What can I do with a liberal arts degree?
That’s a common question students ask Bill Baldus, director of Metro State’s Career Center.
For those students concerned about the marketability of their major, he has a recommendation: go to the Career Ideas Festival on Friday, March 29. The event will be held in the Founders Hall auditorium from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Baldus booked keynote speaker George Anders to address those apprehensions.
Anders is a senior editor-at-large for LinkedIn, a popular professional networking site. He is the author of five books and an award-winning journalist. His team at the Wall Street Journal won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
He is coming to Metro State to discuss the lessons of his 2017 book, “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Education.”
“If you’re a long-term thinker, the case for college as one of life’s best investments remains strong, no matter what major you choose,” Anders writes in his book. “Over time, in fact, some liberal arts majors can take you further than even the seemingly hot ticket of a computer science degree.”
Baldus believes the event will debunk many myths and misperceptions about the value of a liberal arts education. Students will hear why employers gravitate to job candidates with broad-based bachelor’s degrees, he said.
Although the event is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Baldus thinks students in any major or college—from accounting to theater, from the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs to the College of Sciences—should attend.
“Everyone should embrace that they have a liberal arts degree,” he said.
Baldus was referring to the General Education and Liberal Studies (GELS) courses that are required of every undergraduate. These courses emphasize writing, speaking, problem-solving, critical thinking and curiosity. All skills that George Anders says are highly-sought by today’s employers.
In “You Can Do Anything,” Anders notes that career paths are not as rigid and predictable as they once were.
“The opportunities to improvise are greater,” he writes. “As much as we may think the boundaries of gainful work are well fixed, they aren’t. New types of jobs keep coming into existence in ways that catch us by surprise.”
“You Can Do Anything” gives tips for finding employment in this new job environment. Anders also describes tactics for securing pay raises and promotions at work.
Prior to the keynote speech, students can network at a reception with employers, faculty and staff.
An employer panel discussion will include Metro State graduates from the College of Liberal Arts. They will share how their education has shaped their career paths.
But back to the original question: What can I do with a liberal arts degree?
Baldus said students always want specific examples. But he contends there are thousands of answers, thousands of ways to make a living from a liberal arts education.
Too many students approach this question intellectually or by Googling, he said.
To find their future occupation (or occupations), Baldus said students need exposure. Through new experiences and meeting people, students will “find clues for what is next for them.” He recommends that students volunteer in the community and get out to events—like the Career Ideas Festival.
“[This is the] biggest event of the year where we try to add new thinking in career development,’ Baldus said of the festival. “Coming to events like this is a good habit for people.”
The first 100 people who register and attend the festival will receive a free copy of Anders’s book. The author will sign books at the close of the event.
Students can sign up for the Career Ideas Festival at metrostate.joinhandshake.com using their StarID and password. Faculty, staff and guests can register at eventbrite.com or bit.ly/2Tbs4Ru.
Metro State’s Career Center also organizes resume workshops and job fairs throughout the year. In April, it will host the 28th annual Law Enforcement Opportunities Career Fair at the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center (LECJEC) in Brooklyn Park.
For more information about any Career Center event or service, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who need disability-related accommodations, including parking, can contact the Center for Accessibility Resources at 651-793-1549 or email email@example.com.
George Anders is a senior editor-at-large for LinkedIn, a professional networking site with more than 500 million members.
He visits many campuses to talk to students about the transition from college to career. He has spoken at Harvard, Stanford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Central Florida.
Anders is the author of five books. His 2003 book “Perfect Enough: Carly Fiorina and the Reinvention of Hewlett Packard” was a New York Times bestseller.
His writing often tackles the topic of careers. His 2011 book “The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out” describes how employers can look beyond education and experience for high-potential candidates. His advice to hiring managers and recruiters? Look at job-seekers’ hobbies, awards and special projects too.
His most recent book is “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree.” The book discusses how liberal arts graduates can embrace their education and benefit from growing job opportunities in the tech sector. Although they may lack technical expertise, Anders uses case studies to illustrate how these liberal arts majors bring a “human touch” to any workplace.
Anders covered business, health care, and tech companies as a feature writer and investigative journalist. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Forbes, Bloomberg, and Harvard Business Review. In 1997, his Wall Street Journal team won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
He graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.