Value of a Degree

Students from Arts and Sciences programs frequently graduate from university without knowing what their degree can do for them in the world of work. Understanding the value of your degree can help you:

  • Successfully market your skills to future employers
  • Determine what education and additional experience will enhance your career development

What are Your Options?

Good News

  • Arts and Science s graduates work in every sector of the economy
  • The skills you have developed can be applied in most careers
  • You have a lot of options to choose from – half of Canada’s 30,000 occupational titles do not require a specific degree!
  • Most workers can expect to pursue 5+ different careers in their lifetime


  • For most Arts and Science s students, your degree is not career-specific and the variety of possibilities can feel overwhelming
  • Many careers will require additional training, education, and/or experience

How do I Learn More about my Options?

The AA&CC has a wide range of resources available to help you explore your career options.

  • Career Cruising is a Canadian website that provides information about thousands of careers. Look in CLN (, under Resources
  • Discover Your Skills and Career Options workshop will help you generate realistic career options and get you started with your career planning (sign-up in CLN under Events and Workshops)
  • Extern Job Shadowing Program lets you explore a career by visiting with professionals in the workplace. Participants shadow their sponsor, observing daily work activities, touring a number of departments and meeting with staff to discuss the industry. For additional information visit
  • Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) can assist you in understanding your communication style, preferred work tasks and work environments. The MBTI Career Report can help you to understand how your personality type impacts career exploration. Note: there is a fee for this assessment.
  • Strong Interest Survey (SII) is used to help people match their interests with compatible occupational, educational and leisure activities. The SII can help you identify career options and further education relevant to your interests. Note: there is a fee for this assessment.
  • Networking Events provide you with an opportunity to learn about different careers, the current job market, and the transition from school to work, from a professional currently working in the field, often alumni.
  • Information Interviews can help you get advice from professionals in your field/industry of interest. See our Information Interviews tip sheet.

What Skills do Arts and Sciences Students Develop?

  • Analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Information literacy
  • Interpersonal
  • Oral communication
  • Organizational
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Teamwork
  • Time-management
  • Work independently
  • Writing

Other Skills Could Include:

  • Creativity
  • Data Analysis
  • Leadership
  • Statistical analysis
  • Techincal Skills

Want more help identiyfing your skills?

  • Attend the Discover your Skills and Career Options workshop. Sign-up on CLN under Events
  • Set-up an appointment with a career counsellor

Marketing Yourself

Resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn and interview skills are your key tools for marketing yourself to potential employers.

Sign up in CLN under Events and Workshops for our latest information, including the LinkedIn for Job Search and Making Connections: Networking Strategies workshop.

Also, be sure to attend the Interview Techniques to Land that Job workshop or book a one-one practice interview session with a Career Counsellor or Career Strategist.

Will My Degree Get Me a Job?

  • Companies hire people, not degrees, but your degree opens the door
  • No degree of any kind will guarantee you a job upon graduation
  • Employers are looking for well-rounded candidates – even Engineering and Computer Science grads are expected to balance their technical courses with a variety of extracurricular experiences and volunteer activities. So why should an Arts or Sciences graduate be any different?
  • You need to add experience of all kinds to your degree

How do I Add Experience to My Degree?

  • Get involved on-campus. Employers value the skills gained through extra - curricular activities of all kinds
  • Volunteer in the community. Volunteering can offer you the opportunity to gain skills while making a valuable contribution to society
  • The Work Study program can be a great way to gain valuable skills and paid experience on-campus
  • Find part-time and summer jobs (listed on the CLN Jobs board) related to your career of interest
  • Consider an internship that supplements your skills


  • Career Cruising -, click on Resources A Canadian website that provides information about thousands of careers
  • Academic Invest - This site likes to show students that their undergrad degrees are useful by introducing them to careers they can pursue based on their majors
  • Service Canada Job Bank - Select “Explore Careers” to research careers by occupation, education, outlook or skills and knowledge
  • JobBoom Top 100 sites for Education and Learning - This directory has compiled a collection of useful and free-to-use sites to help you make thoughtful and informed career decisions
  • O*Net Online - This site offers detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, human resource professionals, students, and researchers
  • Ontario Workinfonet OnWIN is dedicated to connecting the people of Ontario to quality information and resources in the areas of jobs, education, and training; occupations and careers; labour market information and outlook; self-employment; and more
  • Vault Career, click on Resources. provides in-depth intelligence on what it's really like to work in an industry, company , or profession—and how to position yourself to land that job

Please Note:
While every effort is made to avoid errors, information is subject to change. This tipsheet is intended as an informational document only.

Last update: September 2014