Careers for Liberal Studies GraduatesCareers for Liberal Studies GraduatesCareers for Liberal Studies Graduates

When looking for the classical definition of a well-rounded education, prospective students may find themselves considering bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies. Humanities and social sciences courses make up the main pillars of these programs, supplemented with additional courses, derived from professional disciplines and selected based on an individual student’s interests. These programs fall under the general umbrella of liberal arts, and can lead graduates down a number of interesting and rewarding career paths.

Before embarking on a liberal studies program, prospective students can look to see which industries are most open to and interested in the skills they can learn, and the types of positions they could be filling. The breadth of material covered within a liberal studies program makes these especially pressing questions, and careers with a liberal studies degree cover a range of possibilities.

A candidate undergoes a job interview

Industries Hiring Liberal Studies Graduates

Future employment opportunities for students who graduate with a liberal studies degree may span a wide range of industries, organizations, and subject matters. Students have the opportunity to complete coursework in a variety of professional disciplines, such as communication, criminal justice, marketing, business administration, accounting and much more. As a result, there are many possible career outcomes for graduates. For example, high-quality writing has value to a spectrum of organizations, and financial analysts and project managers can enhance the internal operations of any kind of business. Government agencies and public service organizations need many of the same skills taught in liberal studies programs, like communication and business management. When asking “What can I do with a liberal studies degree?”, the following industries may be good places to start exploring further:

  • Marketing
  • Government
  • Media
  • Education/Academia

Popular Liberal Studies Careers

The following are some of the most popular career journeys that begin with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. Some of these roles will require extra credentials, whether that takes the form of an advanced degree or a certificate or license in the specific field covered. The thread that joins them is that they incorporate skills covered in liberal studies programs.


Teaching is a great way to pass on skills to the next generation, and the varied humanities and social sciences curriculum, like philosophy and world history, of liberal studies degrees can play a part in making well-rounded educators. The exact duties asked of professional teachers will vary depending on what grade an individual takes on, and whether the school is public or private. Furthermore, educators will likely be required to attain additional certification or education to teach. The day-to-day routines of a college professor and a pre-K teacher have very little overlap, but the passion for helping others improve their own knowledge and prospects is the connecting thread.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explained that 9 percent growth is predicted for the overall education sector over the next decade. This grouping includes teachers at all levels, alongside adult instructors and librarians. The median annual salary for people with these jobs is $48,000. The BLS added that with school enrollment expected to increase at multiple grade levels in the future, it’s clear to see that more teachers will be needed.

Advertising and Marketing Managers

The art of selling never goes out of style, even as the tools change. The actions that go into creating compelling advertisements and marketing campaigns has evolved over the past few years, with assistance from new technology tools and preferred consumer channels such as social media, podcasts, videos and blogs. An advertising or marketing manager typically interacts with a large cross functional team, and the BLS advised that they will have to cultivate close working relationships with diverse groups such as art directors, as well as salespeople and financial professionals. Some of the demand for marketing manager professionals comes from agencies, while larger companies may want to retain these positions in-house.

The BLS explained that there is a salary difference between advertising/promotions managers, at a median annual wage of $100,810, and marketing managers, who earn $131,180. The number of marketing and advertising managers employed in the U.S. is expanding about as quickly as general employment, at 9 percent through 2026. With a creative workload and potential six-figure salary, it’s clear why liberal studies graduates may want to seek out work in the marketing and advertising management field, whether at an agency or a company’s corporate office.

Research Analysts

Companies today don’t make decisions off the cuff. There’s too much money and reputation riding on each major corporate choice for leaders to skip the research and data analysis step. This is why they’ll be looking for employees to specifically help them sift through their reams of structured and unstructured information and make sure their choices are sound. Problem-solving is the key duty of an analyst, with corporate problems calling for novel and well-informed solutions based on data instead of assumptions.

The BLS specified that operations research analyst positions are set for explosive growth over the next decade, with the projected 27 percent increase coming in well ahead of general growth numbers for all positions. The agency linked the growth to companies’ ever-increasing desire for efficiency as tech makes the pace of work faster. The median annual salary for such a role is $79,000. While a bachelor’s degree is a start down the road to such a position, the BLS cautioned that master’s credentials or a grounding in technical matters will be preferred in some situations, depending on the employer.

Graduates of liberal studies programs can use skills such as business administration, accounting and economics, ethics and communication to pursue careers like research analyst.

Project Coordinators

Coordinating projects and keeping a team focused on reaching a particular high-profile objective is the kind of job description that completes a company’s organizational structure. Project coordinators tie many departments together and help other, more specialized workers put their finely honed talents toward a general goal. The BLS noted that communication is the key virtue of a coordinator. Dealing productively with co-workers from many different backgrounds will help keep projects from bogging down when the going gets tough. Furthermore, coordinators should be skilled at the everyday tasks that come with office work, such as adept spreadsheet use.

Graduates of liberal studies programs can utilize those communication skills learned within their coursework, in addition to other skills such as economics, business administration, statistics, marketing and more.

The BLS does not track project coordinator as a separate role for salary and growth purposes, but added instead that the larger category of “other” within business operations specialists earns median annual pay of $67,280. Employers seeking someone to coordinate projects may be especially eager to hire an individual who has spent time working at another role within the relevant industry vertical.


Whether working independently or for a specific organization, writers have one of the most self-explanatory job titles in any industry. The content created by today’s writers, defined by the BLS as those who create written content for the web, advertising, books, magazines and other media, is displayed across a variety of platforms, from companies’ websites to social media. From traditional news and media sources to any organization that considers blogging part of its content marketing strategy, writers’ talents are in demand. Becoming a great writer is largely tied to professionals’ abilities to hone their compositional skills and create compelling content.

According to the BLS, the median pay for writers is $61,240, with the data coming from both self-employed writers and those with corporate roles. The amount of writers is set to expand 8 percent over the next decade, about in line with overall employment growth.

Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree In Liberal Studies

The concepts taught in a liberal studies program cover a vast array of information, and are applicable to the many different industries that may beckon after graduation. Seeking out such an education has never been easier – it’s possible to take every class required for this degree 100 percent online. Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program offers personalized class offerings based on the professional disciplines that most interest students, and does not require standardized assessments such as the SAT or ACT as a condition of admission.

Now that you’ve seen the amazing variety of fields that make use of liberal studies skills, learn more about liberal studies and contact an enrollment advisor today.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Writers and Authors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education, Training, and Library Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Operations Research Analysts

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