The skills you get with a liberal arts education transfer well to business: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy, foreign language proficiency and creativity. Marketing, advertising, public relations, management and human resources are all career paths that liberal arts graduates can pursue.
Liberal arts graduates who now work at Pace say they feel their educations have given them a useful perspective for their work in a full-service marketing agency.
“The liberal arts grounds you in a large range of subjects and gives you a broad perspective,” said Gordon Bass, vice president and creative director. “I use storytelling every day in my job.
In my lit and screenwriting classes, I learned how to create a narrative arc, which you need to make a connection with your audience.”
Josh Barrer, a senior editor, agrees that storytelling is an important marketing skill. “People respond to storytelling on an emotional level, which primes them for other messages such as … about a product or how they can do better at their jobs,” he said.
Any full-service marketing agency requires a variety of disciplines to be successful, including writing and editing, art and design, filmmaking, account and project management and analytics. Collaboration is essential, both between these disciplines and between creative team members.
“The multimedia nature of digital marketing and the high degree of collaboration involved in its creation and success make it a field that feeds on soft skills and multiple disciplines,” said Mario Passera, a senior editor.
Despite their many marketable skills, recent liberal arts graduates may find it challenging to get that first job in a field that makes full use of their talents.
Naomi Spicer, an associate editor and a 2016 graduate from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, advises current liberal arts majors to hedge their bets. “Definitely pursue your passion,” she said. “Do what you love but also take on the skills that will help you get a paying job. Step outside your comfort zone and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.”