We believe you are worth more than you are being paid today. We don’t believe that turning you into engineers, programmers and bankers is the answer to closing the income gap between you and your better compensated peers. The good news is that your income is largely within YOUR control.
You already have the the critical thinking and communication skills which employers value and cannot teach to new hires. And most knowledge based jobs do not require math proficiency beyond 8th grade algebra (even the ones which use statistics).
So why the income disparity? One reason is that because liberal and performing arts majors can flex into SO many different career options, the sheer number of choices can paralyze even the most focused student. Like the proliferation of shampoos and toothpaste in the beauty aisle leaves most shoppers feeling dazed and confused, liberal arts grads can quickly get overwhelmed if they haven’t done a fair amount of work early in their college years to know themselves and streamline their potential career paths accordingly.
This confusion can lead to unfocused job search efforts and taking jobs that don’t make good use of your skills and education. Unfocused job searches may mean longer periods of unemployment or underemployment (taking low paying administrative or service industry jobs to fill the gap while trying to find more satisfying work).
Back in the late 1980s, a UVA grad with a psychology and Spanish double major could afford to job hop for a few years till she became clear about what she wanted and didn’t want to do. In a market where jobs are still tight, you need to have a better handle on what you want from the outset—and get it right (or close) the first time. The more homework you do early in college, the easier this will be. And recognizing the strengths you bring to the sorts of jobs that you are interested in will help you negotiate with confidence—so that the place you start is where you want to be, with people who see your true worth.
Arts / Psychology / Social Work