Central Asian Culture

If you're drawn to the countries and people of Central Asia, a degree program that focuses upon this area of the world may be a good fit for you. Keep reading to learn more about career and education options, as well as salary potential, for Central Asian enthusiasts.

Is Central Asian Culture for Me?

Central Asia refers to the area from the Caspian Sea to central China, and from southern Russia to Afghanistan. If you're interested in studying this region, you'll find just a handful of educational programs. It's an interdisciplinary field that emphasizes languages, but also explores Central Asian politics, history, literature and culture.

Career Options

As a graduate of a Central Asian studies program, you may be qualified for a position in international law or international business with a private corporation, government agency or non-profit organization. You might also be interested in cultural exchange work or academia.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, postsecondary teachers of regional, ethnic and cultural studies earned a mean annual wage of $77,690. Attorneys and management analysts earned $130,880 and $88,070 respectively during the same time period. As of May 2012, the mean annual salary for an interpreter or translator was $53,410 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Central Asian Culture?

Undergraduate Degree Options

To prepare for a career involving Central Asian culture, you could begin by earning a Bachelor of Arts in Central Asian Studies. Core coursework typically includes instruction in the Russian, Uzbek, Kazak, Kirgiz and Uygur languages. You'll also study Central Asian history from ancient to modern times, and explore regional artwork, literature and music. More specific topics in Gypsy culture, Russian literature, geopolitics, religious beliefs and social mores may also be covered. To improve your job prospects, you may want to pursue a joint degree or minor in anthropology, history, linguistics, political science or religious studies.

Graduate Degree Options

A few universities in the U.S. offer graduate degrees in Central Asian studies. A Master of Arts program, for instance, may focus on regional politics, anthropology or Islam, while also providing you with instruction in a selection of Central Eurasian languages. If you love history, you might study the Russian language as you delve into studies of past Russian rulers of Central Asia. Economics and government may be required courses. After conducting independent research under the guidance of a faculty member, you'll also complete a thesis or dissertation.

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