Women’s Studies major does not dictate a career; much better than that, it provides you with many unusual and valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied to many career choices and in nearly every part of your life. It will enhance your work experiences, your involvement with other activities on campus, and your lives and relationships as they evolve after you graduate.
When you graduate with a degree in Women’s Studies from UCI, you will have a number of important skills that different kinds of employers will be looking for.
These skills include:
- Strong critical thinking skills
- The ability to think creatively to solve problems
- Writing and oral presentation skills
- Research skills, developed in the senior seminar
- The capacity to discuss controversial topics intelligently
- Proficiency in analytical reasoning
- Practical use of digital technologies for various applications (writing, researching, graphic presentation)
Graduates also have special attributes:
- Knowledge of wide ranging historical and political events
- Advanced knowledge of issues relevant to women situated in different social and geographic locations
- An ability to comprehend the United States from a transnational perspective
- An understanding of the history and interaction of academic disciplines
- A comprehension of how new knowledges emerge
- Wide ranging curiosity
- An understanding of popular culture and its relationship to larger social forces
Employers and graduate programs also know that your Women’s Studies degree means that you:
- are well-rounded, with a wide breadth of knowledge
- are prepared to work in diverse organizations, companies, and communities, and to be successful in our increasingly complex and connected world.
- stand out from the crowd, and have the creativity and confidence to major in an innovative field
- have expertise on gender, race, sexuality, and class relations, which are areas for which there is growing demand in a number of fields and professions
All of these qualities make Women’s Studies majors attractive candidates for future employers and graduate programs.
Graduates with Women’s Studies degrees across the country have gone on to careers in education, health and social services, public service, philanthropy, business and industry, and media, among other things. They work for government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, hospitals, universities, newspapers, and consultancy firms.
Some students decide to continue their education and do graduate studies of different kinds. A Women’s Studies degree, along with other prerequisite requirements, can make you a desirable candidate for medical school. Women’s Studies majors also go on to law school, business school, and graduate school in a number of fields in the humanities and social sciences, ranging from anthropology to the arts, counseling to library science, international studies to history, philosophy to public health, public policy to sociology. A growing number of Women’s Studies graduates are seeking higher degrees in the sciences, engineering, and informatics.
A study of Women’s Studies graduates was done by Barbara F. Luebke and Mary Ellen Reilly, called Women’s Studies Graduates: The First Generation, found that WS graduates hold a wide variety of specific positions, including:
Elementary or high school teacher
Health clinic coordinator
Clinical social worker
Legislative aide, lobbyist
Public relations manager
Advocate for domestic violence survivors
Energy conservation manager
On Being a Women’s Studies major:
Lynn Chen, co-starred with Michelle Krusiec and Joan Chen, in Saving Face (2005), a romantic comedy about an over-achieving daughter struggling to understand her mother’s heart while also coming to terms with her own love affair with another beautiful Chinese American woman. In a 2005 interview, Lynn mentioned how majoring in Women’s Studies at Wesleyan College has proved to be valuable to her:
Researching Her Role as a Lesbian: “Not much actual research. I was a Women’s Studies major in college so I had done a lot of gender studies and a lot of gay and lesbian studies, had a lot of gay friends, and I’ve always been drawn to the gay and lesbian culture. I think it’s really interesting that a lot of people don’t accept something I find to be so normal. I was really comfortable with the subject matter and just drew from my experience and people who I knew. I just basically looked at it like falling in love, as you do anyone. It was also very helpful that Michelle [Krusiec] was the woman because she had never done a love scene with a woman before and I had never done a love scene period. So for it to be both of us going through this together it felt really comfortable and we really communicated. It wasn’t awkward at all.”
Interview with Rebecca Murray at: