Confessions of a Liberal Arts Major: "My Parents Wanted a Doctor"

dr-mccoyIn the original Star Trek television series, a running gag occurs between Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy in various episodes. Inevitably, McCoy would be asked his opinion about something outside his expertise.

He would become exasperated and proclaim, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer!" McCoy's line would vary according to the circumstances, but it was clear that he considered himself narrowly focused on his career as a doctor and nothing else.

Choosing liberal arts as a major or career is sort of like playing the role of Dr. McCoy, except in reverse. We say to our family, "I'm a graphic designer, not a doctor!" Or, you could fill in that last part with the liberal arts profession of your choice. Parents often beam when saying, "My son/daughter, the doctor!" But rarely do you hear, "My daughter, the graphic artist!"

design-toolsSelecting a profession in the liberal arts can be a steep hill to climb especially when your family wants you to take on a career that is considered more traditional such as medicine, law, business, or engineering.

However, those who work in design, graphics, media, print, and imaging are as professional in nature as any other career. These important professions provide the visual infrastructure for the entertainment, medical, legal, business, and media industries.

Graphic designers, fashion designers, graphic artists, photographers, web designers, and others in the liberal arts are the cornerstones for what people hear, see, wear, or read. We reach and influence everyone in some way.

So the next time you are asked why you decided to become an illustrator, interior decorator, animation artist, etc., you can say proudly, "I'm a (fill in the blank), not a doctor!"

Schools and Colleges offering design degrees:

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Web Design & Development
ECPI University , North Charleston

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

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Graphic Arts (AAS)

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Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

Computer Graphic Design - BA

Sullivan University is Kentucky's largest private college or university, offering higher education for people with higher goals. At Sullivan University, we focus on in-demand programs that lead to successful careers. Whether you're a high school student considering college for the first time, an adult returning to school or someone seeking professional development, you'll be surprised at the variety and range of alternatives Sullivan University offers. 

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Associate Degree-Computer Graphics and Design
  • Features a public spa where massage students can get real-world experience.
  • Honored by the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce as Business of the Century in 2013.
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  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Main campus is located in North Wales, Pennsylvania, with satellite campuses in Phoenixville and Warminster.
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