A liberal arts degree has a bad reputation. An online accelerated liberal arts degree might sound even more useless.
But don’t be fooled, there is great value in getting a liberal arts degree. But you just have to know why you are getting your degree.
Sorry to break it to you, but there is no career listed as a “Liberal Artist”. You won’t find a job by searching “job opportunities in liberal arts.” A degree in liberal arts usually covers topics like fine arts, literature, history, political science, languages, philosophy, math and psychology. That’s an impressive list of subjects but not a clear list of marketable skills.
The skills you can earn by going after a degree in liberal arts could be:
- Strong speaking and writing abilities
- High comprehension
- Cultural awareness and diversity
- Analytical abilities
Now those are marketable and high demand skills. Forbes online states that “employers in every sort of industry are interested in people with [liberal arts] majors.” With a liberal arts degree you can continue on to become a
- Computer programmer
- Fashion designer
- Business owner
- Museum curator
- Sales Manager
- Graphic designer
- Social Media Manager
Forbes also lists Leidos, one of the biggest defense, intelligence and homeland security contractors in the States, as topping the list of companies who want to hire grads with liberal arts degrees.
A degree in liberal arts could take you far. But to do that you have to have a plan for where you want to go with it. Make a strategy for your success.
The first part of your strategy is to not to waste 4 years and $200,000 getting your liberal arts degree. You don’t have time for that! Your strategy for success has you hitting the marketplace WITH your liberal arts degree in less than 2 years.
You can get a fully accredited, nationally recognized, competitive liberal arts degree quicker than you think. And for ¼ of the price.
By being smart and making good use of these strategies.
Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs Overview
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that no matter what industry you are interested in you will need to be able to:
- solve problems
- write well
- speak well
- bring multiple perspectives to decision making
- be a good manager
- be cross culturally competent
That is the goal and foundation of a liberal arts degree. You develop a broad and diverse range of knowledge so you are prepared for any career you decide to pursue.
You are given the tools you need to succeed beyond just getting a job. You are prepared for life success through classes like:
- Business Communication
- Public Speaking
- Public Relations
- Graphics and Layout in Print Media
- Introduction to Journalism
- Social Media
- Editing for Media and Publication
- Writing for New Media
- Writing and Publishing
- World Civilizations
- Making History
Instead of focusing on technical skills that may be obsolete by the time you graduate you are learning to use new technologies while being forward thinking, innovative and creative. Your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world is the most important skill you will pick up in your liberal arts degree.
Careers with an Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree
What kind of career can you get after getting an accelerated liberal arts degree? Simple, whatever job you want!
But you can’t walk into a job interview thinking you will automatically get a job with a degree in liberal arts. To be successful with a liberal arts degree you will need to view your degree as a starting or launching point.
You need to add some pizazz your degree. Like cookies. You could try making plain gingerbread cookies but they won’t have much appeal. You add icing and decorations and everybody wants one! The cookie/degree is the foundation but the decorations/skills is what makes a good sale.
Decorate your degree with knowledge and skills in a specific field like marketing, sales, business, social media, graphic design, data analysis, computer programming, IT, communications, management, research and operations.
You can add these skills through extra business or technical classes, entrepreneurship, an internship or work experience. Even by pursuing a master’s degree in any number of fields. Make a plan to follow your liberal arts degree with any of these skills and you could be looking at a satisfying and lucrative career.
|Market Research Analysts||$62,560|
|Elementary School Teachers||$55,900|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$135,800|
|Writers and Authors||$61,240|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Your liberal arts degree can take you anywhere. It is up to you to decide where. A liberal arts degree is not a waste of time but you need to have a plan for what you do next.
What comes next is completely up to you!
Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
Are you ready to get started? Excited about the broad range of classes you could take? Can’t wait to dive into stretching your horizons?
There is no reason to wait. Almost every college and university that offers accelerated liberal arts degree will have new start dates each month.
You really could start your degree this month and be that much closer to being done. Show your innovative flexibility by refusing to wait for a typical September start date.
Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
A liberal arts degree provides a traditional foundation in courses like history, literature and philosophy. But that doesn’t mean that you have to get your degree in the traditional way. You can do almost anything online and that includes get a quality education.
Online classes tend to be offered in 2 formats, either an accelerated online class or a self-paced class.
An accelerated online class operates like a book club. You will get a start date, an end date and you have to keep pace with the group by reading the chapters for each week. But it would be accelerated, taking half the time a typical book club takes to get through a book. You still cover the same material, have the same great discussions, reach the same insights. Just faster. And you can work on your own time schedule, at home in your pajamas.
Self-paced classes are like doing a book study on your own. You choose which books (or courses) you are going to cover in a set amount of time and then you study like mad. You don’t keep pace with the rest of the group, you set your own pace.
Option 1: Accelerated Online Liberal Arts Classes
If you go to a typical university and register for an American Literature class, you will be looking at committing to a 16 week semester. About 4 months to finish each class. If you were taking a full time courseload, in 16 weeks you finish 5 classes. Not bad. But not fast.
Accelerated classes will allow you to complete the exact same classes but in 6-8 weeks. You get similar professors, class material, the same great mark on your transcript but in half the time. You can take a full courseload and in 8 weeks be done 5 classes. In the same 16 weeks you could complete 30 credits instead of the typical 15.
Yes. Same classes. Twice as fast. No commute.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Liberal Arts Classes
Sometimes even an accelerated class won’t go as fast as you need to. That’s where self-paced online classes are your answer. You can choose how many classes you complete in one semester.
