CAREERS FOR LIBERAL ARTS GRADUATES | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:18 PM, December 12, 2017

CAREERS FOR LIBERAL ARTS GRADUATES

I am in my 3rd year of university and my major is English. Contrary to popular belief, I don't sit under a banyan tree talking about my feelings with my friends 24/7. While I would absolutely love to do so, liberal arts is a real field of study with real job opportunities, and it's about time people acknowledged it. One common misconception about liberal arts majors is that there are no jobs for them, unless they get an MBA or sit for BCS after completing undergrads. But there are jobs that you can do without having to change yourself for this ruthless capitalist world.

Education

It is actually quite easy to get work as a school or college teacher after studying liberal arts, but even if you want to work as a university teacher, it won't be difficult. Liberal arts subjects such as literature, linguistics, social sciences and fine arts programs have comparatively low credit-counts and these degrees can be acquired much faster if planned out right. A faster graduation means a faster entry into grad school. Bangladeshi liberal arts graduates get plenty of opportunities for PhD and masters research abroad. So if you're interested in teaching, there are many openings in private and public universities.

Advertising and marketing

Liberal arts majors' excellent communication skills are super useful in the field of advertising. If you opt to be an advertising manager or an advertising sales agent, any degree under the humanities wing is gold. You just need to be able to network, and understand the psyche of people you're targeting. Content and technical writing is very much on-demand at the moment, so if you've studied creative writing or languages, these would be great for you. Fine arts majors are excellent as packaging and product designers. Bangladeshi companies are gradually putting more and more importance on branding, so now is the time for creatives to shine in this field.  

Publications

Most people seem to think that studying language and literature is absolutely useless. But, there is actually a great career in publication for graduates of English or any other language. Companies such as Bengal Foundation regularly recruit editors and writers. If you want to work as a journalist or columnist, there are countless opportunities for you in newspapers and blogs. Apart from that, there are various outsourcing companies that are looking for degree holders of this sort.

Law and Special Forces

Surprising, yet true – the FBI constantly search for candidates with extensive knowledge on various cultures and languages, and also actively seek out individuals with a psychology or humanities degree. Individuals with expertise in linguistics and modern languages are also sought out as translators or cryptographers. And a law degree is possibly the most profitable liberal arts degree there is, as this is a high-paying sector where there is almost never a scarcity for vacancies.

Social and development sector

Various NGOs and non-profit organizations are not only run, but are very often founded by liberal arts degree holders. Due to their deep understanding of human psychology and social infrastructures, lib arts majors are the best at social work. Local NGOs such as BRAC and ASA regularly hire fresh graduates. Another great opportunity for students of development studies, women and gender studies, or any related field is UN jobs. The UN has operations worldwide, so you will have prospects of an international career.

Travel industry

This is the sector of pilots and air-hostesses, flight Attendants and travel agents. With only 2-3 years of training, any of these professions are great for lib arts majors with good people skills. These are some of the most lucrative jobs in the industry at the moment!

Entertainment

If you've always been interested in film-making, performance arts, or video editing, you should definitely consider it as a career, despite whatever bad impression your family may have of the entertainment industry. Here's a quote I read recently from one of our own film-makers, Bijon Imtiaz from Goopy Bagha Productions, just to add a pinch of inspiration to give this sector a shot, “I went to America to pursue engineering but dropped out and took admission at UCLA in filmmaking. As a kid, I used to suffer with rheumatic fever. Whenever I fell sick and had to stay in bed, my favourite pastime was to watch films. It was since then that a love for films seeped inside me. Here I am, sitting in NFDC Film Bazaar with my journey and creative blocks. My debut feature film is Kingdom of Clay Subjects, produced by ArifLaskar. It premiered at the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival and won the best Film Award at the 7th Chicago South Asian Film Festival.”

No matter what you've been told, you can have a great career with a liberal arts degree. Just keep your eyes and ears open for job openings and other freelance work opportunities.

 

Susmita studies at NSU and lives on tea and sweet toast.

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