they have a strong background in psychology.

Psychologist or Sociologist

The bachelor and master degrees for these programs are usually offered within psychology or sociology departments. At the doctorate level, liberal arts training in sociology and psychology research is offered at most universities. These programs teach students how to become researchers who scientifically study behavioral patterns through tests and observation. Because liberal arts programs emphasize comprehensive evaluations and critical thinking, many of these graduates go on to study unique fields, such as social, criminal and development psychology. Sociologists seek to explore or propose new abstract theories regarding specific ethic or social group behaviors.


While economists typically have strong STEM backgrounds, they need extremely powerful analytical and critical thinking skills to deal with micro- and macro-economic issues and policies. Liberal arts programs offer rigorous classes designed to develop the skills needed to work within corporations and government agencies as sales, finance and accounting consultants. Some students specialize in things like behavioral economics, which combines aspects of psychology, consumerism and sociology. Most economists spend their time creating various econometric surveys and modelling techniques to forecast, understanding and interpret data. Others spend their time advising their organization about the sustainability and effectiveness of current fiscal policies, services and products.

Finally, a liberal arts degree is the path to becoming a PR professional who is responsible for the brand and company identity. They strive to maintain a positive public image through working with marketing research professionals. They are sometimes called upon to deal with everything from celebrity scandals to bad press due to financial mismanagement. They work with leaders to increase the visibility and performance of the overall PR strategy.