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How Can You Apply Your Liberal Arts Degree to the Job Market?

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Summary: What can you do to market your political science and psychology degree in today’s market?


Question: I have a B.A. in political science with a psychology minor. I’m leaning away from graduate school and am unsure of how to apply my degree and/or obtain a decent paying job in a tight job market. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: As a political science/psychology grad myself, I remember well that feeling of vagueness about where I might fit in the wide world of jobs. To begin, recognize and document in your resume those wonderfully transferable skills that your education has provided and that will be valuable in a variety of settings. Critical thinking skills, understanding of motivational factors and group dynamics, and strength in interpersonal communications are all qualities of interest to potential employers in any number of fields.

Identify the type of employer and work environment that you’d like to target. If you’re interested in business, for example, your generalist skills may be applied to entry-level management trainee programs, customer service openings, research/marketing spots, or sales positions. If you’re looking for more of a direct link to political science or psychology, consider focusing on civil service exams for government positions or joining a social service/social advocacy organization.

To enhance your marketability in a tight market, highlight any experience you have from internships or previous work, and draw on alumni contacts to help get a foot in the door.

Persevere. Keep in mind that as a liberal arts graduate, your first job is likely to be the toughest to secure, probably will pay less than you’d like, but may well lead to opportunities for advancement down the road.

How Can You Apply Your Liberal Arts Degree to the Job Market? by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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