Albert Einstein once said, “The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”
Einstein’s quote illustrates the true value of liberal arts education. The coursework in liberal arts programs purposefully covers many subject areas, from mathematics to English literature, from geology to Classical studies, and more. The goal is to promote careful study and critical thinking. Students who pursue a traditional liberal arts education in a program such as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville‘s online Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Programs explore multiple viewpoints on diverse topics, including perspectives that can challenge their existing beliefs.
This exposure to different ways of thinking helps develop subject-area competence and the soft skills essential for success in today’s competitive employment landscape: self-awareness, empathy, critical thinking, adaptability, and communication.
A liberal arts education prepares you for any career because it teaches you how to learn. In UT’s flexible online degree completion program, you will engage with multiple points of view and gain the skills necessary to pursue several different careers. The first step you can take toward degree completion is making sure you meet the admissions requirements. Step two is applying to this online education program and then choosing an area of emphasis that supports your career goals. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville offers two concentration options: Public Policy and Administration or Cultures and Societies. Selecting the right one will involve learning as much as you can about each.
The Cultures and Societies Concentration
Both areas of emphasis in UT’s online degree completion program support many career trajectories because both teach critical skills essential across industries. The Cultures and Societies concentration further explores the history of various cultures in the context of how the practices of those cultures influenced people and our environment. The core coursework covers diverse perspectives and areas of study, including comparative studies, people and the environment, anthropology, economics, and more.
Online students pursue degree completion at their own pace and then graduate with polished writing and research skills and a more refined understanding of human beliefs, practices, and behaviors—strengths that are in demand in many industries.
Top 10 Careers For a Bachelor’s Degree With a Concentration in Cultures and Societies
The list below showcases just some of the jobs you can step into without further work experience or academic training beyond a bachelor’s degree in cultures and societies from UT.
Nonprofit organizations that rely on the generosity of donors to operate often hire fundraisers to solicit financial gifts, and UT’s Culture and Societies concentration can help you develop the communication and persuasion skills needed to excel in this role. Professional fundraisers earn about $52,000, according to PayScale. Most early-career fundraisers spend their days reaching out to potential donors and past supporters via phone and email. In some cases, they meet with donors in person to solicit funds. Professional fundraisers with more experience may participate in budgetary planning and growth strategy development or oversee one or more teams of entry-level fundraisers.
Human Resources Specialist
Organizations of a certain size—usually around 25 employees—typically benefit from having a full-time dedicated human resources specialist on staff. These professionals manage recruitment, hiring, onboarding, training, and terminations and earn about $65,000. They may also handle payroll distribution and benefits management. Additionally, human resources specialists are responsible for regulatory compliance oversight in some industries. To thrive in a human resources specialist position takes an analytical mind, a strong work ethic, a reliable moral compass, and good communication skills—all of which are part of the Culture and Societies curriculum.
Journalist or Writer
If you love writing, you can earn a living as a writer after developing your written communication and research skills in a bachelor’s degree completion program. Traditional journalism offers one career path, but breaking in can be challenging. There are more opportunities for writers today in digital marketing. Content has become a must-have marketing tool, which means employers across industries hire writers. Salaries vary widely in this field. Journalists earn about $43,000 per year, while a successful freelance business copywriter can earn more than $100,000 after building up a client base.
If you’re interested in pursuing a legal career, becoming a paralegal is a great way to see the profession up close. Paralegals are legal administrative assistants. They prepare documents, manage due diligence materials, file motions, and keep track of files. They also conduct research and routine discovery and usually earn close to $50,000. Success in the law hinges on research skills and deductive reasoning, both of which you’ll develop in the Culture and Societies concentration. They will serve you well whether you advance in a paralegal career or go on to attend law school.
Public Relations Specialist
Nearly all organizations engage in public relations because building a brand and maintaining a public image is critical to success, no matter the industry. Specialists in this field need communication and presentation skills plus a well-developed understanding of human behavior to put the best public face on the organizations and causes they represent. They do this by developing public relations campaigns and strategies, creating and sending out communications like press releases and emails, and cultivating relationships with those who can help spread their message. Most PR specialists earn about $63,000, though public relations officers at global firms and high-profile agencies earn more.
