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The Honest Guide to Finding a Job with a Gender Studies Degree

The Honest Guide to Finding a Job with a Gender Studies Degree main image

These days it can often seem that having a gender studies degree won’t help you find a job when you graduate, unless you wish to become a sales assistant, a teacher or an academic. The truth of the matter is that there are so many opportunities for smart, curious, capable graduates with grit and an open mind, that there is absolutely no reason why you should have to manage your expectations.

 Find a Job Tip #1: Don’t undersell yourself

 Ensuring that you don’t sell yourself short is probably one of the most important bits of advice that you could take from this guide. Liberal arts majors and humanities graduates worldwide are often told by poorly informed well-wishers that their degree subjects won’t be lucrative, but this doesn’t really have to be your situation at all.

 Find a Job Tip #2: Focus on skills, not content

 Chances are that if you’ve been enrolled on a gender studies degree at some point in your life, your talents won’t actually be limited to your knowledge of Judith Butler or your good ‘communication skills’. Pause for a minute and ask yourself: “Which transferrable skills have I gained in the last three years or so?” You should actually find you’ve got a valuable skillset and a string of achievements to boast about.

 Find a Job Tip #3: Research different jobs and industries

 Obvious sectors for gender studies graduates include NGOs, education and government, with many graduates entering policy or research roles, but you could go down a less traditional route! Do you know what a lobbyist actually does? What about a search engine marketer? One great way to research different industries and jobs is to get in touch with past alumni and ask for informational interviews. “What’s your typical work day like?” is usually a good place to start.

 Find a Job Tip #4: Accumulate work experience in different industries before you graduate

 Save yourself some time and money and secure as many internships as you can in various fields and industries before you graduate. A list of four to five different internships under your belt will 1) impress interviewers, 2) help you figure out which sectors you prefer working in, and 3) help you build a valuable network of contacts.

 The task of securing your first internship can sound daunting, but is with a little perseverance absolutely achievable. Prick up your ears for any opportunities in your personal network or around your university; draft a list of companies you might like to work for and send them speculative emails.

Find a Job Tip #5: Network

 This final tip couldn’t be overstated. So many vacancies are filled through personal contacts, alumni networks and social media. Take active steps to increase your LinkedIn contacts by joining groups and posting content on LinkedIn Pulse. Attend informational interviews with past alumni. Attend networking events. Ask family. Ask friends. You probably have more contacts than you think, and each network will connect you to another.


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Written by Mathilde Frot
I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.

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I have been a board director for three public companies, and I can assure you that a degree in Gender Studies makes the graduate almost unemployable. Gender Studies is a form of grievance studies, producing political agitators rather than training the mind. Employing these people will only make problems for a company. Gender Studies is up there with Feminist Dance Theory for employability. I'd imagine that they may get jobs in McDonalds or the government sector, otherwise, forget it.

Two year old article but what the hell...
The five tips offered here are tips every single graduate of every major can and should use. If someone has a desire for this degree minor in it. Major in something in demand. You would be better off investing $60,000 into the Russell 2000 than this as your degree.

I almost wish there would be regulation prohibiting universities from allowing degrees in nonsensical subjects. An interesting subject; but definitely not an area of study that should allow you to have a degree in. Shameful! You have a better chance of making a better life for yourself by using the money on a down payment on a duplex and creating monthly cash flow for the rest of your and your kids life. Or anything else for that matter.. Very shameful and universities could CARE LE$$$$!!

This is unfortunate Miss Mathilde Frot, I feel as though you have just proven that a Gender Studies degree does not provide any actual benefit in choosing it over any other degree.

If anything you may have proven it has less benefit to join a gender studies degree...

Since the main selling point of a Gender studies degree, or any degree for that matter, is to gain an insight into your chosen subject matter so that you will have an easier time operating when conducting yourself in that career path. This issue here being that a Gender Studies Degree does not offer any additional skills. Every skill that you may or may not be able to gain from a Gender studies degree, such as Time Keeping or Communication Skills, can not only be gained in any other degree whilst still gaining an insight into a genuine career path, Such as Biology and pharmaceutical practices, or chemistry and the researching into Toxins.

The sad failure in giving the example of trying to retrieve a background in working for many different careers paths show that the Degree does not give you any benefit. The abilities the degree claims to give the student are the same abilities that are acquired from simply working as an intern in those careers without the degree.

If anything being an intern in 5 different careers is more beneficial than doing the same whilst practicing the Gender Studies degree, as you will also not have to pay a ridiculous amount of money on top of working for free.

Finally I would like to make a point on the "Underselling" of ones self. If an individual with a Gender Studies Degree wishes to attempt at joining into an IT company, just as an example. If they are joining in an attempt to become a programmer then they need to face the reality that they are not qualified for the job. When you apply for a career, yes having drive and enthusiasm is wonderful, you are expected to be able to perform in the required role. Unless you are applying for a low-paying career that is an apprenticeship and the company is advertising that you will be trained and educated into the position you should not expect to get any kind of semi-talented career as they require education and ability proven into the role.