From Shakespeare to Spreadsheets: How Liberal Arts Grads are Changing Finance

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The finance and accounting sectors are witnessing a noteworthy shift in hiring trends. The emerging talent shortage in finance and accounting talent is forcing companies to think outside the box when it comes to recruitment.

Finance and accounting, once the domain of STEM graduates, are now opening their doors to a new wave of talent-liberal arts graduates, particularly those with English backgrounds. This shift is not just a change in recruitment strategy but a recognition of the unique skill sets that these graduates bring to the table.

The Shift in Hiring Trends

As the business world becomes more complex and interconnected, the demand for diverse skill sets and perspectives has never been greater. Companies are beginning to appreciate that while technical skills are crucial, they are not the sole determinants of success in finance and accounting.

This paradigm shift is leading organizations to tap into a previously overlooked talent pool—liberal arts graduates.

Liberal arts graduates, especially those with degrees in English, are often equipped with a range of competencies that are becoming increasingly valuable in finance and accounting roles.

According to Robert Goldstein, COO of BlackRock, “We have more and more conviction that we need people who majored in history, in English and things that have nothing to do with finance or technology.” These attributes are precisely what liberal arts graduates excel in.

Valuable Skills Brought by Liberal Arts Graduates

Critical Thinking

One of the most valuable skills that liberal arts graduates possess is critical thinking. Their education emphasizes analyzing and interpreting complex texts, which translates well into the analytical demands of finance and accounting. These skills enable them to dissect financial reports, understand market trends, and make informed decisions.


Effective communication is another hallmark of liberal arts graduates. The ability to convey complex information clearly and persuasively is crucial in finance and accounting. English majors, in particular, have honed their ability to write and speak with precision, making them adept at crafting reports, presentations, and client communications.


Liberal arts education fosters a broad-based approach to problem-solving. Students are trained to think creatively and consider multiple perspectives. This holistic approach is invaluable in finance and accounting, where professionals must navigate intricate regulatory landscapes, anticipate market shifts, and develop innovative strategies.

Addressing Challenges and Misconceptions

Of course, with any new trend, there are bound to be challenges and misconceptions. Some companies might worry about the perceived lack of technical expertise in liberal arts graduates. However, it’s important to remember that ongoing training and development can effectively bridge this gap.

Ongoing Training and Development

Providing comprehensive training programs is essential to ensure that liberal arts graduates can thrive in finance and accounting roles. This includes offering courses in financial analysis, accounting principles, and industry-specific software.

By investing in their professional development, companies can bridge the gap in technical expertise and harness the full potential of these talented individuals. This reassurance should instil confidence in companies considering this shift in hiring trends.

Tips for Effective Recruitment and Onboarding

For companies looking to integrate liberal arts graduates into their finance and accounting teams, here are some practical tips:

  1. Emphasize Transferable Skills: When recruiting, focus on the transferable skills that liberal arts graduates bring, such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving.
  2. Offer Comprehensive Training: Provide robust training programs to equip new hires with the technical knowledge they need to succeed.
  3. Foster a Supportive Culture: Create an inclusive and supportive work environment that encourages continuous learning and collaboration.
  4. Highlight Career Pathways: Clearly outline potential career pathways within the company to demonstrate opportunities for growth and advancement.


As the finance and accounting sectors continue to struggle with talent shortages, considering liberal arts graduates represents a significant opportunity for companies to enhance their teams.

By leveraging these individuals’ unique skills and perspectives, organizations can drive innovation, improve decision-making, and foster a more dynamic and adaptable workforce. The inclusion of diverse perspectives can inspire and motivate teams, leading to a more vibrant and productive work environment.

In conclusion, the shift towards hiring liberal arts graduates benefits both companies and graduates. It allows businesses to tap into a diverse talent pool while providing liberal arts graduates with valuable career opportunities in finance and accounting.

This trend enhances the industry and opens up new avenues for personal growth and career advancement for liberal arts graduates. Embracing this trend will undoubtedly lead to a brighter future for all involved.

Ready to explore the potential of integrating liberal arts graduates into your finance team? Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your team’s diversity and innovation. Join the conversation and share your thoughts on this emerging trend.

Looking for finance and accounting talent? Oggi Talent can help! Contact us today to get started on filling out your team with talent that matches your company's needs and values.


Q: Will hiring liberal arts graduates be a challenge for companies?

A: While there may be initial challenges, providing ongoing training and creating a supportive work culture can help integrate liberal arts graduates successfully into finance and accounting roles.

Q: How can companies effectively recruit and onboard liberal arts graduates?

A: Companies should focus on transferable skills, offer comprehensive training programs, foster a supportive culture, and highlight career pathways to recruit and onboard liberal arts graduates effectively.  

Q: What are the benefits of hiring liberal arts graduates in finance and accounting roles?

A: Liberal arts graduates bring valuable skills such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving to finance and accounting teams. They also contribute to diversity and innovation within organizations. Integrating liberal arts graduates can lead to a more dynamic and adaptable workforce.  

Q: How are businesses responding to the trend of hiring liberal arts graduates in finance and accounting roles?

A: Industry experts and professionals recognize the benefits of hiring liberal arts graduates in finance and accounting roles, as it promotes diversity, innovation, and adaptability within organizations. Overall, there is a growing acceptance and appreciation for the unique skills that liberal arts graduates bring to these fields. So far, the response has been positive and encouraging.  

Q: How can companies ensure the success of liberal arts graduates in finance and accounting roles?

A: Companies should provide ongoing training, create a supportive work culture, and offer clear career pathways to help integrate liberal arts graduates into their finance and accounting teams. These individuals also bring valuable soft skills that can enhance team dynamics and decision-making processes.

With the proper support and opportunities for growth, liberal arts graduates can thrive and make significant contributions in finance and accounting roles. Overall, it is a mutually beneficial relationship for both companies and graduates.

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