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Q: Jobs for Libert Arts Degrees ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Jobs for Libert Arts Degrees
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: wauger1979-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 04 Aug 2006 07:03 PDT
Expires: 03 Sep 2006 07:03 PDT
Question ID: 752529
I graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts specializing in
elementary education. For the past year I was working as a teacher in
a parochial school. I didnt really like the organization of the
headmaster and the pay was sub-par >$17k/year. I was thinking about
going back to school to become a midwife, but this means at least
another 2-3 years of college.

I would really like to go out and get a job that pays around
$25-30k/year, and I think that I should be able to do this as I
already have an undergrad degree. Of course, this degree is general
and is not within a specific trade. However I think that just having
the degree should speak towards my character and discipline of
learning and applying my knowledge at specific tasks.

My question is this; where can I go to find information about
potential jobs that I am qualified to perform with my existing
undergrad in liberal arts? I dont mind teaching or child care, but its
very difficult to find jobs these days that dont require a specific
training in a trade. I am in the Chicago area. Any help would be much
Subject: Re: Jobs for Libert Arts Degrees
Answered By: czh-ga on 05 Aug 2006 14:02 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello wauger1979-ga,

You have many options as a liberal arts major but you?ll have to work
harder selling yourself than someone with a business or technical
degree. If you want to change jobs and/or fields you should take the
time to do a thorough self-assessment so that you can determine what
direction you want to take.

You don?t explain why you chose education as your area of
specialization. If you like teaching there are lots more options than
working in a parochial school. You might be happier teaching in a
different environment. Parochial schools tend to have the lowest
salary scales. According to your prior questions, you were working as
a second grade teacher. Perhaps you would be happier teaching at a
different grade level. Schools are not the only institutions that
require teachers. You might explore teaching adults or using your
teaching skills in non-academic settings.

If you want to explore new fields beyond teaching there are lots of
resources on the web to help you explore what you can do with a
liberal arts degree. I?ve located several workbooks and guides
developed by schools for their liberal arts graduates. These should be
very helpful in completing your self-assessment.

Once you?ve identified your skills, values, interests and tentative
job and industry targets, you will have to develop an aggressive plan
to market your skills. You will have to be able to convince your
prospective employers why you can make a contribution to their
organizations. You will have to translate your liberal arts ?soft
skills? into marketable skills that they understand. The resources
I?ve gathered should help you do this.

Finally, I?ve also gathered some recent salary information to help you
benchmark your current pay and the pay you hope to get if you change

Wishing you well for your career.

~ czh ~

A Career Guide for Liberal Arts Students

Ten Ways to Market Your Liberal Arts Degree

Liberal Arts Job Search Guide


Popular Careers for Liberal Arts & Sciences Majors

Peterson's Liberal Arts Jobs: The Guide That Turns Learning into
Earning (Liberal Arts Jobs) (Paperback)
by Burton Nadler

Resource Guide For Liberal Arts Majors

The Riley Guide: Where to Search (Job Listings)
Arts & Humanities 

What Can I Do With a Liberal Arts Degree?
July 21, 2006

Are Liberal Arts Degrees Worth Anything?

The one thing that's pretty much certain is that right out of the
gate, a liberal arts grad will tend to pull a smaller starting salary
than his or her friends who majored in business or a technical field.
Here are the numbers for expected starting salaries for various
majors, as reported in the National Association of Colleges and
Employers Fall 2005 Salary Survey:

Liberal arts/general studies:               $32,457
English:                                    $32,237
History:                                    $31,727
Psychology:                                 $29,861

Pay Outlook Is Bright For Liberal-Arts Grads

Moreover, starting pay for liberal-arts grads can vary widely. In the
NACE survey, it ranged from $10,800 to $50,000.

What Can I do?
Identify Your Career Related Liberal Arts Skills"What Can I Do With A
Liberal Arts Degree?"

For so long the question was "What can I do with a liberal arts
degree?" While this question is still often asked of me, it's now
clear that liberal arts graduates are highly valued in the workplace.
Liberal arts majors are found in many types of organizations and
perform in many capacities, from management to marketing to performing
in the arts, whether for an audience or behind the scenes. With recent
information indicating that about 60 percent of the nation's CEOs have
a liberal arts degree, and with starting salaries for liberal arts
graduates higher than ever (up to $40,000, depending on the location),
it is finally understood that there are few limits to what a liberal
arts major can do.

Identify Your Career-Related Liberal Arts Skills

Liberal Arts students generally tend to find difficultly defining the
skills and experiences they have learned with their various Liberal
Arts degrees but also have great anxiety in the job search; narrowing
down ideas, documenting skills in a resume, let alone selling
themselves during an interview. Below is a list of skills developed
from your Liberal Arts majors (granted some majors focus more in one
area than others). Defining them and selling them is up to you but
this might provide a starting point in evaluating your strengths and
weaknesses. You might find great strength and enjoyment in one area,
and in another, a skill you can do but would rather not do if you had
the choice. This can help in recognizing your strengths and areas to
work on in the future. Identify your skills and utilize your
experiences to make them unique to you so you can demonstrate your
skills on a resume and sell yourself during the interview and the job
search process.

