Students majoring in liberal studies earn at least 12 semester hours of credit in the three of the following fields: humanities, communication and arts, natural sciences and math, social sciences, and professional fields such as business, education, nursing and social work, according to the University of Iowa. Armed with such a diverse educational background, graduates with a liberal studies degree can select from a variety of career choices.
Liberal studies graduates who concentrate in the humanities might consider a job as an archivist. Their knowledge of history would prove invaluable in appraising, organizing and classifying historical documents and records. Archivists work for museums, historical organizations, colleges and all levels of the government. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the demand for these professionals to grow by 12 percent through 2020, which is about as fast as the growth rate for other jobs. The BLS attributes the growth to an increasing use of electronic records to archive a growing number of records and historical data. In addition, although most archivists have a degree in history or the library sciences, the BLS states that students may enter this profession with a broad range of undergraduate degrees. The median annual salary for archivists is $45,200.
Computer Systems Analysts
A concentration in the natural sciences prepares liberal studies graduates for a career as a computer systems analyst. These professionals examine the existing procedures and computers of an organization and then recommend ways that computer technology can make the organization more efficient and effective. The job outlook for computer systems analysts is 22 percent through 2020, which is faster than the national average. This growth is spurred by an increased reliance on information technology -- especially in wireless and mobile networks. The BLS also reports that although a degree in computer science is common among computer systems analysts, some companies hire graduates with a liberal arts degree as long as they can write code. The median annual salary for this position is $77,740.
Broadcast News Analysts
A career in journalism is an available option for liberal studies graduates who concentrated in communication and arts. This job allows them to use their research and interview skills, while analyzing and interpreting data. The BLS projects demand for broadcast news analysts will grow by 10 percent through 2020, which is as fast as the national average. This position will experience a surge in demand, as more news agencies prefer analysts over reporters since analysts not only report the news, but also provide commentary and insight. The BLS also states that broadcast analysts usually have a degree in journalism, communications or a related subject -- such as liberal studies. Interestingly, many programs require non-liberal studies students to take liberal arts classes such as English, history, economics and political science so they can be well-rounded journalists. The median annual salary for journalists is $36,000.
A focus on professional fields like business provides liberal studies graduates with the educational background to be a top executive. According to the BLS, top executives in the public sector often major in the liberal arts, law or business administration. These individuals are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating an organization’s operational activities -- which includes managing the employees, plans and budgets. The demand for top executives is projected to grow by 5 percent, which is not as fast as the national average. However, the BLS also reports that growth rates will vary by industry and will be determined by industry growth rates. The median annual salary for top executives is $101,250.
- The University of Iowa Undergraduate Admissions: Bachelor of Liberal Studies
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Archivists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Computer Systems Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Reporters, Correspondents and Broadcast News Analysts
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Top Executives
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