What kind of job can you get with a liberal arts degree anyway?
Liberal arts programs turn out some of the most interesting and refined people in our society, but they can face a challenge with employability. Have you ever heard the question:
“What kind of job can you get with a liberal arts degree anyway?”
There are many great answers to this question, but they are not always clear or straight forward. Liberal arts majors and graduates need to do extra, focused work to develop clarity about their career path and how what they study will apply to the professional world.
A popular recommendation from experts at NACE,Gallup,AACU and other respected research organizations is that liberal arts majors should start thinking about careers while they are still in school. Further, it is preferable that these students seek out and find internships (ideally paid internships) to explore different career options and make some decisions on where they will plan to go and what they will plan to do once they graduate. This integration of study and professional planning will lead to a successful transition to the workforce after college, which will reflect positively on their school – and make their lives much easier.
This idea is showing up in various articles and reports, for example:
“… liberal arts graduates enter a range of career fields. And that’s because, some experts say, the skills they develop are applicable to nearly any job. But students who major in liberal arts may increase their career options by getting additional education—and by taking steps while still in school to prepare for the labor force.” Source: BLS.gov
“…higher education in general, can do better at preparing (liberal arts) students for the job market without abandoning their traditional role to provide a broad education.” Source: Washington Post article
Some of the things that liberal arts students should be asking themselves are:
- What am I interested in doing professionally?
- What kinds of opportunities are out there for someone with my degree, interests and specialization?
- What kind of employers are looking for someone like me?
- What kind of money can I expect to make?
Once all of these areas are explored, these students will want to prepare for a traditional internship search or formal job search, which will include:
- Learning to network in professional circles
- Doing research on potential internship providers and employers
- Preparing application materials (resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile if required)
- Applying for any open positions
- Interviewing with employers
- Negotiating terms and salary for an offer
There are a few challenges when considering integrating job search topics into existing liberal arts programs. First, it is quite a departure for traditional liberal arts leadership to draw a line to career topics without it seeming disjointed or forced. It will take some time to make it flow in a natural and integrated fashion. Secondly, … (something about it being difficlut to have so much variation and so many people – need self-paced learning and self-driven exploration)
This is where Project Me Pro can help.
Project Me Pro is an online learning system designed to teach job seekers (and liberal arts majors!) how to find and land a position in the job market. The solution combines self-paced e-learning modules, templates and worksheets for job search materials, a collaboration platform for career advisors to work with students, plus plenty of data and analytics features to track success. We partner with colleges & universities, workforce development organizations, non-profits, career coaching communities and more.
Are your responsible for helping a large number of liberal arts majors and graduates plan what they will do in the job market? Are you looking for ways to streamline that process?
Take a look to see if Project Me Pro will work for your organization and set up your site today.