Liberal arts degrees are criticized because people with liberal arts degrees often end up doing jobs that could be done without a college degree. However, a “practical” degree is no guarantee of a job or a good salary. While it is true that graduates with technical degrees generally have an easier time finding employment and have higher average starting salaries, a liberal arts degree can be beneficial in certain circumstances. A few points to help you make a decision about pursuing a liberal arts degree:
You should get a liberal arts degree if..
- You’re really interested in a particular subject and don’t mind spending five or six years in graduate school.
- You have a certain job or jobs in mind that you would really enjoy and that you can get with a liberal arts degree. See a list of common jobs for graduates with different degrees at PayScale.com.
- You don’t want to be limited to a particular field and like the flexibility that a liberal arts degree provides. You’re willing to pursue further education if necessary.
You shouldn’t get a liberal arts degree if….
- You want to maintain a high GPA and think it will be easier as a liberal arts major.
- You’re interested in a subject, but not enough to spend many years in graduate school studying it in-depth.
- You love the classes, but aren’t sure you would love the career(s) related to the degree.
An important consideration when choosing a major is financial aid. Determine the maximum amount of loans you should take out based on your major and try not to go over that amount. If you have a good reason for getting a liberal arts degree, don’t worry about what others think. Don’t put yourself through four (or more) years of misery because of societal expectations about what degrees are best.