Liberal studies is among the easiest online master’s degrees you could earn. The real question is, how easy is it to find a job with this degree? Since you may not see a lot of job posts seeking candidates with a master’s degree in liberal studies specifically, you might mistakenly conclude that employers just don’t want candidates with this background. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Companies in many fields are looking for candidates who bring to the table the skills and perspectives that you develop while pursuing a liberal studies graduate degree.
The Jobs You Can Do With a Liberal Studies Degree
Graduates of master’s degree programs in liberal studies sometimes work as journalists, editors, policy analysts, educators, business development professionals and more. They work in fields as far apart as art and government functions. Some students of liberal studies programs are natural or social scientists, experts in the humanities, technological innovators or entrepreneurs. These professionals use the skills they gain pursuing a liberal studies degree to amplify their other sets of skills and knowledge that they acquire through their undergraduate studies or by pursuing a Ph.D. in their field.
What job can you do with a liberal studies graduate degree? Your options are virtually endless. However, you have to be creative to find them. A liberal studies degree isn’t vocational training that prepares you for a specific career or set of careers. As a result, you won’t find many job listings that specifically ask that candidates have this degree. In fact, some employers might not have even heard of this type of master’s degree – but that doesn’t mean their companies aren’t interested in graduates of liberal studies programs. These company leaders want workers with this background, but they just don’t know it yet.
The only jobs you can’t do with a liberal studies degree are jobs that require very specific degrees, such as doctor, lawyer, or licensed professional counselor. Even in these roles, it’s possible to combine a master’s in liberal studies degree with the required education.
What Having a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies Says About You as a Worker
The value of a master’s degree in liberal studies, then, isn’t in checking off a box that’s required for employment or certification in a specific discipline. Instead, this degree matters in what it says about who you are personally and professionally and in the skills you acquire while pursuing it.
Having a master’s degree in liberal arts shows that you value knowledge and intellectual advancement – not just for the sake of landing a job, but for your own personal and professional growth. Your willingness to invest in yourself shows that you go above and beyond and that you have the curiosity and ambition to explore new ideas.
In any field that requires continuing education or uses evolving technologies or practices – essentially, just about any academic discipline or career field out there – these characteristics are important. Companies today don’t want employees who merely follow orders. They want to work with exceptional workers who think of new and better ways to accomplish goals and grow the organization.
Earning a master’s degree in liberal studies also requires you to gain skills that, while general, are also essential in just about any field. Chief among these skills are critical thinking and communication. Although employers in many fields look for technical or specialized skills, it doesn’t matter how much talent you have in these areas if you don’t have basic competencies in critical thinking and communications.
The higher level you want to work at, whether in terms of management or of advanced practice or research, the more important these skills become. If you’re going to lead a team, manage a project or handle advanced work in any field, you must be able to understand all components of the work, from the big picture to the small details. You need to communicate with all collaborators, from your supervisors or clients to the junior-level workers you oversee.
Because a master’s degree in liberal studies isn’t tied to a job or technical skills, not all employers will recognize the value of this education at first glance. It’s your job to use those strong critical thinking and communication skills to market yourself and your background.