Liberal-Arts Majors Have Plenty of Job Prospects, if They Have Some Specific Skills, Too

Excerpt from The Chronicle of Higher Education — June 2016

Liberal-arts graduates can improve their job prospects markedly by acquiring a small level of proficiency in one of eight specific skill sets, such as social media or data analysis. In most cases, those skills increase salary prospects markedly, as well…

Burning Glass routinely data-mines three and a half million job ads a day. For this analysis, it combed through the wording of a year’s worth of job ads for entry-level positions requiring a bachelor’s degree, and it found about 955,000. It then dug deeper to see how many more positions might be “unlocked” for recent graduates if they had one or more additional skills.

The company identified skills in eight fields, and then found an additional 863,000 entry-level jobs for graduates with skills in one or more of those fields. For example, the analysis found an additional 137,000 entry-level jobs for liberal-arts graduates who had data-analysis or management skills. It also found that such data-analysis jobs paid an average of $12,700 above the average salary for jobs traditionally open to liberal-arts graduates without such skills…