Liberal Arts Degrees

The Advantage To Earning A Liberal Arts Degree

Students who pursue a liberal arts degree gain a flexible educational background necessary for a multitude of career options. Liberal arts degrees offer students knowledge related to social sciences, natural sciences, and the humanities in subjects like philosophy, psychology, and geology. Liberal arts programs were once considered “impractical“ degrees in comparison to more specialized, professional or vocational programs, like engineering or education. Unlike more specialized degrees, liberal arts degrees offer students the ability to select courses which interest them and cover a broad range of information. Most students within liberal arts programs not only enjoy their studies but often advance to a number of potential job opportunities and rewarding careers.

Many students find online programs one of the most convenient means of pursuing a liberal arts degree. Most colleges and universities have developed innovative online programs to extend education opportunities beyond campus locations. Online programs feature the same educational experiences as their traditional, on campus equivalents. Online courses often offer the added benefits of smaller class sizes and increased flexibility in course scheduling. Online classes also provide students with 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Students within online degree programs often have increased access to classmates and instructors through one on one Internet chats. Many online programs are a great match for students as they manage work and family obligations in addition to educational responsibilities while pursuing a degree.

What Students Learn Within Liberal Arts Degree Programs

Liberal arts degree programs offer students a well rounded, general education based in cultivating a student’s intellectual abilities, reasoning skills, and social responsibility. Liberal arts programs offer students instruction designed to understand different cultures, sciences, and societies while promoting diversity and change. Most liberal arts programs offer students instruction based upon increasing personal skills of communication, analytical thinking, and problem solving ability with more specialized knowledge in literature, philosophy, languages, history, science, and mathematics. Many students pursuing liberal arts degrees generally choose to major in one or multiple disciplines within the student’s area of interest, as well as complete electives in a variety of studies, to gain skills and knowledge for future educational and career pursuits.

Students within associate degree programs gain a solid understanding of multiple disciplines through studies in liberal arts. Courses generally include: foundations of the creative process; foundations of philosophical thought; college Algebra; introduction to biology; Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism; history of art: earliest times through the Middle Ages; history of art: Renaissance to Modern; introduction to literature: the craft of reading; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; language of contemporary images; American politics; business organization and management; cultural anthropology; international relations; introduction to macroeconomics; introduction to microeconomics; introduction to psychology; introduction to sociology; modern political thought; oral communications; organizational behavior; understanding media; and introduction to psychology. Graduates who complete associate degree programs may advance to entry level employment or continue studies in advanced degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs offer students an expanded understanding of the humanities and liberal arts disciplines. Courses within bachelor level liberal arts programs include: professional and technical communication, advanced writing, American fiction: 1945-present, intermediate macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics, money and banking, economics of public finance, introduction to econometrics, cultural georgraphy, professional and technical communication, business communication, online writing and journalism, digital video editing, public relations, writing for specialized magazines, media ethics and issues, new communications technologies and society, history of jazz, history of rock and roll, U.S. political parties and elections, U.S. environmental politics and policy, history of political thought, international security, social stratification, comparative majority-minority relations, evaluating contemporary film, virtual workplace communication, political communication, gender in the economy, introduction to geography, music appreciation, moral and social problems, American government and politics, state and local government and politics, comparative government and politics, general sociology, introduction to psychology, introduction to philosophy, college Algebra, introduction to biology, and a clinical experience. Graduates with bachelor degrees may advance to employment or continue studies in master’s or doctoral degree programs.

