Liberal arts is a common college major, but it sounds majorly confusing to many people. It isn't very specific as most majors are, so plenty of incoming freshman choose to lean towards liberal arts when they are not sure which direction they want to take career-wise. Many feel it will be a stepping stone and eventually they will choose another, more "solid" major, but before leaving liberal arts behind, know that the major has its many pros and perks.
According to Monster, "A liberal arts degree makes you well-suited for several industries, including technology, marketing, and business operations. That's because your studies have taught you how to think critically, research thoroughly, and write well—all of which are skills any employer will value." In fact, as per Top Universities, "The Ancient Greeks considered a liberal arts education to be the ultimate mark of an educated person."
But what is liberal arts exactly? My College Guide Defines the major as, "an education that provides an overview of the arts, humanities (the study of the human condition), social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. A liberal arts education gives students an opportunity to explore a variety of academic disciplines rather than following a specific rubric of courses that train them for a career. One of the benefits of a liberal arts education is the chance to explore multiple areas of interest. You'll also acquire the skills you'll need for lifelong learning—like research writing and communication."
With a degree in liberal arts, "A variety of careers are available to you," as per Marymount University. "The career options are endless. Journalists, public relations specialists, writers, lawyers, politicians, communication experts, linguists, librarians, publishers, fundraisers, community health workers, marketing specialists, real estate agents – and so many more."
Along with nearly endless career possibilities, former Acting Dean of Arts, Richard Sigurdson of The University College of the Cariboo suggests, "A liberal arts education will enhance your knowledge and improve your understanding of the world and its people. Many say that knowledge leads to wise action, perhaps even to goodness. Thus, an Arts education may help you to perceive and to understand your shortcomings, allowing you to become a better citizen, friend, spouse, parent, human being."
With so much to be inspired by, educated about, and explore, liberal arts is exciting and full of prospects and possibilities. If you are considering choosing the major, check out Monster's listing of the 10 best jobs for liberal arts majors:
- Web Developer
- Software Developer
- Database Administrator
- Technical Writer
- Advertising or Marketing Manager
- Paralegal or Legal Assistant
- Archivist or curator
- Public Relations Specialist
- Human Resources Specialist
What other major has such a diverse set of job opportunities? Who would guess that a Software Developer graduated with the same major as a Paralegal? Goes to show how important and well-rounded the degree can be.
And the value doesn't stop here. In today's fast-paced world, "a liberal arts education can also prepare you for professions that might not yet exist," as pointed out by Huffington Post. Technology is moving rapidly, the economy is ever-changing, and new developments emerge regularly. The liberal arts graduate "can put their liberal arts education to use by questioning commonly held beliefs, even in the rigid fields of science, technology, engineering and math, (something) they might not have found if they had focused too narrowly on only one subject" as per Huffington Post.
As per WiseBread, "There are many great careers and opportunities out there that pay an excellent wage, and offer a fulfilling vocation." See the jobs they highlight, including Archaeologist, Economist, and Real Estate Broker with their respective average salaries as per Nov. '16.
So, if anyone questions what you'll ever do with your liberal arts degree, you can let them know the sky's the limit!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.