Undergraduate students do a lot of research in their studies, honing their investigative skills without even trying. You can translate research skills and written communication skills into a career in research for employers in many sectors. Financial firms, healthcare firms, marketing firms, law enforcement agencies, government agencies, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations all hire researchers to support operations and strategy. In this role, your responsibilities will include gathering, organizing, and presenting information to stakeholders. With a bachelor’s degree and some experience under your belt, you may earn close to $70,000.
Many people pursue a liberal arts education because they love learning. You can pass on your passion for education by becoming an elementary education or high school teacher. Going back to college for a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Programs with a concentration in Cultures & Societies can help you launch a teaching career, as most states require that teachers have bachelor’s degrees. From there, you can enter the profession through any one of many teacher training programs, such as Teach For America or teacher residencies, and start earning more than $60,000 annually.
Journalism and copywriting aren’t the only writing career pathways open to liberal arts graduates. If you can write well and are comfortable writing about computing, engineering, or science, you could become a technical writer. As a technical writer, you will write instruction manuals, specs sheets, journal articles, and guides covering a wide range of technological products and concepts. You may also earn more than your fellow writers in other fields. Technical writers earn about $75,000 because they have additional domain knowledge that lets them tackle difficult technological topics such as cybersecurity, information technology, mobile app programming, manufacturing, mechanical engineering, chemistry, construction, and more.
If the idea of teaching appeals to you, but you’d rather work with adults instead of younger people, you can become a trainer after pursuing degree completion online. Employers hire trainers to lead sessions on policies, processes, software, and legally mandated topics such as workplace harassment. This is an excellent job for outgoing people who enjoy some independence and like to travel, as many trainers go from site to site instead of having an office in one location. Corporate trainers earn about $57,000 per year, but your salary in this career may depend on how well you market yourself.
Perhaps you want to work with young people, but do not want to lead in a classroom. Religious institutions, community organizations, and social service programs hire youth directors to oversee programs for young participants. As a youth director, you may run events such as socials, retreats, and art exhibits. You might also manage sports leagues, organize events, and chaperone trips. Youth directors also lead classes, seminars, and discussion groups; supervise counselors, teachers, and chaperones; and raise money for their organizations. Be aware that joining this profession is often a labor of love. Youth directors often need degrees and training, but they earn about $44,000 in early- and mid-career roles. You can potentially earn more by mapping out a career trajectory that lets you become a program manager in a youth-focused agency or organization.
Why Pursue UT’s Online Degree Completion Program with a Concentration in Cultures and Societies?
The career-boosting benefits of earning a college degree are significant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor’s degree holders earn $1,305 weekly versus $938 for associate’s degree holders. An extra $367 may not seem like much, but consider that having a bachelor’s degree also improves your chances of staying employed—bachelor’s degree holders have much lower unemployment rates—and of getting promoted or landing a better job in the future. Additionally, bachelor’s degree holders are more likely to have health insurance funded by their employers and may even live longer.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville understands the value of a bachelor’s degree, so the part-time Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Programs is affordable. UT purposefully set tuition for in-state interdisciplinary studies students at $378 per credit hour, making the cost to complete a bachelor’s degree just $22,680. Out-of-state students who complete the university’s undergraduate degree completion program online pay $453 per college credit, which adds up to $27,180—far less than the average new car price in the U.S. And robust financial aid options and scholarships specifically for transfer students pursuing degree completion make it easier to invest in yourself.
Flexibility is another reason to choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Returning to college as a working adult is never easy, but pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Programs online does make online learning easier. You can finish this program and launch a new career in as little as two years on a schedule that works for you. Online courses are offered year-round, and new adult learners join the online bachelor’s degree completion program in the spring, summer, and fall semesters.
Most importantly, UT’s online degree completion program is customizable. You can choose from a wide variety of electives that align with your interests and career goals, including Bioethics, Early Greek Mythology, and Sexuality and Cinema. Every course, whether a core class or elective, develops skills that are useful in the modern workplace. If your goal is to build career-boosting skills while earning a credential that makes you more competitive across industries, the UT Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Programs with a concentration in Cultures & Societies may be precisely what you are looking for.
When you are ready to take a step in a new direction, it is easy to apply online.