A liberal arts degree can take you anywhere—a fact that is borne out in the results of a recent survey that examined how alumnae are using their Smith degrees.

The poll, which was sent to alumnae who graduated two, five, 10, 15 and 20 years ago, found tremendous diversity in career outcomes across majors. Alumnae who graduated with degrees in the natural sciences, history, humanities and the social sciences, for example, found professional success in fields ranging from agriculture to biotechnology to education.

In the face of national discussions about the relevance of the liberal arts today, the survey results underscore the real-world value of the academic depth and breadth of a Smith education.

“Smith provides an excellent foundation upon which an alumna can build a successful career in any industry,” said Stacie Hagenbaugh, director of Smith’s Lazarus Center for Career Development. “I know of so many alumnae who graduate with a degree in French, for example, who have gone on to work in engineering or medicine. Alumnae career paths by and large do not follow a linear path.”

Using the survey’s data, Smith’s Office of Institutional Research designed an interactive chart that illustrates in a compelling way the different paths alumnae took in their professional lives. By clicking around, one can see, for instance, the migration of science majors into the education field, or humanities majors into the financial services industry.

“It’s a perfect visual response to the question of whether a liberal arts degree will take you anywhere,” Hagenbaugh said. “It clearly shows that a degree from any of the divisions at Smith will lead to success in any field.”


Divisions on left, job fields on right. Click on a division or job field to see only its paths.