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African American Studies Degree?

What job could you really get with this degree? Also, what are some experiences in this class? Hate it? Love it? Let me know!#college-major #bachelors #humanities #african-american #studies

if you study anything closely related to ethnic studies still tell me about it. Thanks! Myla S.

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Justin’s Answer

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I think this is a great question. Its one I asked myself when I decided to change my major from Business to African American Studies as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. More importantly, as a professor working in a related field (American Studies) its one I get all the time from my students.

Regarding career paths, you can do almost anything with a degree in African American Studies (AAS). A degree in AAS will not only afford you the privilege of studying the histories, cultural productions, and experiences of African Americans, it will also equip you with a set of highly marketable critical thinking, reading and writing skills. Employers in just about any field will find those skills desirable. You'll also have a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the history and enduring influence of race in America than any of your colleagues. This is also a valuable and marketable trait, especially as many industries continue to struggle with diversifying their workforce.

Specifically, in addition to pursuing graduate degrees, my former students have gone on to work in business, teach K-12, attend medical school, write as journalists, to name just a few. In other words, they've done just about everything!

Majoring in African American Studies at UC Berkeley changed my life. I've never been in classroom environments that challenged me intellectually or motivated me to learn more than my AAS classes. AAS may or may not be the right major for you, but you don't need to figure that out just yet. If you haven't already, enroll in an AAS class that interests you and see what you think of the field and the major. From there you'll have a good idea of if its right for you. Just remember: you can do just about anything with an AAS degree.

Hope this helps.

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Bryant’s Answer

Hi Myla, thanks for the question!

My brother has a PhD in African American studies. He also earned a B.A. and Masters degree in African American studies. Hopefully he answers this question himself, but I can do my best to speak on his behalf!

In terms of Jobs, my brother is currently a Professor of American Studies at Long Beach State University. He teaches courses as well as does a TON of writing on the subject area. I think Academia is a very common career with an African American Studies degree, which includes variety of emphasis on teaching and writing/publishing. Apart from the American Studies department, he has also been able to teach courses in African American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and I think even Geography! Some of his courses that he gets to design include Race and Film, the 1970's, and "The Suburbs".

Hopefully this provides a little insight!

- Bryant