What is a Bachelor of Arts degree really worth in today’s world? And what types of jobs are available to those that earn them?
Because a degree in the liberal arts emphasizes thinking above all else, the successful recipient can – and should be able to – make an argument that careers are out there if the mind is properly engaged. The training may be perceived as generic but the soft skills of reflection and communication are in demand in almost every field.
The skills developed are often hard to quantify on paper, but a B.A. graduate can think critically and creatively, and organize information and materials with discipline. These are traits that open doors to a wide variety of occupations that are not directly related to the field of study. With a B.A. in tow, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that few opportunities will be off limits.
There is a direct correlation between the soft skills you will gain while working towards a B.A. and the types of industries that will be happy to hire you. Outside of occupations that require specific knowledge related to the hard sciences and specialized industries, the skills acquired over the course of a four-year B.A. degree are often considered more important than the actual subject matter that was studied.
From Bachelor of Arts to a career in communications
Bradley Moseley-Williams graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from York University. His original goal was law school but he ended up turning his B.A. into a long and lucrative career in communications.
“I decided that I wanted to try my hand as a writer. I first worked several – poorly paid – freelance jobs before spinning that into a job as a technical writer. In that role, I knocked out a few computer manuals as an employee of a company that made educational computers,” said Williams. “I ended up getting the chance to work in public relations once the internet became a popular tool for teachers.”
While sociology became a means to an end, he remains glad he learned about the discipline for its own sake. “What I liked about sociology was that it enabled me to ‘see’ that nothing happens by accident, and that things like religion, education, racism, the immigrant experience, etc., could be seen and understood. More than anything else it was very interesting and it gave me something to do while I grew up, eventually leading to owning my own PR consultancy firm,” he said.
Moseley-Williams now teaches his trade as the Public Relations program coordinator at Algonquin College.
Understandably, it can be difficult to figure out the direction of your life after school. Creativity alone might take you great places. Some careers and opportunities may require additional training or education, but a B.A. provides an exceptional foundation on which to build your dream. Don’t paint yourself into a corner by limiting the possibilities. They are almost endless. And if there’s one thing that earning a B.A. should teach you, it’s that thinkers are the only people who can literally make something of nothing.
Author Alex Scantlebury is the founder of EBM Professional Writing Services and a graduate of Algonquin College. Follow him on Twitter @ebmprowriting.