What Are You Going To Do With Your BA? 5 Phrases You Can Use At Dinner Parties


If you’re planning to go into law, business, engineering, or med school, chances are you’re getting praised for making a “smart” career decision.

Those of us who have chosen a degree with blurry career opportunities, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA), are most likely getting puzzled looks from relatives and their friends.

“So what can you do with that degree?”
“Are there enough jobs in that field?”
“Does it pay well?”
“If you knew it was hard getting a job with that major, then why did you choose it?”

“So what can you do with that degree?”
“Are there enough jobs in that field?”
“Does it pay well?”
“If you knew it was hard getting a job with that major, then why did you choose it?”

As a third-year BA student with a major in drama and a minor in film studies, I get asked one of these questions at least once a week.

The only people who say “Good for you! Awesome degree!” are people in theatre.

Maybe you have awesome answers to these questions, but if you have no clue or you’re just sick and tired of having to explain why you’re pursuing your passion, here are a few tips you can have under your sleeve for the next family reunion.

First of all, any type of education is valuable.

Think about it. We all go to college or university to get a better job than we would get with just a high school diploma. And this is applicable to any major. No matter how irrelevant your major may seem compared to the “real world,” you have spent four years learning about a specific discipline and there will be jobs where your knowledge will be needed and appreciated.

No matter what major you choose, all BA students learn the same basic skills, such as critical thinking, research methodologies, and effective and coherent writing. And these skills are valuable to any job out there.

Employers are looking for these skills all the time. Even if you majored in history and end up working at an oil company, you’ll still be valuable to employers because you have spent four years of your life developing these skills.

I love my degree. I’ve learned so much and I really feel that my passion can give me the drive to do whatever it takes.

I was hesitant in high school about going into drama because people kept telling me it was very financially unstable. But I once heard someone say, “If you love something, you will most likely be good at it. And if you’re good at it, you’ll be a desirable candidate for the job.”

I love my degree at the moment, but I’m still not sure what I’m doing after I graduate.

Although it is a good idea to think about your options when you graduate (whether it is to get a job or internship, or go to grad school), you shouldn’t dwell on it throughout your undergrad. University is the most intellectually stimulating place where you can meet amazing people and flourish as a person. Take it one day at a time!

If I think about the future too much, the more distracted I’ll be in the present. It’s hard for every university graduate to get a job now anyway.

This is a good one to say if you feel tired and if you don’t want to resort to the previous phrases. It’s pretty much a polite way of saying, “F*** off.”

The most important thing to remember is to not let people bring you down because of what you’re studying. We may not have the same prestige as medical students, but we’re just as smart and dedicated to our studies.

Just because we happen to prefer words over numbers, that doesn’t make us dumber. The key is to stay confident in your abilities and your talent in order to be a happy undergrad student. As a result, you’ll be confident in your degree and get the job you’ve always wanted.

About the author

Natalia Knowlton is currently in her third year at the University of Alberta completing a Bachelor of Arts in drama and film studies. She is an arts and entertainment writer for the official University of Alberta newspaper, The Gateway. She has also written for feminist blogs such as The FBomb and Viva La Feminista. Natalia’s main interests are theatre, writing, acting, films, feminism, travelling, and food.