APRIL 26, 2006 
A Liberal Take on Hiring 

Companies increasingly prize liberal arts majors for their
communications skills. So how are they shaping up on the job?

Liberal Arts Grad Blog

About the trials and tribulations of being a Liberal Arts graduate in
the job market. Sound advice, amusing stories and information that
relate to young adults feeling their way around the job market for the
first time. Finding out the unwritten rules and pitfalls that come
with job-hunting, the first job, establishing a career, and growing
out of being a student.

Salary Information

Top Jobs for 2005-06 Graduates 
(by number of offers reported)* 
Teaching $31,328

Salary Information

What is the salary range for someone with your education and
experience? Salaries depend on the job and the location of the job.
The following links will help you investigate how your salary (or
salary offer) compares to others in your field.

Starting Salary Expectations

What you need to know is this: an offer of $30,000 will go farther in
Atlanta, Georgia than it will in Boston, Massachusetts. It will go
much farther in Akron, Ohio, than it does in San Francisco,
California. If you make $30,000 in Syracuse, New York, you'll need
less than that to maintain the same standard of living in Wichita,

The truth is, geographic location and cost-of-living play a big part
in determining how much salary you will be offered-and how much you
can afford to accept. Cost of living and salaries fluctuate among
metropolitan, suburban, and rural areas. The starting salary for a
sales job in a metropolitan area with a high cost-of-living will
probably be significantly higher than the salary for the same job in
an area with a low cost-of-living. Yet, the buying power of a salary
in these locations may be similar.

Below are starting salary ranges for selected disciplines. The ranges
are provided to give you a rough idea of salary potential for a
variety of majors, but keep in mind the factors that affect salary
offers?and remember your starting salary may be higher or lower than
the figures reported here. (see tables)

Humanities & Social Sciences   
Liberal Arts & Sciences                        27,000 - 40,000 
Psychology                                     24,000 - 35,000 
Sociology                                      25,000 - 37,000 

Source: NACE Salary Survey, Fall 2005 report. Data are starting salary
offers reported to NACE by colleges and universities nationwide.

Starting salaries for selected majors: a five-year comparison

Average starting salaries for bachelor's degree level graduates in
selected majors each academic year from 1999 to 2003

Lucrative degrees for college grads
Average starting salaries for class of '05 higher -- in some cases
notably -- than last year.
April 19, 2005:

Average starting salaries for the Class of 2005
Liberal Arts $30,337

Education & Government Salary Surveys

American Federation of Teachers -- AFT Salary Surveys

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2006-07 Edition

Teachers?Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary

Median annual earnings of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and
secondary school teachers ranged from $41,400 to $45,920 in May 2004;
the lowest 10 percent earned $26,730 to $31,180; the top 10 percent
earned $66,240 to $71,370. Median earnings for preschool teachers were

According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers
with a bachelor?s degree earned an average of $31,704 in the 2003?04
school year. The estimated average salary of all public elementary and
secondary school teachers in the 2003?04 school year was $46,597.
Private school teachers generally earn less than public school
teachers, but may be given other benefits, such as free or subsidized

2005 school report cards for all state schools

These websites contain information about local schools and educational
opportunities in the community and across the country.

Catholic Wages
June 2, 2000

In Chicago, for instance, teachers in Catholic schools sometimes make
just half what public school teachers earn.


starting salaries liberal arts OR education
career guide liberal arts
what can you do with major liberal arts OR education

Clarification of Answer by czh-ga on 24 Aug 2006 12:02 PDT
Hello wauger1979-ga,

I'm sorry that you seem dissatisfied with my answer. I would have been
happy to help further if you had asked for clarification. Please tell
me what information you were hoping to get that I didn't provide so I
can help you find what you're looking for.

~ czh ~
wauger1979-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Jobs for Libert Arts Degrees
From: darksly-ga on 05 Aug 2006 06:20 PDT
not knowing you I feel you have 2 options.

#1 Continue in the field of elementry education.  Most public school
systems will hire you with your Bachelors degree.  Choosing this
career path will requrie more education, but the school system you are
hired into should help you to achieve their education requirments for
teachers while you are in their employ.  With this decision you will
be working and going to school for the next 2-3 years.

#2  Leave elementry education for a job in the private sector.  Most
companies will hire entry level sales, administrative assistant, and
customer service employees who are recent college graduates.  While
this path does not necessarily require additional education, it will
require hard work and long hours to get ahead.  The good thing is that
if you are only looking for 25-30k a year to start there are a lot of
options for you; especially living in a Metropolitan area like

Good luck.


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