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Career Information for a Degree in Cultural Studies

Cultural studies degree programs prepare students to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Students develop an understanding of the nature of culture and how it affects every aspect of people's lives. With a degree in cultural studies, one might be ready to work as an adult or remedial education teacher, cultural studies teacher or community outreach worker.

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Careers with a Cultural Studies Degree

Cultural Studies Instructors

Cultural studies teachers research and lecture about cultural practices, religion, language and history. They approach everyday culture with academic insight, seeking to understand culture and the multidisciplinary influences that shape it.

Cultural studies teachers focus primarily on issues such as race relations, gender studies and cross-cultural perspectives, conveying information through lectures, learning materials and assignments. Many cultural studies teachers work at the postsecondary level. For positions at community or technical colleges or for part-time university employment, a master's degree is generally required. Full-time employment at 4-year universities is usually granted to individuals with doctoral degrees.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in general, the job market for postsecondary teachers should be fairly good in the 2010-2020 period; the BLS projected a 17% increase in employment for all teachers at that level (www.bls.gov). Teachers in the disciplines of area, ethnic and cultural studies earned a median annual salary of $67,360 in 2012, according to the BLS's data.

Community Outreach Managers

Community outreach managers work for nonprofit, civic engagement or advocacy organizations, managing outreach efforts such as youth intervention programs, skill-building workshops or environmental awareness campaigns. They must have sound financial knowledge in order to manage the program budget and should be comfortable directing the work of others.

Many nonprofit organizations deal with members of disadvantaged and minority populations, often in urban areas. This makes the communications and cultural awareness skills learned in cultural studies programs good preparation for outreach work.

According to the BLS, this field was expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations in the period of 2010-2020. Managers for social outreach groups made a median annual salary of $59,970 in 2012, as indicated by the BLS.

Adult Literacy, Remedial Education and GED Teachers

Adult literacy and remedial education teachers instruct students in basic education, self-improvement courses and occupational training skills. These teachers help adults earn their high school diplomas or General Equivalency Diplomas (GED), or they may help new immigrants learn English. Adult education teachers coach students in the skills they need to begin or develop in their careers though lectures, assignments, demonstrations and laboratory work.

Nationally, the number of jobs for adult or remedial education teachers, including GED instructors, is expected to grow at a nearly-average rate from 2010-2020, at 15%. The median annual income for these workers was $41,270 in 2012, per the BLS.

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