American Studies : Careers

Career Information and Further Study

American Studies seeks to understand the American experience as a whole and as a part of modern world history where one examines the diversity of cultures within the USA, as well as the country's relationship with other nations. We take a transnational and global approach to the Americas, examining local cultures, nations and regions within geopolitical contexts. Building on our traditional strengths in American Indian studies, critical race theory, feminism, class analysis and community engagement, American Studies encourages scholarly investigations into history, politics, visual cultures, literary and oral cultures, environmental and agricultural practices, religions, gender, sexualities, kinship systems, geography, economics, law and public policy. Theme areas of study at UB include Intercultural Studies, Native American Studies, Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, African American Studies and Women's Studies. American Studies graduates have pursued positions in diverse areas including admissions and employment counseling, community organizing, law, real estate, social program directing, teaching, curriculum designers, working in media, and the arts.

Skills gained in this program:
  • Interpreting policy
  • Directing individuals to resources that can assist them
  • Organizing community action, and collecting funds to support an action
  • Analyzing policymaking processes, behaviors, and power struggles
  • Dealing effectively with individuals or groups to obtain information, and using surveys and interview techniques for research
  • Using mathematical methods to analyze data
  • Writing clear and concise reports
  • Predicting the impact of change on quality of life
  • Supplying historical perspective with information on past experiences
  • Recommending measures to address social problems
  • Advising businesses/organizations on how to interact with bureaucratic systems
  • Predicting how groups will react to new institutions or social changes/pressures
  • Adapting approaches used in public relations, marketing, and politics to different populations
  • Applying knowledge of human relationships to social services, such as crisis intervention

What percentage of graduates goes on to find related employment?

Approximately 50%

Graduates pursue the following careers:
  • Administrator
  • Affirmative action work
  • Analyst
  • Archivist
  • Art critic
  • Art historian
  • Author
  • Community organization director
  • Consultant
  • Counselor
  • Ecologist
  • Editor
  • Educator
  • Human service worker
  • International affairs specialist
  • Journalist
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Legal advisor
  • Legal advocate
  • Librarian
  • Media worker
  • Politician
  • Project coordinator
  • Public relations specialist
  • Recruiter
  • Social worker
  • Travel industry worker
  • Urban planner

Work Settings include:
  • African American studies departments/programs
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Banks
  • Business
  • Colleges/universities
  • Community organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Government
  • Human services
  • Import/export firms
  • Indigenous studies
  • International agencies
  • Large hospitals
  • Law firms
  • Legislative offices
  • Public and private schools
  • Public interest organizations
  • Public relations
  • Publishers
  • Radio/TV/newspapers
  • Schools, K-12
  • Scouting organizations
  • Special libraries
  • Travel agencies
  • Unions
  • Urban renewal
  • Women's civic and political organizations
  • Women's studies departments/programs

Career Hints

Employers are seeking candidates with experience and those who have developed their skills from that experience. Internships, part-time employment, summer employment, and/or further education can enhance a graduate's employability in their chosen career area.

Salary Information

Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another. According to the October 2007 NACE national salary survey for bachelor's degree graduates, history graduates' salaries averaged $35,261.

What percentage of graduates goes on to graduate school?

Approximately 50%

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:10 EST