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What kinds of things will you learn when studying Women's Studies?
Women's Studies provides you with all the benefits of a liberal arts degree. A Liberal arts education emphasizes critical thinking, which can be applied to a multitude of careers. It demonstrates to a potential employer that you have the confidence, skills, and maturity to earn a college degree; that you are well-rounded, having studied a wide variety of topics rather than one narrow skills area; that you are more likely to think globally than many other job applicants. Managers often prefer liberal arts majors because they think they are better at organizing material, writing well, and making oral presentations. Moreover, a Women's Studies major equips you with significant additional advantages.
What specific skills can you gain with a Women's Studies Degree?
Larissa Semnuk, a Women's Studies graduate, explains: "The major prepares one to do anything any other liberal arts major does but with deeper insight into issues of oppression and celebration of women." Hopefully, this insight carries over into important issues of other groups -- making one more sensitive and therefore more prepared to do all things/jobs with greater attention to ethical standards. "A Women's Studies major is taught to look for the hidden -- like looking for the silenced voices of women in history. It's invaluable!" (Luebke and Reilly, 19). There are many practical on-the-job applications for Women's Studies training. For example, as more women work, businesses and corporations find the need for more sensitivity to women's issues such as sexual harassment, flex-time, parental leave, pay equity, and equal employment opportunities. The development of women's agencies and organizations is spurring demand for graduates with specializations in Women's Studies. There is growing demand in the professions of law, medicine, social work, teaching, counseling, and government service for expertise in gender issues. Similarly, women's studies specialists are increasingly being used as consultants in industry, higher education, insurance companies, and personnel firms. Perhaps most importantly, many Women's Studies graduates say that their education gave them the confidence to pursue careers traditionally held by men.
What are some of the fields of graduate study that Women's Studies Majors have pursued?
The fields of graduate study that Women's Studies majors have pursued include: administration, advocacy, anthropology, arts, counseling, education, history, humanities, international studies, law, library science, philosophy, psychology, public health, public policy, social work, and sociology.
What are some specific examples of occupations pursued by Women's Studies graduates?
A recent national study uncovered more than 38 distinct occupations pursued by WS graduates (Luebke and Reilly). Categories of careers include:
Women's Studies Graduates often find employment as counselors, therapists, social workers, attorneys, journalists, market analysts, political analysts, television producers, union organizers for women workers, and fundraisers for women's organizations. Graduate work in women's studies enhances opportunities for faculty positions in traditional disciplines or can provide an additional credential for students pursuing professions in law, education, or medicine.
Where can I find additional sources for justifying Women's Studies Scholarship?
Some helpful articles and books are cited below:
Boxer, Marilyn. 1998. "Thinking Anew About the World and Women" and "Knowledge for What" When Women Ask the Questions.
Bowles, Gloria. 1983. "Is Women's Studies an Academic Discipline?" Theories of Women's Studies.
Luebke, Barbara F. and Mary Ellen Reilly. Women's Studies Graduates: The First Generation. Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, 1995.
Also recommended is the report The Courage to Question: Women's Studies and Student Learning by Caryn McTighe Musil, American Association of Colleges and NWSA, 1992.