Undergraduate college degrees are commonly categorized as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. While there are variations between universities, a BA is a liberal arts degree that allows for more elective courses and includes a language requirement. A BS will have a more set curriculum and focuses more on math and hard science skills. Common BA majors include philosophy, fine arts, English and history.
For those who like to dig deep into the meaning and intention of complicated texts, philosophy can be greatly fulfilling, in that it takes on big questions. Positions after graduation can include being an author or teacher. In philosophy, you can chose your studies from among political philosophy, aesthetic philosophy or phenomenology. These choices will affect you eventual career direction.
Getting a Fine Arts BA can train you to be a professional artist. Many fine artists begin their career working in their own studio while holding outside positions in the arts field, for example as a studio assistant for a major artist or at a gallery. It is a competitive field and requires one to take time in developing their artistic voice. Fine artists make their income from having a gallery represent their work by selling it to collectors and museums, but it is common that they have side work as well.
English and Creative Writing
A BA in English or creative writing will open a few career paths for you, including being a freelance writer, reporter, technical writer, copywriter or screenplay author. Each of these positions offers a different level of creative freedom for you to enjoy, as well as challenges. Early in your career consider copy editing or reporting for a smaller paper to develop your skills and gain contacts in the field.
A BA in history can be fascinating, as you have learned much about how the world has developed. Potential career paths include being an author, a teacher, working for a museum or even going into politics. The directions you can take vary greatly depending on your concentration in the field, such as political history, aesthetic history, U.S. history, world history, or the study of other cultures. It is common to pair a cultural history degree with the study of the language of a particular country.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.