Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

The Value of a Liberal Arts Degree for Careers

Are you curious about how employers will value your Liberal Arts education? The short answer is: pretty highly. Liberal Arts students who complete internships, visit regularly with a career coach and participate in career-related services and events are typically better positioned to compete with their peers from other colleges and in a variety of industries.

What are employers seeking in candidates?

In an increasingly complex and global marketplace, employers want dynamic and innovative workers who possess the strengths inherent in a liberal arts education. The most successful employees of this generation and the next will be creative, curious, natural systems thinkers, problem solvers, cross-culturally competent, able to manage people and proficient in writing and articulating clearly. Sounds like a Liberal Arts student, doesn’t it?

What qualities and strengths do Liberal Arts majors typically possess?

Programs in the humanities and social sciences provide a strong foundation from which students can understand and thrive in our world of complex business ecosystems. For example, when researching the historical works of Shakespeare or the endangered languages of Central Texas, students are learning how to critically analyze vast amounts of information from various perspectives and to write persuasive papers with creative points of view. These are just two of the top attributes that employers look for in candidates and successful employees: communication and analytical skills.

If you’re still wondering how a Liberal Arts degree will prepare you for the 21st-century workplace, consider the following ways your education makes you more prepared for what’s next in your career journey.

  • Critical Thinking – Students learn to use evidence-based analysis to formulate innovative solutions to business and social issues.
  • Systems Thinking – Students learn to identify the connections between components of a larger system to expand the range of information used when solving complex problems.
  • Emotional Intelligence – Students develop and hone their empathy, active listening, ability to manage stress, ability to manage people and openness to feedback and change. 
  • Learnability – Students broaden their innate proficiency in learning new skills and knowledge to keep up with ever-changing needs in the marketplace and workforce. 
  • Understanding People – Students learn to observe and understand individuals and groups to better appreciate how they process information, how they make decisions, what motivates them, what they want, and how cultural or societal norms affect the way they perceive the world.
  • Innovation – Students are challenged to find new options, develop entrepreneurial ideas, formulate new concepts and create and appreciate artistic works in order to hone their creative talents and outside-the-box thinking.
  • Communication – Students become proficient and successful communicators by honing their writing, presentation, persuasion, speech and debate skills. 
  • Content Skills – Students learn to create digital content and curate content to connect and integrate data from various sources. 
  • Cross-Cultural Competence – Students learn to be proficient in a second, and often third, language providing increased mobility in the international job market and develop an appreciation of foreign languages and cultures.
  • Ethics – Students learn theories and concepts of ethics and moral propositions to address conflicts and to determine individual direction.
  • Technology – Students learn to use information technology and to appreciate how technology is used by consumers from mechanical and societal perspectives.

Connecting the Dots

By the end of your four years at UT, you will have a diverse portfolio of experiences, skills and knowledge; however, it may prove challenging to tie it all together and to market your array of experiences to potential employers. And that’s where Liberal Arts Career Services comes in. We help students find common threads, strengths, skills and interests that they can use to develop a comprehensive and personal liberal arts story. These stories help demonstrate their academic and professional strengths and skills and help succinctly summarize their successes and career goals. What’s your story, and how can we help you tell it?

Register with LACS and schedule a career coaching appointment for help developing your story.

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  • Liberal Arts Career Services

    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
    512-471-7900