Careers

enlarged photo of participants at the 2014 Women's Leadership Awards LuncheonWomen's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies graduates gain knowledge, self-awareness, intercultural competency, and breadth of perspective, which are valuable in their own right and which public service organizations, private industry, government, and graduate schools need. And the employment picture is bright: comparisons of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies graduates with female college graduates nationwide show an edge for WGS students in both traditional and non-traditional career fields. Recent graduates have gone on to law school, graduate school in many fields, public service and private sector careers, political leadership positions, and teaching in both K-12 and higher education. And the employment picture is bright: comparisons of women's studies program graduates with female college graduates nationwide show an edge for women's studies in both traditional and non-traditional career fields.

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Employers are eager to have the skills our students acquire. A recent (2013) Association of American Colleges and Universities survey of potential employers, It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success: Overview and Key Findings, that 93% of employers "a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate's] undergraduate major."

  • "More than 9 in 10 of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning."
  • "More than 75% of employers say they want more emphasis on 5 key areas including: critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings."
  • "80% of employers agree that, regardless of their major, all college students should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences."
  • "Employers consistently rank outcomes and practices that involve application of skills over acquisition of discrete bodies of knowledge. Employers also strongly endorse practices that require students to demonstrate both acquisition of knowledge and its application."

According to these data, the education provided by the WGS Program, with the strong emphasis we place on engaged learning, intercultural and civic awareness, and connecting theory with practice, is the wave of the future.

Masters and doctoral students who earn a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies may also gain an advantage in a highly competitive job market. In the worlds of business, public service, government, education, and fine arts, job candidates with knowledge of how gender and cultural difference function in their area of expertise may stand out in a crowded field. Perhaps even more important may be the intellecutally stimulating experience of thinking across and outside the disciplinary parameters of a specialized area of study. Sharing these inquiries with students from other fields creates a rich supplement to a discipline-centered degree program.