What jobs can you get for Women's Studies?
I have been doing some research on women's studies because it sounded interesting. And it says in this website that it leads you to nursing? Is that true?! Because I am passionate in helping people, also teaching youths. Right now I am indecisive in what career to take! So is Women's Studies degree worth it?! #health #studies #women
Joana, this topic is certainly one that is current and can open a lot of opportunities for you. There is a wide range of career paths that a major or minor in this area can lead, much of dependent on other interests you may have.
Possible career paths can be in social services, education, business, government, consulting on topical women issues or even as a stepping stone to a law degree. Most universities that offer the major will also suggest other departments or courses that your can take to assist in the career direction you want to go.
If you have a specific interest and have read of someone who has majored in this area, it's always a great idea to reach out to and they can give you some background on courses to take and other opportunities out there. Or give you tips on how to follow the path they took if it's the same as you hope to perceive.
Also helpful, if you have a particular university who offers the major in mind, is to reach out to set up a session with a professor or department head in that area. They can show you the course work offered, suggest associated minor degrees ( want to teach in this field, minor in education, etc.) and even let you know of internships or companies in the area they work with in that field.
Jared ChungCareerVillage.org Team
Jared’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team
Hi Joana. This is a really interesting question! You actually raised a few issues, so I'll separate out my responses here:
What can you do with a women's studies major?
Full disclosure: I did not major in women's studies. However, I can tell you that women's studies is a liberal arts major, which means that it will not have the kind of established career path trajectories that you might from a trade like architecture, marketing, or engineering. To some extent this is reflected in the distribution of what people who have majored in women's studies go on to do for their careers. For example, based on a sample of over 50,000 LinkedIn members who have majored in Women's Studies, the largest employment sector is education, followed by media / communications and healthcare services. Here's the detail on that:
<img alt="womenstudiesmajors" src="http://i.imgur.com/FysxCa8.png">
However, one word of caution for you is that this data alone doesn't tell you whether Women's Studies trains you to do anything or it trains you to do nothing. It's possible that employers in the education sector, the media / communications sector and the healthcare sector all seek out Women's Studies programs to find talent. It's also possible that none of them seek out Women's Studies programs so graduates go out to find the employers. Obviously the first option sounds more appealing than the second from the perspective of trying to get a job. I'll tell you that my guess (informed only by my experiences looking at employment trend data and based on watching my friends hit the job market) is that unless you plan to devote your professional career to issues that relate directly to Women's Studies, that you will not find as many employers looking to hire you as if you selected a more trade-oriented major.
Can a women's studies major lead to a career as a nurse?
This is totally possible. What's most important to becoming a nurse is that you go to nursing school, get all of your nursing certifications, and pick a geography where nurses are in high demand. Frankly, if you're not planning to get a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree, what you choose for your college major is somewhat less important, although it still might benefit you to take pre-med majors and courses including hard science courses. So while majoring in Women's Studies isn't necessarily the "best" path to becoming a nurse, it is a totally doable path if you do the other things you need to do.
Is a Women's Studies major worth it?
If your #1 focus is getting a job, you should consider a major that has a clearer career path. If, however, you're passionate about Women's Studies, or you care deeply about gender issues or social justice then there really aren't many better ways to explore those issues than by majoring in the subject. If your primary goal is to become a nurse, focus on getting yourself into nursing school.
How can I help people and teach youth?
Since you specifically mentioned these two things, I thought it might be a good idea to share two other ideas you might consider:
1. Become a teacher, for example by majoring in education or early childhood development or in the subject that you most want to teach.
2. Work in the youth development or social sector, by getting your Women's Studies or education degree and then applying to work at a nonprofit organization or government agency. CareerVillage.org, for example, is a nonprofit organization that focuses on youth development (how meta!)
Right now I am indecisive in what career to take!
Don't worry you aren't the only one!!! It's totally normal, and totally ok to be unsure. You're already doing the right thing by asking for advice. Keep on doing that! Get more information by continuing to ask for advice, doing an internship after school, volunteering on the weekends to be around nurses or other professionals you might want to be when you grow up, and ask your educators if your school has any programs that can give you "job shadowing" or "job site visit" opportunities. You'd be surprised -- if you do it for just a few weeks you might learn enough about careers (and about yourself) to come to a strong decision and feel confident and excited about your decision!!!
I don't recommend Women's Studies as a major unless you plan to teach, lecture, or otherwise be a subject matter expert and will try to make a living specializing in it. A minor could be useful depending on the jobs you find where it is relevant and valued by employers.
Please research federal and state labor statistics for people who hold Women's Studies degrees, nursing, etc. Also check out sites like glassdoor.com to see what jobs people with these degrees are searching for and which companies & industries are hiring graduates of those programs. You may find that an interdisciplinary degree in a subject like Women's Studies isn't your best bet for a job that pays well and has reasonable growth potential and predicted stability.
It's tempting and admirable to take the advice, "study what you're passionate about/work to make a difference." But you must be able to earn a living and be financially independent. I'm not saying that money buys happiness. I'm saying that the job market is tight and will remain so, education is expensive and time consuming, and it's best to be strategic with an end-goal in sight. If you're unsure of what you want to do at this point, keep talking to people, research online, and find out what sounds interesting. You can be successful at ANYTHING with the right mindset & discipline to master it, so don't ever think, "oh, that's something I couldn't do/couldn't figure out/wouldn't be good at.
Sometimes you have to work a few years and learn a new things about the world, people, and the job market to get an idea of where you fit. That's actually how it works for most people, regardless of whether they went to college or not. Also keep in mind that you can volunteer for the causes you're passionate about and interested in. There's always a way to dedicate your life to service but still earn a living for yourself & family.