Why Your Liberal Arts Degree Matters

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I switched my major from Language and International Health to English. I had struggled a lot in my science classes the past year, crying over chemistry problems and flipping mindlessly through biology flashcards. Despite knowing I was much more passionate about reading and writing, I felt pressured to force myself through classes for which I had little aptitude in order to work my way towards a respectable career.

A handful of friends, family, and nosy strangers informed me I’d be much better off floundering in my science classes if it meant I could go to medical school, instead of wasting my time earning a liberal arts degree. Their opinions stuck with me, and before taking an English class at Clemson, I thought my career path would be limited and filled with heartbreak and regret.

I could not have been more wrong! My first semester as an English major helped shape me into a global citizen as my readings and in-class discussion exposed me to perspectives I had never considered before. I learned to analyze, to observe, to write concisely and effectively, and to communicate through a variety of mediums whether it be through an essay, a video, or some form of brochure or portfolio.

Liberal arts degrees—meaning programs such as modern languages, music, philosophy, political science, communication, English, history, anthropology, and women’s studies—are extremely undervalued by a lot of society, despite the fact that more liberal arts students are being hired faster than ever. Here’s some fast facts on why your liberal arts degrees matters more than you think:

1. 82% of those with liberal arts degrees are working full-time.

Not only are over half of people with liberal arts degrees working, they’re making around $20,000 more than high school graduates. They also earn around $2,000 more than those who chose to major in pre-professional fields.

2. 4 out of 5 employers agree that they want to hire someone with extensive knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences.

Do you hear that liberal arts majors? That’s us!

3. 93% of employers agree that being able to think critically and communicate effectively is more important than just earning a degree.

55% of these employers also agree that they want to hire someone who has skills beyond just the knowledge in their field. Gaining the ability to think critically and communicate effectively through a liberal arts education allows a student to apply themselves to a broad range of topics and tasks.

4. Liberal arts graduates rank extremely high when it comes to earning an advanced degree.

26% of those with liberal arts degrees go on to attain a Master’s degree, which is 2% more than those with a science-related or pre-professional degree. Earning an advanced degree also increases earnings by around $20,000.

5. Companies like Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Apple want to hire you!

These companies rank as some of the highest when it comes to hiring students with liberal arts degrees. Never feel like your degree is inadequate for certain jobs, because you won’t know until you try.


Written By: Madison Rysdon

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