Careers

General Information

  • Africana and Latinx Studies provides an interdisciplinary background that helps students develop analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills while gaining knowledge about the lives and conditions of people from African descent in Africa, the United States, Latin America, and other communities. This understanding of multiculturalism is valued by employers in industries such as education, government, and business.
  • Africana and Latinx Studies combines interdisciplinary approaches such as humanities literature and social science analytic methods in the critique of social dominance norms.
  • Consider obtaining a double major or minor in another area to demonstrate specialized interests and increase your job prospects.
  • Some students may choose to study Africana and Latinx Studies because they enjoy the subject but wish to pursue careers requiring "any major." In this scenario, it is critical to develop skills relevant to targeted field through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences.
  • Study abroad to gain international experience.
  • Africana and Latinx Studies majors are excellent candidates for a number of graduate school options because of their broad liberal arts background as well as specific interests that may set them apart from other students. For those wishing to pursue graduate education, maintain a high GPA, establish relationships with faculty to secure strong recommendations, and gain experience through volunteer, work, or research opportunities. Research areas of interest for specific program requirements.
  • Find opportunities to get involved in campus organizations and activities related to multiculturalism and diversity. Seek leadership roles on programming boards or join minority mentoring programs.

What can I do with this major? - Education

Areas

Teaching
Research
Student support services Student affairs
Multicultural programming Administration
Information/Library Science

Employers

Universities and colleges
Campus cultural centers
Support programs (e.g., Educational Advancement Program, Upward Bound)
School and community libraries
Community organizations

Strategies

Earn a doctorate degree for teaching and research at four-year institutions.
Obtain a master's degree for positions in student affairs administration or library/information science.
Seek leadership roles on campus such as Peer Mentor, Resident Advisor, or Orientation Leader.
Join related professional associations as a student member.
Get involved with multicultural programming boards.
Volunteer to assist a professor with research or take an independent study class.
Develop strong communication and public speaking skills.
Secure strong recommendations from faculty and maintain a high GPA to gain admittance to graduate school.


What can I do with this major? - Human Services

Areas

Counseling/Therapy
Mental health services
Case management
Rehabilitation
Vocational training
Crisis services
Programming
Community relations and outreach

Employers

Mental health institutions
Hospitals and clinics
Residential treatment facilities
Private and group practice
Correctional institutions
Federal, state, or local government:
Department of Human Services
Veterans Administration
Organizations that aid minorities, immigrants, and
refugees or focus on cultural issues
Youth organizations and camps (e.g., YMCA,
Boys and Girls Club)
Nonprofit and social services organizations (e.g., United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill
Industries, Salvation Army, etc.)
Immigrant and refugee service providers

Strategies

Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology,
social work, or child and family studies. Consider a double major or minor.
Obtain a graduate degree in psychology, counseling,
or social work to provide therapy.
Gain experience through volunteer opportunities, internships, and/or part-time jobs.
Develop multi­cultural competence.
Volunteer with organizations that assist people of diverse backgrounds, such as ones providing services to refugees and immigrants.
Participate in training opportunities (e.g., suicide prevention or crisis hotline response)
Learn to work well with different types of people and gain experience working with diverse clientele.
Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need


What can I do with this major? - Advocacy

Areas

Domestic/International advocacy
Humanitarian services
Development: Economic, Community, Housing
Disaster/Disease relief
HIV/AIDS advocacy
Policy development
Program administration
Education
Volunteer coordination
Grant writing
Research
Fundraising/Development

Employers

Organizations committed to racial and civil rights, (e.g., National Association of the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP), National Action Network, 100 Black Men)
Community action agencies
Nonprofit organizations (e.g., National Black Business Council)
Private voluntary organizations
Faith based organizations (FBOs) and churches International aid and relief organizations
NGO's (Non-governmental Organizations) (e.g., Action Aid, Oxfam, International Red Cross)
Federal government agencies with an international focus (e.g., Peace Corps, USAID, and the Foreign Service, State Department) or focus on community assistance (e.g., Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health and Human Services)
State and local government agencies

Strategies

Volunteer at relevant local social service agencies to gain experience and demonstrate interest.
Participate in campus "alternative break" trips or church-led mission trips to places such as the Caribbean, South America, or Africa.
Develop excellent research, writing, communica­tion, and organizational skills. Learn how to motivate individuals and groups.
Gain leadership roles in campus organizations (e.g., the NAACP.
Learn a language spoken in Africa (e.g., Swahili or Zulu).
Plan to study abroad or volunteer in Africa.
Seek cultural experiences on campus and get in­volved with the international student population.
Earn a relevant graduate degree to prepare for this work.
More opportunities exist in urban areas and large communities.


What can I do with this major? - Business and Industry

Areas

Training and development Human resources
Equity and diversity functions Management
Sales
Customer service
Marketing
Advertising
Public relations
Consulting

Employers

Public and private corporations in various industries:
Banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, retail stores, hotels and restaurants, consumer goods manufacturers, and businesses targeting black clientele
Staffing agencies
Consulting firms
Marketing companies
Public relations agencies

Strategies

Double major or minor in business.
Gain business experience through internships and/or part-time jobs.
Join campus organizations or professional societies and seek leadership roles.
Understand the top skills employers desire and be prepared to demonstrate them, such as commu­nication (oral and written), computer, interper­sonal, leadership, and teamwork.
Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn more about career fields.
When job searching, seek employers interested in hiring "any major."
Learn how to sell your Africana Studies major to companies that value cultural diversity.
Be willing to start in a management-trainee program or other entry-level positions.
Earn an MBA or a graduate degree in another area of interest for greater opportunities.


What can I do with this major? - Communication/Writing

Areas

Journalism
Writing:
Creative
Freelance
Editing
Publishing
Museum work:
Curatorship
Exhibition design

Employers

Newspapers, magazines, websites
Broadcast media companies including television, movie, and radio
Trade, professional, or consumer publications
Publications and Internet sites marketed toward African Americans (e.g., Ebony, Essence)
Advertising agencies
Publishing houses
Large corporations
Self-employment/Freelance
Museums and galleries

Strategies

Take courses in English, journalism, and/or commu­nications. Consider a double major or minor.
Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or department/program newsletters.
Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
Intern with a publishing house, magazine, or other relevant organizations.
Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions.
Create a portfolio of writing samples.
Become familiar with the proposal and submission process involved in freelance writing.
Obtain a graduate degree for museum work.


What can I do with this major? - Law and Politics

Areas

Law: Corporate, Public interest, Civil, International
Lobbying
Government relations
Elected or appointed leadership Public Policy
Research
Intelligence
Campaign management Special interest advocacy Immigration services
Program administration

Employers

Law firms
Corporate legal departments
Public defender offices
District attorneys
Public interest groups (e.g., Southern Poverty Law Center)
Legal aid
Sole practitioner
Government agencies (e.g., US African Development Agency)
Lobbying groups

Strategies

Obtain a J.D. for law positions or an advanced degree in political science, public administration, or public policy for government positions. Supplement curriculum with relevant courses to prepare for law school.
Consider a double major or minor in areas such as economics, political science, or history.
Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations.
Prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
Participate in activities that develop strong debate and public speaking skills such as mock trial.
Get involved with the pre-law society on campus.
Gain relevant experience through jobs or internships with law firms, government agencies, or mediation centers.
Consider studying abroad for international experience.

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