Types of Degrees Ethnic Studies Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many ethnic studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Ethnic Studies Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, ethnic studies majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Ethnic Studies Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Foreign Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Skills for Ethnic Studies Majors
A major in ethnic studies prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Ethnic Studies Majors
As you progress with your ethnic studies degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Ethnic Studies Major?
People with a ethnic studies degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors||10.4%||$74,440|
|Interpreters and Translators||17.7%||$49,930|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of ethnic studies majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,113|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,683|
Ethnic Studies appeals to people across the globe. About 2.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
How Much Do Ethnic Studies Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies made a median starting salary of $27,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $24,400 (25th percentile) and $29,400 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in ethnic studies, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Ethnic Studies majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $55,230 to $85,450 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Ethnic Studies
Some degrees associated with ethnic studies may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
Find out what the typical degree level is for ethnic studies careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.5%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||0.4%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||3.7%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||5.1%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.8%|
Online Ethnic Studies Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 633 schools offered some type of ethnic studies program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||101||7|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||17||2|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||9||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||55||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Ethnic Studies Worth It?
The median salary for a ethnic studies grad is $55,230 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 38% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $306,600 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Ethnic Studies
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Ethnic Studies
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to ethnic studies.
|Major||Number of Grads|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By G. MГјtzel under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.