For those who are interested in social justice, social equality and the study of other cultures, a diversity studies degree may provide the key to an exciting and rewarding career in social work, business, law enforcement or education.
What Is A Diversity Studies Degree?
Most schools offer some form of certificate program or major in diversity studies, although the actual degree may be a bachelor’s in history, psychology or one of the social sciences. Students who specialize in diversity studies may take courses in education, social inequality, ethnic relations, gender issues, psychology and literature to meet the requirements of these courses.
Although there is little consensus on what constitutes a “good” diversity studies program, the focus of any program is to expose students to a wide variety of cultures and to examine how these cultures have affected and been affected by predominant cultures in the United States and other countries. Typical coursework might include a class on the history of the feminist movement, a study of the effect of technology on indigenous people, or a course on comparative religion.
What Type of Job Can I Get With a Diversity Studies Degree?
There are many options for employment with a diversity studies degree, including law enforcement, social work, education, business and health care. Each of these fields requires people with knowledge of diverse cultures and people, and many organizations are looking for employees who display knowledge of cultural interaction and how to accommodate for various cultural paradigms.
For example, in law enforcement, many police departments and court systems are looking for people who understand how culture impacts crime and victimology. Health care organizations are searching for employees who can discuss treatments with families while keeping in mind their particular cultural needs. Educational institutions always need people who understand how cultural norms affect the educational outcomes of children.
The specific type of job you get will depend on your academic background. If you take a diversity studies certificate in conjunction with a degree in social work, for example, you might be qualified for a job in any of the above fields. If your degree is nursing, you may be more likely to find a job in the healthcare field.
How Much Can I Make With a Diversity Studies Degree?
Earnings with a diversity studies degree will likely depend on the other coursework you took while you were in school. If you secured a degree only in diversity studies, your career options may be more limited; it is usually a good idea to declare a dual major in these cases with diversity studies as one major and the other in nursing, education, history, or social work.
Assuming that you secure a job in one of the major areas that hires diversity studies graduates, you can expect the following median annual salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Those who major only in diversity studies may also take a master’s degree in order to teach diversity studies in college. While there are not as many of these jobs as those in other fields, it is possible to secure a teaching position at a college with a master’s degree and earn a salary of $62,050 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Is the Job Outlook for Those With a Diversity Studies Degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers will enjoy a 17 percent job growth rate between 2010 and 2020; social workers will see a 25 percent job increase; law enforcement officers a seven percent job growth; and nurses 26 percent. Diversity has become an important focus in the workplace, and those who choose to study in this area are equipping themselves with tools that will give them an edge in the work marketplace where job hunting may be competitive.
If you have an interest in diversity studies, check into your school’s program and determine if you can add this concentration as a major, a minor, or a focus area to your course of study or even receive a full degree in the topic. It may provide you with good skills to land the job you really want.