German Culture

German culture degree programs require you to learn the German language and study various topics related to the country. Read on to find out about the field in addition to possible jobs, available degrees and employment outlook.

Is German Culture for Me?

Career Overview

The study of German culture looks deeply into the traditions, language, literature, history and cinema of Germany. Programs in German studies exist at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels, with culture playing an important role in the curriculum. As a graduate of German culture, your career opportunities will be varied. With an undergraduate degree, you might use the language knowledge in career fields that require bilingual skills, such as interpretation, diplomacy or international business. If you attend law school, you can use a German culture background to pursue international law. With a graduate degree in German culture, you can seek a teaching position at the postsecondary level; you'll have a much better chance of obtaining a job in academia with a Ph.D.

Salary and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), roughly 20% of interpreters and translators are self-employed, and many choose to use their language skills for part-time employment (www.bls.gov). As seen in BLS data from May of 2013, these professionals earned a mean annual wage of $47,920. Lawyers earned a mean annual wage of $131,990 that same year. Postsecondary teachers can expect to spend at least seven years teaching before obtaining the career goal of tenure. In 2013, postsecondary teachers with a focus on area, ethnic and cultural studies received a mean annual wage of $77,550. The BLS projects employment growth of 46% for interpreters and translators between 2012 and 2022. Lawyers and postsecondary teachers should see an increase of 10% and 19%, respectively.

How Can I Work in German Culture?

Undergraduate Education

An undergraduate degree program in German studies often begins with the intensive study of the German language After you've obtained a working knowledge of the language, you may move on to courses that cover history and cultural surveys; the reunification of East and West Germany is a topic you're bound to cover in-depth. You'll also likely learn about important German figures, such as Marx and Nietzsche. Courses in political science, art history, women's studies and architecture may be offered. Studying abroad is highly recommended so that you may immerse yourself in German culture and perfect your German language skills.

Graduate Studies

Master's and doctoral level programs typically require you to be at or near fluency in German, with some doctoral programs also requiring college-level competency in a third or fourth language. At the graduate level, you'll most likely take an interdisciplinary approach, selecting courses from areas like comparative literature, media studies and gender studies to complement your particular interests. In addition, most doctorate degree programs will grant you the opportunity to focus on a specialized interest, such as Jewish studies, German theatre, German music or German philosophy. Some graduate programs also require you to take courses in teaching methods for foreign language. In order to earn a doctorate degree in German culture, you will be required to defend a dissertation that has been developed through individual research under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

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