Africana Studies and Your Career
The Africana Studies minor builds on and strengthens students’ critical thinking, speaking, writing, and organizational skills that employers highly value and seek. According to a recent survey conducted through the Association of American Colleges and Universities,[i] areas in which graduates were least prepared, in terms of functioning in their careers, ranged from global knowledge, self-direction, adaptability, ethical judgment, and self-knowledge to such skills as writing, critical thinking, oral communication, and intercultural sensitivity. Africana Studies prepares students in all of these areas. Furthermore, students who specifically minored or majored in ethnic studies found jobs that typically ranged from $38,950 to $148,640 in yearly compensation.[ii]
Such skills appear to be increasingly needed, as our world becomes more and more complex, interconnected, and global. Knowing how to interpret the world and negotiate our experience in it has become a crucial skill for success. An Africana Studies minor prepares students in that kind of breadth of knowledge and experience. After graduation, Africana Studies minors often find meaningful work in career areas such as:
- Communications and Media
- Counseling and Social Services
- Entrepreneurship and Business
- Graduate Studies
- Management and Industry
- Public Health
- Public Policy
- Public Relations
The Africana Studies minor will also provide unique opportunities for community outreach and service learning to increase racial, ethnic, and cultural awareness on local and international levels. For example, the field experience course will have students expand their subject knowledge by internships that work with local agencies and with courses that encourage national and international travel. Internships may include service at organizations such as the Evansville African American Museum and the Evansville Booker T. Washington Association, and organizations dedicated to racial awareness and social justice. Students will also be encouraged to study nationally and internationally in the new field experience courses. For example, one course will take students to Civil Rights monuments and on excursions to meet important Civil Rights activists.
Students will be provided with an undergraduate education in Africana Studies through an academically challenging program of study that encourages them to develop an increased international and multicultural awareness of and sensitivity to issues of diversity, especially those of ability, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and religions and their role in human community and human exchange.
[i] Hart Research Associates. (2015). “Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success.” Association of American Colleges & Universities. https://www.aacu.org/leap/public-opinion-research/2015-survey-results.
[ii] Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). “Occupational Employment Statistics.” https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251062.htm#nat.