Spanish Culture

Read about undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Spanish culture. Explore some career possibilities for those with an education in this field, and review the job requirements for several positions.

Is Spanish Culture for Me?

An Overview of the Field

The study of Spanish culture often begins with learning the Spanish language. As you acquire the language, you'll begin focusing on additional studies of the philosophy, history, art, customs and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world, including the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and the United States. To concentrate specifically on culture, you can pursue a master's degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Spanish culture and a doctorate degree in Spanish, Latin American studies or comparative literature.

Career Options

If you earn a degree in this field, you can seek a career in education, journalism, government, tourism, international relations and business. Advanced degrees can offer career advancement and qualify you to teach at the college level.

As a journalist, your job duties would include researching and investigating stories, interviewing others and composing written accounts based on the information gathered. If you don't mind working in sometimes-hectic environments under the pressure of lingering deadlines, this might be a good way to further explore Spanish culture.

Another option is to work in business. Your work would vary based on the needs of your clients, but it is a way to work with an international firm and use your knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment among journalists was expected to decline by 14% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, reporters and correspondents earned a median annual wage of $35,600.

The BLS estimated that employment of management analysts would grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the national average of 11%. In May 2013, the median annual wage for these professionals was $79,870 (www.bls.gov).

The BLS predicted that postsecondary teachers' employment would grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Area, ethnic and cultural studies professors could expect job growth of 16% during that same period, and they earned a median annual wage of $66,770 in May 2013.

How Can I Work in Spanish Culture?

Undergraduate Education

If you want to succeed in this field, you must have a desire to become fluent in the language and interact with native-speaking people. Bachelor's degree programs often spend more time educating students in Spanish language than culture. Expect intensive courses in Spanish grammar, composition and pronunciation. Electives may be available in Spanish film, various genres of literature and Latino culture. Participating in study abroad programs and internships is encouraged. You could also minor or dual major in a field such as business to increase job prospects upon graduation.

Master's Programs

After earning your bachelor's degree, you can further your education with a master's degree in Spanish cultural studies. Classes often include workshops, seminars and lectures in various specialty topics regarding literary and cultural studies of Spain and Latin America. In addition, you can improve your command of the language through studies in applied linguistics.

Doctoral Programs

In order to earn a Ph.D. in this field, you may need to acquire a working knowledge of at least one foreign language other than Spanish. These programs may require that you broaden your understanding of Spanish and Hispanic culture through studies of multiple time periods, including the medieval, colonial and modern periods. You will choose a unique topic within the field that interests you and devote your efforts toward uncovering new information about that subject. You'll need to research, write and defend a dissertation that contributes to professional literature.

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