As more students attend university and competition in the job market increases, employers are recognising that graduates with broad skills and flexible approaches can be more valuable than disciplinary specialists. Students from a liberal arts background hone valuable skills that might be left underdeveloped in other degrees*, preparing them for resilience and adaptability in a volatile graduate labour market.
Our recent graduates have gone on to competitive graduate employment schemes, postgraduate programmes in business, engineering, and law, and a wide range of commercial and industrial settings. Current students are working in short-term and year-long placements around the world, from the civil service to the finance sector, creative industries, NGOs, in education, and beyond.
The Skills of a Liberal Arts Graduate
- Capacity for intellectual leadership
- Practical skills for generating original research
- Critically innovates across disciplinary boundaries
- Competence in designing bold and creative solutions
- Ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives
- Capacity for self-directed learning
- Aptitude in quantitative and qualitative data analysis
- Resourceful and adaptable in different situations
- Scientifically, culturally, and digitally literate
- Able to engage in complex ethical decision-making
- Active and engaged global citizen
Applying Your Skills
The breadth of focus and variety of skills acquired during your Liberal Arts degree at Warwick will give you the tools and knowledge necessary for you thrive in a wide variety of fields. Your wide pursuit of knowledge will prepare you to solve large-scale human problems by expanding your thinking, opening up remarkable opportunities that may not even exist yet*. Your Liberal Arts skillset will provide you with leadership and management skills designed to put you at the head of complex organizations.
Your capacity for intellectual leadership will equip you for areas of work such as teaching and social care, where you will be able to apply your creativity, academic knowledge, and communication skills in order to lead and instruct others, whilst also using your ability to adapt in different situations to face new and, at times, difficult challenges.
Through your modules and assessments, you will be taught to use quantitative and qualitative methods of research, preparing you for roles in academia, research-led policy-making, marketing, and entrepreneurship, where data analysis skills are highly desirable. You will be able to both understand the data in front of you and provide insight and analysis through your Liberal Arts skill set, including critical thinking, reading comprehension, logical analysis, argumentation, and clear communication.
Having the ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives will prove increasingly valuable within the technology sector, since the industry is based around being able to approach complex questions and technological challenges from multiple, critical perspectives. By doing so, you will help to balance the viewpoints of those with technical degrees, creating new solutions to the problems at hand. Such creativity can't be programmed, and it will be your contributions that will create the right balance between what Scott Hartley refers to as "the fuzzy and the techie", by humanising technology.
To find out more about Careers Destinations for Liberal Arts Graduates, read Dr. Sherah Wells' report below.
* "The Bracken Bower Prize", The Financial Times, 2016.