What can you do with an arts degree?

Photo by Brit Kovacs

What the hell do you do with an arts degree? It’s a fair question to ask and I’m sure all arts majors have pondered such an open-ended worry. 

There is a lot of worry and assumptions made by those graduating with an arts degree. Just about everyone and their mother assumes an English major’s one and only desire is to become a teacher.  

But believe it or not, we’re much freer than we may believe. Just because you’re a film or literature major doesn’t mean you’ll be studying Plath or watching Kubrick for the rest of your life. 

“Oh my goodness, you can do anything you want,” Korrie Belanger, career consultant at Laurier’s Career Centre said. “Because I’m going to come at you every time and say, ‘well, what do you want to do?’ Your arts degree is a very fantastic stepping stone.” 

The possibilities are endless. In reality, there’s nothing stopping you, academically speaking, from pursuing whatever you want. 

“Bachelor of arts is a checkbox to a lot of employers, and then your experience matters so much more. That’s what they’re going to hire you off of,” Belanger said. “Because employers are hiring people at the end of the day, not degrees, your degree is a credential. It is incredibly important, but it’s not your defining factor.” 

But what about med and law school, often considered two of the more prestigious programs for young, graduating students? Is it even plausible? 

“Med and law school are kind of the two programs that don’t care what your undergraduate degree is. So they’re looking at experience and grades. So experiential learning, I cannot emphasize enough, is incredibly important for your career development and your further [education] options.” 

It’s comforting to know all those late nights not studying are finally paying off. It’s quite enjoyable acquiring academic experience, at least more enjoyable than chemistry. 

“So, students that are nose deep into their books all the way through, that helps to an extent but at the end of the day, a lot of these programs are looking for experiential learning,” Belanger said. 

When asked about what limitations hang over arts majors and those graduating with arts degrees, Belanger had a comforting sentiment to share. 

“None, no limitations! I think the only limitation is yourself and your attitude.” 

The Career Centre is a terrific resource for students wondering about and questioning their career aspirations and goals. Reach and take advantage of the resources available to you. 

“You can do anything you want. Come to the Career Centre, we’ll help you we’ll talk it through we’ll figure it out. We’ll give you resources, we’ll point you in the right direction. We’ll talk about further [education], employment prep. Easy peasy.” 

So, worry not! There are countless opportunities and possibilities awaiting arts majors. Take a closer look into the career center and seek assistance in your academic success. 

I know I’ve worried plenty about what comes next. Med school, a law degree, living in my mother’s basement? Regardless, the Career Centre will always be there to help you out, reminding you that by no means is an arts degree ever considered “useless.” 

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