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10 Jobs You Can Get With a Liberal Arts Degree That Pay Big

By
Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose covers financial literacy for the educational arm of OppLoans. Her work focuses on providing hands-on resources for high school and college-age students in addition to their parents and educators.
Updated on March 18, 2021
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Is a liberal arts degree worth it? The short answer: Yes.

“Don’t get a liberal arts degree. You won’t make any money.” 

Does this message of caution sound familiar? You’ve likely heard it from a well-meaning counselor, parent, or friend because a liberal arts education suffers from a bad rap.

But is it true? Are liberal arts degrees worthless? 

Absolutely not.

In fact, the earning potential of liberal arts degree graduates is comparable to STEM graduates by mid-career. And asking if a liberal arts degree is “worth it” misses the point. Humanities and art students learn valuable skills while exposed to a broad range of subjects and topics. These skills are applicable in a variety of high-paying career paths — making the return on investment worth it.

So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: You can get a high-paying job with a liberal arts degree. Here are 10 careers that prove it.*

No. 1: Copywriter

Median early career pay: $49,826

Median mid-career pay: $58,872

Popular majors: English, creative writing, journalism, literature

Copywriters author materials to promote or sell a business, brand, product, or service. This may include writing copy for advertising, articles, press releases, or social media. Basically, copywriters are eloquent marketers — producing a well-written call to action.

No. 2: Executive assistant

Median early career pay: $49,164

Median mid-career pay: $55,914

Popular majors: English, literature, fine arts, philosophy

An executive assistant provides support to a company’s c-suite or high-level executive. Their essential duties include administrative tasks and office management. An executive assistant must be organized, flexible, and proactive to assist their manager in ensuring the day-to-day operations run smoothly.

No. 3: Fundraiser

Median early career pay: $45,868

Median mid-career pay: $58,085

Popular majors: drama and theater, journalism

A fundraiser is someone who plans and executes events to help raise money for a charity organization. Fundraisers must be persuasive, detail-oriented, and have a large professional network. Their success is a key factor in determining the future of an organization. For instance, nonprofits commonly rely on charitable donations in order to fund their program offerings.

No. 4: Human resources generalist

Median early career pay: $52,061

Median mid-career pay: $56,851

Popular majors: sociology, history, ethnic studies, gender studies

A human resource generalist runs the daily functions of the HR department. They create company policies, enforce practices, interview and hire employees, and administer pay and benefits. HR generalists also support the areas of a company that will attract top talent when hiring.

No. 5: Marketing specialist

Median early career pay: $49,739

Median mid-career pay: $55,828

Popular majors: English, journalism, literature

A marketing specialist assists and develops marketing campaigns — such as email or social media —  to attract new customers and increase sales. Additional job responsibilities may include managing a company website, social media accounts, content, data analytics, and external communications.

No. 6: News anchor

Median early career pay: $48,141

Median mid-career pay: $59,705

Popular majors: anthropology, film and video, history, journalism, fine arts

A news anchor presents the latest local, national, or international news and events to the public. They broadcast either on TV or the radio. News anchors are considered the face of the news and must have excellent communication skills.

No. 7: Public relations specialist

Median early career pay: $45,765

Median mid-career pay: $58,465

Popular majors: anthropology, international relations, political science, sociology

Public relations specialists focus on external communications to the public on behalf of a company or individual. Their role is to maintain a positive public image. Typically, they also write press releases, create public relations campaigns, and organize media events.

No. 8: Archaeologist

Median early career pay: $45,138

Median mid-career pay: $52,304

Popular majors: archaeology, anthropology, geology

Archaeologists study ancient and modern society through architecture, artifacts, and remains. Many are involved in fieldwork — which is the process of interpreting archaeological sites. Their findings advance our understanding of the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. 

No. 9: Training and development specialist

Median early career pay: $53,102

Median mid-career pay: $60,641

Popular majors: anthropology, psychology, sociology, ethnic studies, gender studies, literature

Training and development specialists plan and conduct training programs for employees. First, they assess the needs of a company. Then they design materials and resources in order to improve the skills or knowledge of employees.

No. 10: Web designer

Median early career pay: $47,882

Median mid-career pay: $55,282

Popular majors: fine arts

Web designers are responsible for the visual appearance and usability of websites. Not only do they design the layout, but they create the elements, write the code, and test the functionality of the components. A good web designer has creative and technical skills.

Bottom line

A liberal arts humanities education is just as valuable as a STEM degree. These degree holders achieve financial health and wellness thanks to high-paying career opportunities.

*Source: PayScale.com.

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