Do you have drive and stubborn determination? You like to set a goal and focus on completing it ASAP. This could be your answer.
A school like Capella University allows you to register for a 12 week semester. You only pay a one time fee of $2300 for the semester. Then make a list of all the courses you are going to finish and get it done! With your focus and hard work you can finish 10 or more classes in 12 weeks.
Types of Accelerated Liberal Arts Degree Programs
A liberal arts degree has dozens of different concentrations you can choose from. Typically you will start with a Bachelor of Arts and then major in:
- Humanities (English Literature, Modern Languages, History, Philosophy)
- Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Finance, Psychology)
- Creative Arts (Fine Art, Theatre, Speech, Creative Writing)
- Sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science)
You could have a dozen liberal arts majors in a room and each could have a separate specialization. This makes your chosen path unique and valuable.
- Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts (Ashford University)
- Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts (University of Massachusetts)
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Liberal Arts Degree Even More
When you are looking at your liberal arts degree as a launching point for your next move, you don’t want to spend too much time or money on the first step.
4 years for a liberal arts degree? No thank you. How about thinking outside the box and planning for 18 months? You will still need 120 credits but how you get them matters.
Serious. There are 3 strategies that you can use to blast through your degree faster than those beautifully decorated gingerbread cookies disappear from the platter.
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
Forget what you think you know about getting credit for your degree. It doesn’t mean you have to take classes. You can register with the College Level Examination Program and just take the exam. In 90 minutes you can earn 3 college credits.
Most colleges will allow for up to 30 of your degree credits to be through credit by exam.
Even if the exam isn’t in your area of expertise, you can still buy a study guide, spend some time studying and then take the exam.
All you need is 50% to pass and earn the credit. Easiest way to get credit ever.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
What have you done before deciding to head back to school? That valuable life experience can count for credit towards your liberal arts degree.
You will usually find this listed as Credit for Prior Learning. Each university has a policy for how the process works. But the general idea is that you prepare a portfolio listing your training, credentials, experiences and letters of references. You submit this portfolio to your faculty member and you can earn 15 credits. A whole semester of credit!
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max courseload
Sometimes you need to use genius ideas to get credit quickly. Sometimes you need to just use your genius and work hard to get credit quickly. This is the hard work part.
You can take 2 typical 15 credit semesters a year. In 1 year you will have 30 credits. You end up with lots of free time for visiting the library and having philosophical discussions with your classmates. But it takes you 4 years to finish your degree.
The other option is to maximize your course load every semester. Max credit hours is 18 per semester. But there is a summer semester. In 1 year you can take 3 semesters of 18 credit hours and end up with 108 credits in 2 years.
Then you can relax and visit the library and have long philosophical discussions. And a job.
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Pre-existing college credit is golden for a liberal arts degree. No matter what college classes you took before it can probably fit into your new degree. Here’s the necessary checks to make sure your class is transferrable:
- You attended a college that was accredited
- You earned at least a C in the class
- You can find a spot for the class in your liberal arts degree
Even if there isn’t a perfect fit for your pre-existing class, you have the option of transferring the class as an elective. Any credit is good credit and saves you time and money!
Lower Tuition Costs
Tuition will quickly eat up your student loan or savings. It’s the biggest expense in post-secondary education. But you can make your degree cheaper without losing value or credibility.
By reducing the number of classes you take. A liberal arts degree will always require 120 credit hours. Williams College is listed as the highest ranking liberal arts college. With a price tag to match of $1783 per credit hour. That’s a lot of dollar meals at Macdonald’s! $5350 for 1 3 credit class.
Skip the value menu and instead try getting better value by taking a 3 credit exam through College Level Examination Program for $85. You can save $1300-5265 per class.
Cost Of Liberal Arts Degree
|Ways To Earn Credit||Number Of Credits||Total Cost|
|Attend Williams College||120||$214,000|
|Attend Pomona College||120||$213,792|
|Attend Colorado State University||120||$55,440|
|College Level Examination Program |
Credit for Prior Learning
Remaining classes at Colorado State University
You see those numbers? This is not made up! Go to each college website and check their tuition. Credit by Exam and Credit for Prior Learning will save you thousands no matter what college you attend.
Liberal Arts Degree Accreditation
You might think you can save even more money by getting a liberal arts degree from an unaccredited school. Don’t go that route. You could end up with a degree that is worthless. That saves you nothing!
Accreditation is a process that a college of university goes through to provide validity to their school. They may be accredited regionally or nationally. Some of the accrediting councils you could look for would be these:
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE)
If you like the prestige than you can go for a nationally accredited school, but even regional accreditation will give your degree the gold stamp of approval that employers and grad schools need to see.
An online accelerated liberal degree program can set you up for success. You got to play it smart. Join the ranks of Howard Schultz CEO of Starbucks and Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube. Both are proud liberal arts degree holders.
Tell that to the person who says “but what will you do with a degree in liberal arts?” Whatever you want. The degree is just the start to a future that is yours to choose.
But don’t waste 4 years and $200,000 when you don’t have to. Play smart. Take an online class. Try and see how many classes you can test out of. Submit a portfolio. Get the credit that is waiting for you.
Then get your liberal arts degree. Using this attitude of flexibility, adaptability and innovation your liberal arts degree can take you in whatever direction you set your mind to. Where is that going to be?