Professional Skills

The liberal arts are designed to teach broadly transferable skills which can be applied to a wide range of careers, and which are in high demand among employers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, "when asked to assess candidate skills/qualities, employers rated verbal communication skills as the most important".

Some of the professional skills you can expect to gain as an Arts or Humanities major include:

communication, research, foreign language and cross-cultural knowledge, analytical thinking and problem-solving, creative out-of-the-box thinking, ability to make an effective and persuasive argument, ability to build strong relationships, flexibility

Pierce Vollucci, Rhetoric alumnus

“Rhetoric is great because you can go out there and you can present really well. I was a lecturer here at Cal for a little bit and it let me get up on stage and talk to a full group of students and I could think of: what is the best way to inspire, to educate, to inform these guys? And so every day I would work on my lecture and having my background in Rhetoric really helped me feel confident in what I was presenting."

Taleen Alexander, English alumna

"I’ve used the English major in every job I’ve had because the major teaches you: 'here’s some evidence for a thesis you might have, now try and support it'. You use arguments to back up your idea. You have to find the evidence and then argue your point. And that’s essentially what goes on in every job you'll ever have."

Sam Bleiberg, Comparative Literature alumnus

"Now I work in public relations for start-ups, and I also do some marketing and social media. From my Comparative Literature classes, I learned communication and writing skills which I’ve actually learned are in very high demand in the workplace right now. I also learned to pursue what I’m most interested in and that it’s okay and everything will work out."