Majors lead to skills; skills lead to your future.

Your liberal arts and science degree will teach you a wide array of transferrable skills, regardless of your major. Here are some of the specific ways that you can expect to gain career-relevant abilities in your major:  


  • Separating the threads of a complex argument
  • Getting inside an alien viewpoint and understanding its internal logic 
  • Accurately and sympathetically explaining views that you do not personally share
  • Translating between conflicting stakeholders
  • Moving forward in conditions of uncertainty or ambiguity

Social sciences:

  • Framing questions in ways that can lead to meaningful answers
  • Coping with conflicting information or interpretations
  • Turning raw facts into narrative
  • Recognizing the limits of quantifiable data
  • Having strategies for filling in gaps in one’s knowledge and getting beyond the limits of one’s individual experience

Quantitative sciences:

  • Identifying the crucial points in a mass of information
  • Dividing large and complicated problems into smaller solvable pieces
  • Making rational decisions using the limited data available
  • Isolating the quantitative information that will help to solve real-world problems
  • Knowing how to generate quantitative data from a variety of sources

Natural and physical sciences:

  • Documenting procedures (and understanding why they matter)
  • Adhering to the values of consistency and verifiability
  • Being able to show that a pattern you have observed holds even in cases where you have not observed it
  • Distinguishing details that matter from the ones that are insignificant
  • Simplifying complex information without distortion

As you develop these skills, it becomes important to "tell stories" about: (1) where you gained skills, (2) how you demonstrated them, and (3) how you would like to use them in the future.

Using these skills in the future is where your major connects to opportunities and careers. So, we stress that majors lead to skills, skills link to careers.

What skills do you want to use in the future? What issues, problems, or environments do you want to apply those skills to? Make a career coaching appointment with LAS Career Services for help thinking through these questions. 

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