Liberal Studies Career Pathways
A Liberal Studies undergraduate degree can set you on a path toward a variety of professions within the field of education, such as teacher, school administrator, reading specialist, librarian, information scientist, or instructional designer. Many other career options are available as well, particularly if you choose to pursue graduate studies after earning your undergraduate degree.
Pathways to Teaching
To become a teacher you need a California Preliminary Teaching Credential. A teaching credential is a state-issued license to teach in a public school. At SDSU there are 2 pathways to get your teaching credential!
The ITEP pathway typically takes four years and integrates the bachelor's and credential program so that you can complete your general education, major, and credential coursework, as well as student teaching within the four years it generally takes to earn a bachelor's degree.
The second pathway requires 5 years and involves earning a bachelor's degree (including general education and major coursework) and completing credential prerequisites; this generally takes 4 years. Then you must complete a credential program which includes credential coursework and student teaching; this can be completed in two to three semesters.
Other Career Pathways
Interested in completing a Liberal Studies degree but teaching isn’t your career goal? Or perhaps do you plan to teach for a time, but then expand your career goals in another direction later? Do not worry. Liberal Studies pathway will be a resource for you no matter your career path.
Some students want a career in education, but not as teachers. Others begin the Liberal Studies program planning to teach at the elementary school level and later realize they're better suited to other careers. A Liberal Studies undergraduate degree can set you on a path toward a variety of professional opportunities. The Liberal Studies major is an interdisciplinary degree that serves as a solid foundation both for graduate study and for other careers requiring knowledge of multiple disciplines.
In addition to teaching at the elementary and middle school levels, there are many ways you might use a degree in Liberal Studies to enter a career in education. The following are just a few examples:
Lead the way. School administrators must have an administrative services credential. They usually work in a classroom for about 5 years before moving into an administrative role. This career means you would lead an educational institution, forwarding student success initiatives.
School Counselors and Psychologists
Be an advocate for students. Counselors and psychologists are holistic educators; they support academic and emotional student development. Visit the Counseling and School Psychology website to learn more.
As a reading specialist, you will support students in their literacy efforts. Reading specialists usually work with individual students or in group settings. They supplement reading activities for students who find literacy challenging. Be part of the magic of literacy.
As schools adjust to using technology in the classroom, there is a need for specialists who know the technology well enough and are able to support teachers and students to use technology to facilitate meaningful learning either in the classroom or at home. This career option requires a graduate degree. San Diego State University offers a minor and a Masters degree in educational technology. Learn more about the Learning Design and Technology program.
Library and Information Science
Library and Information Science is a more updated and empowering label for a librarian. While many people may think that librarians are just the administrators who allow people to check out books from the library, in reality, librarians are stewards and curators of information whether it be in physical (e.g., books) or digital forms. Librarians are the influencers of information. There are numerous graduate programs that prepare people for this rewarding career.
Curriculum designers support teachers, schools, and districts in collecting and organizing materials for lessons. For more information, visit this website.
If none of these careers excite you, please make a visit to Career Services. In particular, contact Natalia Peddycoart who services students in the College of Education. She will give you a list of careers suitable for graduates from Liberal Studies.
An undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies gives you a solid academic foundation. Many Liberal Studies students who graduate with a bachelor's degree make the decision to continue on to graduate school and work towards a master's or doctoral degree.
Other Career Directions
Numerous other career directions are possible with the Liberal Studies background. Explore the possibilities!
- Advertising account executive
- Creative writer
- Customer service representative
- Grant writer
- Legislative assistant
- Management personnel
- Medical communications trainer
- Museum manager
- Non-profit organizational director
- Paraprofessional librarian
- Policy analyst
- Public relations personnel
- Social services human relations officer
- Training specialist
- Urban planner/city manager