Liberal Arts and Humanities
The liberal arts and humanities field is very broad and diverse. Most college degree programs cover subject matter related to social sciences, literature and writing, languages, world cultures, social issues and philosophy. The analytical and communications skills students learn in liberal arts and humanities courses prepare them for a variety of jobs.
Inside Liberal Arts and Humanities
While the umbrella of liberal arts and humanities is broad in terms of careers, it basically encompasses the study of humanity and human relations. It also examines the ways that humans make contacts and develop and sustain relationships. Examples of available degree programs include writing, journalism, economics, women's studies, history, English, political science, philosophy and sociology.
Several students who major in liberal arts or humanities simultaneously pursue a teaching certificate. Those who major in English or history, for example, may become middle school or secondary teachers in a local public school district or private institution. Non-generalist majors, such as journalism, criminal justice and economics, may lead students to future careers as reporters, news anchors, law enforcers and economists. Students who major in communications, writing or English can go on to develop careers as freelance writers for print and Web-based publications.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the majority of careers in liberal arts and humanities require at least a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). In some professions, such as writing, a degree is not necessarily required as long as the individual displays an exceptional degree of talent.
Students who wish to pursue teaching careers must typically complete state licensing requirements and may begin as substitute teachers. As of May 2010, the annual median salary for secondary teachers was $53,230, according to the BLS. Middle school teachers earned a median salary of $51,960, while elementary teachers earned a median salary of $51,660.
The annual median salary for reporters was $34,530 in 2010, according to the BLS. Journalists working in television earned considerably more with an annual median salary of $54,120. Self-employed writers earned $55,240.
Careers in the liberal arts and humanities might be suitable for those who enjoy understanding and discovering the many facets of human behavior. Students planning on careers in humanities should be prepared to develop solid writing and verbal communication skills. An interest in the plight of the human condition and a desire to affect others in a positive or inspirational manner helps individuals succeed in liberal arts and humanities careers.
Learn More About Liberal Arts and Humanities
Liberal arts and humanities give prospective students and future professionals a wealth of specializations. For those who enjoy a combination of working with others and self-reflection, it can be the beginning of a rewarding, diverse and interdisciplinary career.
A wide range of subject areas exists within the liberal arts and humanities field. Read on for more information.
- Degrees in the Liberal Arts
- Top Humanities Degree Programs
- Humanities Degree Requirements and Topics
- Liberal Arts Coursework
Career opportunities within this field are varied depending on the subject area you study. Here is a small sampling of career options for liberal arts and humanities majors.
Distance Learning Options
Many schools offer online programs in liberal arts and humanities. Online programs allow students the freedom to pursue a degree at their leisure.
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