I Have a Liberal Arts Degree… Now What?

Courteney Olenzak
April 19, 2018

First of all, congratulations on graduating and earning your bachelor’s degree! That took a lot of hard work and dedication and it’s something you should be proud of.

I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again that Liberal Arts schools and degrees are great because they prepare you for a variety of different things, but you probably don’t feel like there are any entry-level jobs out there that speak specifically to what you studied or what you thought you would be doing after graduation. Well, guess what! High-growth technology companies are searching for people just like you to join their ever-growing inside sales teams!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck is inside sales and how can it possibly relate to my degree?” Just trust me, okay?

I’ll start by answering the first part of that question. Sales has changed drastically over the last several years and it’s no longer that stereotypical used car salesman kind of role (not that there's anything wrong with used car salesmen of course). Modern day sales is about building relationships, active listening and question asking, and finding and selling a solution that addresses a customer’s wants or needs. It’s about taking a consultative approach rather than forcing someone to buy your pitch. It requires a curious and creative person (and a little competitive edge never hurt anyone either).

This probably ties into your degree much more than you think. I’ll give you an example. I studied Theatre in college; a major you’d never see in a business school and one that is often met with the question “...and what are you going to do with that?”. Believe it or not, my Theatre degree has taught me so many useful and valuable sales skills. Actors have strict deadlines to hit (we can’t be reading off our scripts on opening night!), we have to compete against our friends and peers for roles, we have to work as a cohesive team to create a story that makes sense, and we have to be okay with speaking in front of people. Time management, practice, teamwork and public speaking are just a few skills that my liberal arts degree provided me with to help me in sales and in business, but it doesn’t end there.

The number of students graduating with liberal arts degrees continues to grow and for a good reason! Liberal Arts majors teach students to think outside the box.

My challenge to you is to do just that.

Focus not on what your specific degree was in (e.g. US History, Political Science, English Lit. etc.), but rather on the skills it taught you. Very few colleges offer a sales degree, so instead of immediately assuming you’re not a salesperson, take a step back and reflect for a minute. I guarantee you are a far better fit for a Business Development Representative position than you may have thought.

Still curious? Check out our buzzfeed quiz to see which business field might suit you.