Asian Culture

The study of Asian culture may include topics in archaeology, history, language and religion, and might lead to a career in business or with a government agency or private organization. Keep reading to learn more about academic and career options associated with Asian culture.

Is Asian Culture for Me?

Career Overview

The interdisciplinary study of Asian culture can include the areas of China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia. You can expect courses in Asian history, religion, literature, linguistics and film. Proficiency in an Asian language such as Chinese, Hindi, Japanese or Vietnamese will be necessary. In addition, studying abroad in an Asian country is highly recommended. This would give you the opportunity to practice the language of your choice and immerse yourself in Asian culture and society.

Career Options and Salary

Graduates of Asian studies programs may find employment in many areas, including international relations, humanitarian aid, finance and business, or they may choose to further their studies in related areas. Any job that requires fluency in an Asian language is an option for students who have studied the languages of the region. Careers in law, business and education are also common pursuits for graduates of Asian culture programs.

According to the U.S. Bureau Statistics (BLS) in May 2013, financial analysts enjoyed an average annual wage of $91,620. During the same time, management analysts averaged $89,990, and lawyers earned average salaries of $131,990.

Language-proficient graduates of an Asian culture program may also find jobs in interpretation and translation, where opportunities for employment are expected to increase by 46%, or much faster than average, between 2012 and 2022, as reported by the BLS. In May 2013, interpreters and translators had average annual incomes of $47,920 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Asian Culture?

Undergraduate Programs

Most general Asian studies degree programs are offered at the bachelor's degree level. If you pursue a degree in Asian culture or studies, you might study Asian religions, language, politics and social conditions. You'll also learn about the ancient and modern civilizations and history of the Far East. As an Asian studies major, you might also decide to focus on the humanities and take courses in Japanese art, Buddhist philosophy or Asian music.

Graduate Programs

Master's and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Asian culture and studies are also available and might allow for a concentration in a specific region or religion. Some of these programs may be offed online. In-depth cultural and literary studies might include topics in Chinese cinema, Japanese aesthetics or Korean folklore. You'll also work under a graduate advisor while you complete your thesis or dissertation. Research areas may include Buddhist studies, East Asian linguistics or comparative studies. If you're enrolled in a Ph.D. program, be prepared to defend your dissertation.

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