What can I do with a Women’s Studies Degree?
What kinds of skills will I get from my degree?
Like other liberal arts degrees, a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will give you the following skills:
- Strong critical thinking skills
- Confident oral presentation skills
- Effective writing skills
- Strong research skills
These are in-demand skills. According to Rob Sentz, from Emsi, a labor market analytics firm, “there is an enormous part of the economy hungry for graduates with skills in analysis and communication — skills students are honing as they conduct close readings of texts, persuade their classmates in seminars and hone the style and structure of papers.” [source]
In addition, a WGSS degree will give you a unique set of skills. Studies examining Women’s Studies graduates found that 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
All of these skills make WGSS majors attractive candidates for future employers and graduate programs.
What jobs can I pursue right after graduation with a WGSS degree?
What jobs can I pursue after obtaining a graduate or professional degree?
|Doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician’s assistant or other health professional
|MD, RN, DDS, PharmD, PT, PA, or other
|Public Health Professional
|Master of Public Health (MPH) or similar
|Master’s Degree in Counseling, PsyD, other
WGSS majors who have pursued these careers:
- Analyst: N Valdes graduated from Wake Forest in 2020 with double majors in WGSS and Political Science; they now work as an analyst at Deloitte Consulting
- Teacher: Madeline Katsarelis graduated from Wake Forest in 2020 with double majors in WGSS and Psychology; she earned her MA in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education; she currently teaches 7th grade English
- Communications Specialist: Cat Mizzi-Orrell graduated from Wake Forest in 2020 with a major in WGSS; she currently works as a Communications Specialist at Forsyth Futures, a non-profit organization that provides data to improve community wellbeing
- Lawyer: Leeden Rukstalis graduated from Wake Forest in 2019 with double majors in WGSS and Philosophy; she received her JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law; she is currently working as a law clerk
- Program Director: Maij Vu Mai graduated from Wake Forest in 2018 with double majors in WGSS and Sociology; they received their M.Div. from Wake Forest University; they currently work as an Assistant Director at the Center for Multicultural Affairs at Duke University
- Therapist: Kayla Santos graduated from Wake Forest in 2017 with double majors in WGSS and Spanish; she earned her Masters of Clinical Psychology from Capella University; she is currently a practicing therapist
- Operations Associate: Akua Maat graduated from Wake Forest in 2017 with double majors in WGSS and Classics; she currently works as an operations associate at BlackStar, an organization that uplifts Black, Brown, and Indigenous filmmakers through an annual film festival and other projects
- Professor/Researcher: Andréa Becker graduated from Wake Forest in 2016 with double majors in WGSS and Sociology; she earned her MA in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in Sociology; she is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California San Francisco and her first book is Unchoosable: Hysterectomy, Gender, and Stratified Reproduction (NYU Press 2024)
- Small Business Owner: Amy Shack Egan (Shackelford) graduated from Wake Forest in 2014 with double majors in WGSS and COM; she is the founder and CEO of Modern Rebel & Co., an alternative event planning business
- Program Director: Alexandra Hollifield graduated from Wake Forest University in 2013 with double majors in WGSS and Political Science; she earned a Master in Education Degree from Vanderbilt; she currently works as QEP Co-Director and Associate Director of Leadership Education and Development at UNC Asheville
On Campus Resources:
The Office of Personal and Career Development is a wonderful resource. The Department encourages students to start working with the staff 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
Description: Transforming Scholarship offers an essential guide to one of the most richly rewarding yet often under-appreciated academic majors: Women’s and Gender Studies. This fully updated and revised third edition answers the question of what you can do with a women’s and gender studies degree with resounding authority. Chapters include exercises and valuable point-of-view segments with recent graduates and academics to help students realize their many talents and passions and how these may be linked to future professional opportunities. Students are also encouraged to reflect on the ways in which their efforts in the classroom can be translated into a life guided by feminism, civic engagement, and activism.
Available online through ZSR
Data about Employment and Salaries:
Field of degree (FOD) pages highlight data and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau for a variety of academic fields. Each FOD page provides a glimpse of workers with the degree and shows occupations, outlook, and more for people in that major. Here is the FOD page for “Culture and Gender Studies”:
Dever, M. (2003). How students characterize the vocational gains from women’s studies (or, why we need not be anxious). Hecate, 29(2), 34-49.