Highest In-Demand Jobs, Strategies for Leveraging a Liberal Arts Degree from Ripon College, and Ways to Prepare for an Interview Process

Mary Hatlen, Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, provides valuable information for graduating Seniors

As Ripon College students approach the conclusion of the spring semester, they are considering job opportunities for the summer, and many graduating seniors are searching for full-time positions. 

Career Center Director, Mary Hatlen poses for a headshot. Photo Courtesy of Mary Hatlen.

Mary Hatlen, the director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, provided an overview of today’s highest in-demand jobs, strategies for how to leverage a liberal arts degree from Ripon College, and ways to prepare for an interview process.

Hatlen said that fields related to modern science currently have the highest amount of in-demand jobs.

“Anything in health care is golden right now because we have such a high need for it, but also really high is data scientists or analysts, statisticians, of course, those are very high right now, which can be utilized in so many different areas,” she said. 

Hatlen said that Engineering and cybersecurity are two additional fields that are in high demand, and she described the current unemployment rate.

“The unemployment rate according to the BLS, which is the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, since Aug. 23 last year, it’s been holding pretty steady between 3.7% and 3.9%,” Hatlen said. 

The individuals that are surveyed are people who are actively seeking employment, and that are available to be employed.

“Your liberal arts degree, no matter the major, has taught you transferable skills that are important to employers and will serve you well throughout your lifetime. I cannot emphasize enough the value of a liberal arts degree,” she said, 

Referring to skills with proficiencies and competencies that can be transferred to a variety of jobs and a variety of industries, she said, “Examples of transferable skills that employers are looking for include effective oral and written communication skills.” 

 Hatlen said that teamwork, leadership, dependability, and organization are also crucial skills that students develop through their time at Ripon College.

“Adaptability and flexibility are really important with relation to critical thinking and problem solving because everything is constantly evolving,” she said.

She also explained that leadership roles in sororities, fraternities, or any club on campus, develop transferable leadership skills. 

Hatlen said that paying attention to details on a resume is a contributing factor to a successful application.

  “Whether it’s a job or an internship, interviewing is always about storytelling and getting to know you. No matter what your major is, you can emphasize and apply your transferable skills to any job in any industry. You just need to tell your story of how these skills apply to that particular job,” she said.

Hatlen said that it is important to demonstrate knowledge of the industry and the job that is being applied for. 

“The easiest way to get denied from a job is if you come to the interview unprepared,” she said.

Hatlen said that it is important to highlight the skill sets from a liberal arts major that are transferable by going over job descriptions, and

circling keywords that relate to any previously acquired skill sets. 

Visiting a company’s LinkedIn account, and communicating with individuals or alumni who work there will also give valuable information about an organization.

“Additionally, I suggest doing a Google search by typing in the company’s name and ‘press release’, which may provide additional information about the company, good or bad, that may not be on their website,” she said.

This information includes both positive and negative attributes about an organization.

“You want to know if this is a cultural fit for you, because you want to go into a company where you are going to feel supported. You want to have the resources needed to do the best job you possibly can,” she said.

“With the current unemployment rate, it is really important to leverage your liberal arts education, your transferable skills that you can apply to any position, storytelling about those transferable skills, and then researching that company in advance. Those are some ideas that I would want to think about as a senior ready to embark in the workforce,” Hatlen said.