Master’s degree programs in the discipline of liberal arts gain specialized skills and education necessary for career and personal success. Master’s degree courses include: the American Southwest: crossroads of cultures; cultural eras: the 1960s; television, film and literature; counter reformation: the culture of Roman Catholicisim from the late middle ages to early Maryland; voices of slavery in American literature and history; 1900 in perspective: Fin-de-Siecle culture; religion and 20th century drama; American art and literature of the 19th century; great ethical philosophers; modern Irish literature; art of the Court of Burgundy: 1364-1477; history onstage; the theater of revolt: makers of modern drama; the art of nature and the nature of art: landscape painting of the 19th century; evolution and creation: the science and religious thought in conversation; cultural eras: the 1950s; food and politics; reading photographs; languages of the world; science fiction film in the 20th century; introduction to world religions; extreme America: political extremism in the U.S. 1870-1920; ideas of justice; down to the sea in ships: introduction to underwater archaeology; monstrosity and metamorphosis: imagining animals in early art and literature; place and vision in contemporary world literature; religions of the emerging world; from Jerusalem to Graceland; religions of India, China, and Japan; the American presidency; art and mythology; violence to end violence: slavery, anti-slavery, and the coming of the Civil War; literature of existentialism: an interdisciplinary exploration; Shakespeare tragedies and histories; a comparative look at the manuscript book; theories of ethics; philosophy, faith, and fiction in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky; art collectors and collecting; Romanesque and Gothic art; cosmos and consciousness: perspectives from modern physics and religion; Shakespeare and film; progress and the American environment; evil in modern literature; Faulkner’s fiction: beyond the Southern mystique; lost books of the Bible; Maya worlds: ancient and modern; American composers of the 20th century: Ives, Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein; literature of oppression: Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison; text and image: the material culture of Renaissance Europe: 1400-1650; Indian philosophy; race and jazz; film and public memory; idea of freedom; King Arthur in legend and literature; spies, sabotages, escapes, evasions, and code-breaking in World War II; alienation and deviance; evil from Greek tragedies to Gothic tales; what is history?; music and literature: Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus; myths: development and significance; medicine in the Ancient Near Eastern and Classical worlds; politics and culture of the Holocaust; Dead Sea Scrolls; the new South; the history of cosmology from Babylon to the Big Bang; American West: image and reality; angst and alienation; a cultural history of New York City: World’s Fair to World Trade Center; cultural history of New York City; graduate portfolio development, and a clinical experience. Graduates from a master’s degree may advance to employment or continue studies in doctoral degree programs.

Doctoral degree programs offer students the ability to qualify as experts in the field of liberal arts through specialized and intensive classes. Courses at a doctoral level in the concentration of general psychology cognition and instruction include: doctoral studies in psychology, advanced social psychology, history and systems of psychology, tests and measurements, ethical issues in psychology, cognitive science, advanced research design, advanced life span development, personality psychology, program evaluation, doctoral statistics, biological psychology, qualitative research methods, human learning and cognition, cognition and instruction, social cognition, multivariate statistics, a clinical experience, and completion of a dissertation. Graduates who complete doctoral degrees are considered experts and may advance to a number of employment options.

Most Popular Majors Within Liberal Arts Degree Programs

Students enrolled within liberal arts degree programs gain specific knowledge based upon their area of interest and chosen major. Students who complete liberal arts studies often participate in classes based in: the arts, communications, English, foreign language, history, language, linguistics, philosophy, political science, religion, science, and sociology. Courses are generally based upon student interest and allow students to explore many disciplines while gaining general knowledge in many fields. Liberal arts programs offer students instruction beyond specific technical training and cultivate vocabulary, reasoning, communication, and judgment skills. Liberal arts programs require students to put forth a tremendous amount of determination and initiative. Most liberal arts courses require students to explore many new ideas through reading and writing as well as participate in class discussions. Most students design their own independent study degree, working closely with professors and advisors to devise a program best suited to their interests in the arts, biological science, physical science, social science, and the humanities. Students within liberal arts programs often propose their own reading lists and conduct self directed research to advance to projects that display knowledge gained through course instruction. Many students complete an undergraduate degree and advance to graduate level courses or employment in various careers upon completing studies.

