What are the career options for a person with a degree in cultural studies? That is a question that comes up from time to time, especially in career fairs that are attended by students of liberal arts. In answering this question, we usually point out that (contrary to the widely held view), there are actually many good career prospects for a person with a degree in cultural studies. Those include:
- Working for the government: A person who has a degree in cultural studies can opt to work for the government, in one of the departments that deal with cultural issues.
- Working for a non governmental organization: A person with a degree in cultural studies can opt to work for a non governmental organization, as an advisor on cultural issues. Here, one would effectively be working as a ‘consultant’. In fact, one can also set up an independent consultancy. With a good cultural consultancy, one wouldn’t be short of clients. Even private companies would be consulting him. Like if, for instance, a company like UPS wants to set up an office in the country, they may need to consult an expert on cultural issues, to understand what the national culture is like. The company may, for instance, be considering setting up an employees portal, akin to Upsers.com — that is, the UPS staff portal that is accessible through the UPSers login screen. But just before putting up such a portal, they may want to know what the local cultural attitudes are like, how the local staff are likely to respond to such a portal… and so on. As a person with a degree in cultural studies, you’d be well placed to serve as a consultant in that scenario.
- Working as a tour guide: A person with a degree in cultural studies can join a tour company, to serve as a tour guide. Then having gained a foothold in the tourism industry, he can eventually work his way up, to join the management and maybe even set up his own tour company.
- Joining the academia: a person who has a basic degree in cultural studies can opt to join the academia as a tutorial fellow (if he graduated with a very good GPA). Then he can eventually work his way up, obtaining more degrees along the way, to end up as a fully tenured professor, with a decent paycheck. With the right commitment (and with good networking skills) one can make the journey from being a tutorial fellow to being a fully-tenured professor in 10 to 12 years.