Career Paths in Liberal Arts

Many employers know that a liberal arts education prepares students for successful careers. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed employers across the country to determine what they look for when they hire new employees. The survey showed that employers tend to focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major. The majority of employers surveyed indicated that a new employee with the right skills could easily learn the specifics of an industry.

The survey also showed that employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace. These transferable skills are characteristic of those developed by a liberal arts education.

Business and management

  • Advance your career to a managerial or other leadership role in a business, corporation, government agency, or nonprofit organization.
  • Pursue a career in management, including consulting, procurement, marketing, e-business, international business, customer service, health care administration, and strategic planning.
  • Prepare for a career in business, publishing, or the nonprofit sector using the written communication and critical-thinking skills needed in today’s workplace.

Communications and writing

  • Prepare for a career in public relations, marketing, advertising, customer communications, technical writing, customer service, employee training, sales, or public information.
  • Prepare to work as a writer or communication specialist in business, government, or nonprofit organizations or in evolving new media outlets, including online newsletters, newspapers, and magazines.

Education and teaching

  • Pursue a career as an elementary or secondary school teacher, licensed in the state of Virginia.
  • Prepare to teach as a college-level instructor in a variety of settings.

Midcareer professional development

  • Develop analytical, organizational, and communication skills for advancement as a manager, writer, speaker, teacher, or information specialist in for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations.
  • Prepare for increased managerial responsibility or midcareer professional development. Pursue a managerial career in for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations with an emphasis on planning, innovation, and problem solving.

Graduate study

  • Prepare for a graduate degree in English, history, liberal arts, the humanities, or law.