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

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

Mathilde Frot

Updated May 5, 2023 Updated May 05

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.


This article was originally published in April 2016 . It was last updated in May 2023

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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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