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Making the Most of Your Liberal Arts Major

May 4th, 2010

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Liberal Arts majors have somewhat of an inferiority complex when compared to engineering, accounting, finance, and other math and science-related majors. Throughout their college careers, they endure criticism about their workload from friends who are constantly complaining about classes like biochemistry and electrical circuit analysis. And when those friends graduate, they tend to boast about how easy it was to find a high-paying job. Don't allow these kinds of friends to affect your self-image as a liberal arts student. If you make the most of your major, you'll build the foundation for a fulfilling future doing what you truly enjoy.

The skills possessed by liberal arts majors are always in demand. By the time you complete your undergraduate degree, you'll be an effective researcher, written and verbal communicator, problem solver and critical thinker. And you'll be prepared to tackle new challenges with your newfound learning ability, which comes in handy throughout life. Although you may not know how to build an electronic device or handle the finances of a large corporation, you'll be able to fulfill the needs of a wide range of jobs. If you're seeking a specific career, build your skills during undergrad by interning in the field. For example, an aspiring history professor can gain insight into the position by working for a current professor in the history department. An English major who wants to write professionally can build their portfolio by working for the school newspaper and doing freelance work. Just like with any other major, experience in the field will make you more marketable to future employers. Also consider adding a minor and taking electives focused in a specific area to supplement your major.

It also helps to keep an open mind. If you aren't able to land the job you've always wanted after graduation, consider other careers that require the same skills. That English major might not be able to find a full-time job in the newspaper industry, but she might find one as a content writer for a website. Or if she learns an additional skill – perhaps dealing with computer software – she could become a technical writer. This is when that newfound learning ability takes effect. No matter your major, your degree is what you make of it. Prove your friends with math and science-related majors wrong by outworking them and take pride in your liberal arts degree.

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