Career Opportunities

What Can I Do with a Women’s Studies Degree?

Like other liberal arts degrees, a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will give you skills that are attractive to employers in a wide variety of fields:

  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Confident oral presentation skills
  • Effective writing skills
  • Strong research skills

In addition, a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will give you a unique set of skills. A study of Women’s Studies graduates (Luebke and Reilly 1995) found that WS graduates gained the following from their degrees:

  • Empowerment and self-confidence
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Community-building skills
  • Ability to understand differences between and intersections among racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, ableism, anti-Semitism and other types of oppression

A degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can prepare you for a wide variety of graduate or professional programs, including law school, medical school, MA programs, and Ph.D. programs.

In addition, a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can prepare you for employment in a wide variety of fields, including business, education, politics, social services, and media and the arts. In the same study (Luebke and Reilly 1995), the researchers found that Women’s Studies graduates held a wide variety of specific positions, including:

* University professor * Elementary or high school teacher * Physician * Legislator * Journalist * Lawyer * Artist * Musician * Actor * Health clinic coordinator * Small-business owner * Clinical social worker * Medical administrator * Nurse, Nurse-midwife * Legislative aide, lobbyist * Public relations manager * Advocate for domestic violence survivors * Librarian * Television writer * Psychotherapist * Energy conservation manager * Film-casting director * HIV educator * Union organizer * Novelist * Chiropractor

On Campus Resources:

The Office of Personal and Career Development is a wonderful resource. The Department encourages students to start working with the staff there early in their undergraduate careers. The contact for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students is:

Shan Woolard
Assistant Director of Career Education and Coaching

Other Resources:

Ms. Magazine: “Transform The World: What you can do with a degree in women’s studies”

Ms. Magazine: “What I’m Doing With My Women’s Studies Degree”

PowerPoint – Career Options for Women’s Studies Majors by Amy Hoag, Career Center at the University of Michigan

Handout – Women’s Studies: What Can I Do With This Major? by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dever, Maryanne and Day, Liz (2001). Beyond the Campus: Some Initial Findings on Women’s Studies, Careers and Employers. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 2(2), 53-66.
(contact department for a copy)

Dever, Maryanne (2004). “Women’s studies and the discourse of vocationalism: Some new perspectives.” Women’s Studies International Forum, 27(5): 475–488.
(Available through the ZSR Library)

Dever, M. (2003). How students characterise the vocational gains from women’s studies (or, why we need not be anxious). Hecate, 29(2), 34-49.
(Available through the ZSR Library)

Luebke, B. F., & Reilly, M. E. (1995). Women’s Studies Graduates: The First Generation. New York: Teachers College Press.
(contact department for a copy)