What’s in this degree for me? Where will it take me?
American Studies majors are trained to think broadly and creatively. In your classes, you will learn to identify problems, conduct research that clarifies the history, context, and parameters of the problem, and offer suggestions for solutions based on an analysis of the research. In sum, you will learn critical thinking skills.
American Studies teaches the “soft skills” employers are looking for. Our students are curious and information literate. They know how to
- Think clearly and creatively
- Research and defend a position
- Communicate in a variety of formats
- Respect diversity of opinion and experience
For more information on the skills you’ll learn in American Studies, see
- “Preparing for the Job Market 1: What is my skill set?” (OSU American Studies Blog, March 3, 2017)
- Drs. Amanda Klein (ECU) and Kristin Warner (Alabama) on what Liberal Arts majors bring to the party in terms of skill set (Chronicle of Higher Ed, July 6, 2016.
- The National Humanities Alliance, “Study the Humanities Toolkit,” 2018. Includes data-driven explanations of, and rationales for, studying the humanities, including the following insights from business leaders:
“Business Leaders Praise the Humanities” section of the toolkit, just the first 3 comments. Click here for more comments
On the economic impact of an American Studies (and other Liberal Arts) degree, here is the latest research:
- The Association of American Colleges & Universities determines that our majors possess skills that 93% of employers say they value (“Liberal Arts Graduates and Employment: Setting the Record Straight,” 2014).
- Inside Higher Ed reports that Liberal Arts students compete well for professional careers over time: “By their mid-50s, liberal arts majors with an advanced or undergraduate degree are on average making more money [than] those who studied in professional and pre-professional fields, and are employed at similar rates.”
- The Harvard Business Review makes the case for “Liberal Arts in the Data Age” (JM Olearz, July-August 2017).
- U.S. News & World Report affirms “There Is Value in Liberal Arts Education” (Mike I. McNutt, September 22, 2014)
- Dr. Christina Paxson, an economist, makes “The Economic Case for Saving the Humanities” (New Republic, August 20, 2013)
- Millennial Branding’s “Student Employment Gap Survey” finds that employers seek Liberal Arts majors almost as much as Engineering or Computer Science majors (and more than Finance majors) (May 14, 2012)
- And, finally, in “Why America’s Business Majors Are in Desperate Need of a Liberal-Arts Education” (June 2016), Yoni Applebaum of The Atlantic spells out the value of a Liberal Arts degree: “Businesses want workers who have ‘the ability to think, the ability to write, the ability to understand the cultural or historical context of whatever business decision they’re making.’“
Additional resources to help in your pursuit of an AMST degree:
- CAS Degree Page for American Studies provides degree sheets and “Finish in Four” plans for all AMST degrees (BA/BA Pre-Law, BS/BS Pre-law)
- The American Studies Facebook page and Twitter Feed will help you keep up on events and opportunities in the AMST, OSU, Tulsa and Stillwater communities
- Career Options page explains what you can do with a degree in American Studies.
- The Internships page provides information about securing and getting credit for an internship. Contact Dr. Kinder for more information.
- The Links page is full of information and academic resources to help in your studies of American culture and society. This includes digital primary and secondary source repositories and blogs of interest to the field.
- The Writing Center in Stillwater and The Tutoring Services Center in Tulsa, for assistance with course work, especially drafting, proofing, and perfecting those papers you will write in your AMST courses!
- OSU Library Services in Stillwater and Tulsa for access to books, online articles, printing services (in Tulsa), computers and instructional courses in research, writing, and citation style.
- OSU Career Services and Career Services in Tulsa provide workshops on preparing for your future career, writing a good resume, securing an internship, and knocking ’em dead at that interview, etc.
On the social value of the Liberal Arts (History, Literature, Religion, Philosophy, Art History, etc.), see this NEH produced video: