You’re majoring in what?
How are you ever going to find a real job?
Oh—well, that sounds…interesting.
And my personal favorite: So can you teach me about women so I can find a date?
Unfortunately for the people falling into that latter category, matchmaker is not a skill I have learned in my experiences as a Women’s Studies major. Fortunately for me though, I have developed many skills that will easily lend themselves to many careers. As with so many other majors you can choose from at a liberal arts college, it’s sometimes less about the material you have learned and more about how you can transfer your skills to the job market.
So what exactly have I learned? Beyond being exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking about identity and social involvement, my education in Women’s Studies has taught me:
- How to engage in critical thinking and self-reflection
- How to see the other side of an argument, via perspective taking and empathy
- How to be a responsible member of society
- How to turn theory into practice in order to enact change
- How to be both a leader and a member in a group
- How to express myself personally, yet professionally, through writing
And this list only scratches the surface. But how, you may be asking, do these skills transfer to a career? Quite readily! Take a look at the following job description for a Grant Writer position I found using idealist.org; notice the cross-over between my skills and what they are looking for in a future employee—
Applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- College degree preferred;
- Excellent written communication skills with ability to communicate effectively;
- Must be able to gather, analyze, and synthesize information and prepare coherent and compelling materials in a timely manner;
- Experience using research tools;
- Strong administrative and organizational skills;
- Knowledge of diverse groups, experience working with a multicultural workforce and sensitivity and appreciation of cultural differences is required
- Understanding of the meaning of civil liberties and a commitment to supporting efforts to uphold them is essential.
Check, check, and check! And there’s a lot more where that came from. Armed with this knowledge that a Women’s Studies degree is preparing me for a wide variety of jobs, it simply comes down to being able to articulate your skills and illustrate them for your potential employers.
As it turns out, my major is a lot more useful than my critics tend to think!
Wondering what skills you have developed in your major? Check out the Career Center’s Career Guides to see just what you can do with your major. You just might be surprised with your options.