Prospective Jobs For Liberal Arts Degree Graduates

Liberal arts degree graduates gain a broad educational basis necessary for building successful careers upon. Graduates who complete studies in liberal arts are highly employable due to the versatility their studies provide. Many liberal arts degree students advance to careers, based upon economic trends, within quickly expanding industries like health care, business, and information technology. Most liberal arts graduates advance to employment based upon their level of education, area of specialty, and related work experiences from volunteer and internship programs. The most common jobs for liberal arts degree graduates include: entry level management trainee, sales associates/representatives, design and graphic artist positions, teacher/instructor positions, and social work positions. Job prospects for liberal arts degree graduates are based largely upon degree and skill levels. Graduates with associate’s degrees may advance to entry level positions as advertising assistants, copywriters, insurance representatives, art gallery assistants, developmental assistants, artists, journalists, mental health assistants, associate managers, marketing representatives, medical office assistants, administrative assistants, sales associates, assistant editors, development assistants, or medical assistants. Graduates who complete bachelor degrees often advance to advertising representatives, business systems analysts, human resource representatives, claims examiners, grant writers, communication specialists, industrial designers, copywriters, translators, counseling assistants, management consultants, office administrators, development assistants, production assistants, editorial assistants, sales assistants, employee relations specialists, marketing representatives, financial analysts, social workers, writers, gallery assistants, or public relations specialists. Graduates with master’s degrees often advance to positions as teachers, advertising account executives, human resources executives, community educators, community advocates, journalists, librarians, editors, museum coordinators, financial analysts, marketing specialists, public relations specialists, or research analysts. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs often advance to positions as upper level administrators, independent consultants, instructors within colleges and universities, or researchers within facilities.

Salary Range For Liberal Arts Degree Graduates

Job opportunities for graduates with liberal arts degrees are predicted to be favorable. Graduates are expected to find ample job opportunities within many sectors of the economy. Factors like education level, specializations, work experiences, and geographic location influence employability for liberal arts graduates. Due to the varied specializations and individual specialization field for most liberal arts programs, graduates have a wide range of salaries. The National Center For Education Statistics (NCES) reports entry earnings for all liberal arts majors have risen tremendously in the past decade. The NCES reports liberal arts graduates who complete bachelor degree programs have earnings based upon field of specialization.

Graduates who completed studies in economics generally earn $47,782 annually. Graduates who complete studies in political science/government generally have salaries of $35,261 annually. Graduates with specializations in history generally earn $35,092 annually. Graduates who complete studies in foreign language and literature generally have salaries of $34,057 annually. Graduates who complete specializations in social sciences earn $ 33,881 annually. Graduates who complete general studies programs in the field of liberal arts earn salaries of $32,169 annually. Graduates with concentrations in English language and literature earn $31,924 annually. Graduates who complete degrees in psychology generally earn $31,857 annually. Graduates who specialize studies in the humanities generally earn $31,340. Graduates with associate’s degrees who work as administrative assistants generally earn $24,710 to $38,160 annually. Graduates with bachelor degrees who work as salaried journalists and authors earn $38,150 to $75,060 annually.

Master’s degree graduates who advance to employment as teachers have salaries ranging from $47,100 to $51,180 annually. Doctoral degree graduates who gain employment as instructors within colleges and universities generally earn $41,600 to $83,960 annually. As with most degree programs, graduates who continue education in master’s or doctoral degree programs, specialize training, gain skills through work experiences and internships, and display remarkable communication and critical thinking skills generally have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less training, education, and experience.

Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities For Liberal Arts Degree Graduates

Graduates who complete liberal arts degree programs gain a versatile education necessary for establishing long term, lucrative careers in a variety of dynamic fields. Liberal arts graduates are expected to find enhanced employability in comparison to other graduates due to the broad range of skills they acquire through courses and educational experiences. Most employers seek candidates who have strong verbal and written communication skills, solid work ethics, good teamwork skills, initiative, and strong analytical/problem solving skills. Liberal arts graduates gain all of the most sought qualities through their educational experiences. Despite economic factors, economic downturns, and overall rising unemployment rates, the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) reports that 84 percent of liberal arts students who expected to find full time employment post graduation were successful in finding jobs.

The OIR also reports that 47 percent of 2009 liberal arts graduates were employed while 21 percent advanced to full time graduate studies. Employment for liberal arts graduates is based largely upon education, specialization, and geographic location factors. As with most occupations, graduates who begin entry level positions and continue studies, increase skills, and gain work experience often advance to positions with greater responsibilities and higher salaries. Graduates who complete master’s or doctoral level studies often begin employment within managerial or administrative positions and advance to upper level executive positions, independently owned consulting businesses, instructor positions within colleges and universities, or research positions within firms.

Types of Liberal Arts Degrees

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