“A liberal arts degree? So, you’re going to teach?”
This phrase is also known as the response every liberal arts major gets at least once (for certain majors, many times) in their college career. And while teaching is a vital, admirable profession, it’s not for everyone—and maybe you’re feeling like it’s not for you.
If you’ve chosen to pursue a degree in the liberal arts (if you haven’t chosen a major yet, click here), then you need to decide if teaching is right for you, or if another career might be your calling. Once that’s decided, the question you might ask yourself becomes, “What else can I do?”
Trust us—you have plenty of options. Here are just 6 of the many unexpected careers you can land with a liberal arts degree.
Regardless of what your undergraduate degree is in, law school is always an option. In fact, a surprising number of liberal arts degree holders choose to go to law school after their undergraduate degree is complete.
With countless avenues and applications, law school is a failsafe option—and a very useful, interesting one, too.
Annual salary: $60,000 to $150,000
When most people think of liberal arts, they don’t think of economics.
At IPFW, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a degree in economics and—surprisingly—economics tends to outweigh finance, law, medicine, and technology in overall financial compensation. Economics graduates have opportunities in the corporate world, government, and nonprofit accounting, finance, sales, and analyst positions.
Annual salary: $40,000 to $200,000
Archaeologists need a very particular set of skills, which creates high demand for professionals in geology, anthropology, and related fields with traditional training in archaeology.
While archaeology is set deeply in the past, the scientific testing of dig sites is critical to modern energy projects. Forensic archaeologists recover, test, and catalog artifacts and human remains. Traditional archaeologists may work for the benefit of a museum or university. Some professions in this field may require a graduate degree.
Annual salary: $40,000 to $171,000
4. Sales Representative
Sales representatives plan and promote a company or firm’s products and services to clients, potential buyers, and distributors. They develop relationships with current and prospective clients and travel often for meetings, product demonstrations, and advising sessions.
Most sales representatives complete associate's or bachelor's degree programs in marketing, business, or economics meshed with liberal arts studies in anthropology, psychology, sociology, or communication to gain insight into how their clients think. The writing skills developed in a liberal arts program are also in high demand, as many sales pitches and value propositions depend on that talent for the written word.
Annual salary: $36,000 to $75,000
5. Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists work on behalf of a corporation or public figure and coordinate with reporters on communications strategies. Through boosting client images through marketing strategy and public relations campaigns, public relations specialists increase visibility for company entities and individuals.
The most common degrees in this position are B.A.s in advertising, communications, journalism, and public relations.
Annual salary: $40,000 to $73,000
6. Social Worker
Social workers locate resources to help individuals, families, or groups of people get access to assistance programs, counseling, career training, housing, and/or substance abuse treatment—they have a significant obligation and at times a lifelong effect on their clients. Social workers require a bachelor's degree, but graduates with a masters in human services, psychology, or sociology with a National Association of Social Workers certification can qualify for managerial roles.
Annual salary: $37,000 to $56,000