Tibetan Culture

Tibetan culture reflects a unique ethnic and religious group that comes from the area of China northeast of the Himalaya Mountains. Continue reading to learn more about degree options, course topics, careers and potential earnings for experts in Tibetan culture and language.

Is Study of Tibetan Culture for Me?

Overview of the Field

Tibetan culture is often examined as part of a larger program in Asian studies, which may be pursued from the bachelor's to the doctoral level. A major topic in Tibetan culture studies is the ongoing debate over whether this region of China should actually be a sovereign nation governed by the Dalai Lama, as well as the ethnic strife between the Tibet Autonomous Region and the People's Republic of China.

Within Asian studies programs, students who focus on the Tibetan region study art, history and religion, as well as the human rights issues associated with the area. The close connection between the Tibetan region and Buddhist culture is often an underlying theme in the curriculum. In arts courses, students study the literature of the region and the musical practices of Tibetan Buddhist monks. In modern Tibetan history courses, students learn about the Cultural Revolution overseen by the Chinese government in the 1960s, which destroyed many Buddhist temples.

Employment and Salary Information

Some graduates of Tibetan culture studies programs may find careers as policy advisers to firms or governments that work within this region; many pursue careers in academia and obtain positions as professors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for postsecondary teachers was expected to grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022, which is significantly faster than average. As of May 2013, the mean annual wage for college and university teachers of area, ethnic and cultural studies was $77,550 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Tibetan Culture?

Undergraduate Programs

A background in Tibetan studies is usually required to work as a liaison for businesses or agencies that have a relationship with the region As an undergraduate, you can concentrate on Tibetan culture through an East Asian studies program, where interdisciplinary courses can include coursework in anthropology, economics, philosophy and political science. You can also pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Tibetan Language, which would include courses in Tibetan history, culture and society.

Graduate Programs

Professors who specialize in Tibetan culture or language typically need an advanced degree in this field. In a master's or doctoral program, you can expect to study historical writings and modern Tibetan texts, the religious traditions of the area and Sino-Tibetan relations. A master's degree program usually includes instruction in the Tibetan language; a working knowledge of the language is usually required for a doctoral program. Advanced degree programs may also require competency in French or German. Master's and doctoral programs typically culminate in a thesis or dissertation in Tibetan culture or language.

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