Culture Studies

A culture studies program will train you to understand and work with people of diverse backgrounds. Read on to learn more about degree programs and job options in social services, museum work and education.

Are Culture Studies for Me?

Career Overview

Culture studies programs are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Programs in culture studies are designed to enhance your knowledge in a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, social services, education, community services and human rights advocacy. Potential careers are available in marketing, media, public policy and academia. If you decide to complete an undergraduate program in culture studies, you can continue your education with an advanced degree program in order to focus on a specific field. Another option is to go on to law or business school.

Employment

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers of area, ethnic and cultural studies earned a median annual wage of $67,360 in 2012 (www.bls.gov). That same year, lawyers earned a median annual wage of $113,530. If you choose to focus on a particular culture and language, then you may be able to pursue a career as an interpreter or translator. In 2012, the median annual wage for professionals in this discipline was $45,430. Many translators and interpreters work on a freelance basis.

How Can I Work in Culture Studies?

Education

If you choose to enroll in a culture studies degree program, you can expect to take classes in international culture studies, cross-cultural perspectives, diversity studies, mediation between cultures, religion and community studies. Additional coursework in social justice, politics, urban concerns, pedagogy and cultural research practices supplements the program. Some culture studies degree programs include the study of particular regional cultures, such as those of Mexico, Asia, Central America, Africa or the Middle East.

If you decide to major in culture studies, you'll be prepared for entry-level jobs in an array of fields, but continuing on to an advanced degree program to concentrate on a particular specialty will provide the best career prospects. If you choose to specialize in a particular area or culture, studying abroad is encouraged to gain a better understanding of that society.

If you enter a master's or doctoral degree program, you'll have a variety of focus areas to choose from, including multimedia technology and society, persuasion and politics, social processes and transcultural studies. You might also concentrate on gender and sexuality, the political economy and colonialism. Additional fields of study include science and technology, social institutions and visual media. You will need to choose an area of specialization to research intensively for your thesis or dissertation.

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