Online Bachelor's in Liberal Studies

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What Is Liberal Studies?

Embarking on the path to a post-secondary education by pursuing the liberal studies bachelor’s degree available online from Maryville University can help students create the viable foundation they may need for many career opportunities. Here, we’ll examine the essential aspects of this educational opportunity – everything from potential paths of study to the jobs one may be able to find with that diploma.

Smiling liberal studies student standing in archway

Liberal Studies in a Nutshell 

Liberal studies programs provide students access to a multidisciplinary major that can be personalized to their interests and career aspirations. Classes provide fundamentals in the humanities and social sciences, complemented with additional coursework specific to various professional disciplines and chosen based on the students’ interests.

Maryville University’s online liberal studies program builds a foundation in the humanities and social sciences to help students broaden their worldview and strengthen cultural competencies. Through exposure to areas such as philosophy, literature and history, students can develop critical thinking and writing skills as well as a deeper understanding of human nature. In addition, students can expand this liberal arts experience further by personalizing their course of study with a professional discipline — choosing from course offerings that span subjects such as business, computer science, healthcare, human services, and more.

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Many Ways to Make an Impact with Liberal Studies 

The wide spectrum of liberal studies actually plays into its flexibility educating students for a variety of careers. Not only is the field itself immensely broad, but also choosing a particular discipline doesn’t mean that your future career is inextricably tied to the specific course of study upon which you embarked.

For example, a liberal studies major who initially zeroed in on communication wouldn’t, by default, be bound to a role in media relations or another career directly focused on that vertical. It could lead down the road to a career in marketing or advertising. Those fields will always need hard workers with distinct, robust communication skills in one way or another.

Not dissimilarly, someone who starts out majoring in liberal studies with a criminal justice discipline might find they have a distinct knack for intensive research of old criminal cases, even if they aren’t fully committed to a traditional law enforcement career. Developing this skill could lead to numerous professional roles for such a student: They could become an archivist, or delve into the field of nonfiction writing by documenting true crimes of the recent or distant past.

To drive home the value of a liberal studies education, consider that prominent corporate CEOs have come from educational backgrounds focused on disciplines under its umbrella, according to Time magazine. For example, Starbucks leader Howard Schultz majored in communications, while HBO chief executive Richard Pepler studied government. Liberal studies disciplines, such as communication and organizational leadership, much like more specialized communications or government degrees, can lead students to many different career options.

Liberal Studies Salary Opportunities

According to a piece in Town and Country magazine by journalist Charles Isherwood, modern-day students are now more frequently told by their peers to pursue college paths that virtually guarantee them avenues to financially lucrative careers – business or law degrees, for example. Setting aside the simple truth that no degree fully guarantees a career, liberal studies majors can pursue careers with high earning potential just like graduates from other programs. With dedication and hard work, students following liberal studies disciplines can find notable career opportunities related to their skills.

According to Payscale, which polled professionals who reported graduating with a bachelor’s of liberal studies degree, the annual salary range for women was between $32,350 and $66,893, while men reported earning between $36,068 and $85,093 per year. In total, 38 percent of those polled had between one and four years of work experience. The next highest segment was those with 10 to 19 years of experience, at 24 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also looked at professionals age 35 and younger in fields related to liberal studies. Wage information included:

  • Communications – The median annual salary for a communications professional under the age of 35 was $41,600.
  • Economics – The median annual salary for an economics professional under the age of 35 was $52,450.
  • Journalism – The median annual salary for a journalism professional under the age of 35 was $41,330.
  • Government – The median annual salary for a government professional under the age of 35 was $43,730.

Consider a Liberal Studies Degree

On the surface, taking an educational path centered around liberal studies might not be as straightforward as going to law school with the intent to be a lawyer, or taking a similarly direct route toward any other established trade. But those considering this option may be interested in the flexibility and multidisciplinary approach of liberal studies. The fully online bachelor’s degree program in liberal studies offered by Maryville University may be an excellent starting point from which to head out on such an intriguing journey, without being tied to a classroom-attendance schedule or having to sacrifice one’s personal priorities.

Now that you’ve read the background behind liberal studies, learn more details about popular liberal studies career outcomes of this degree and contact and enrollment advisor today.