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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of Women & Gender Studies

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What To Do With a WGST Degree

“I love my WGST classes! But I’m not sure about declaring the major. How would a WGST degree help me find a job after graduation?”

The interdisciplinary WGST major gives students the traits and skills necessary for success in the 21st-century workplace, including

  • analytical skills,
  • written and oral communication skills,
  • empathy,
  • workplace experience, and
  • a deep sense of purpose.

These traits and skills are crucial for a wide variety of fields, including law, politics, human resources, public affairs, the non-profit sector, media, businessteaching, journalism, communication, law enforcement, and publishing to name a few.

“But how are these traits going to help me get a job?”

Today’s employers want to hire graduates with strong analytical and writing skills, the ability to think creatively, and a passion for their work.

Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: Strong employees are able to define a question or problem at hand, analyze the problem with fresh eyes, and propose thoughtful, creative solutions, even when there are gaps in available information. The WGST major provides students with these types of analytical skills by teaching them to identify the ways that complex social structures affect groups and individuals—and propose thoughtful, creative solutions. In fact, each student in the WGST Advanced Seminar identifies an aspect of life at TCU that they would like to change based on their learning in the major and then proposes solutions.

Written and Oral Communication Skills: Being able to communicate thoughtfully in writing and face-to-face conversations is one of the hallmarks of a great job candidate. The WGST major’s small, seminar-style classes give students the opportunities to hone their communication skills and to receive impactful feedback from professors and peers. Students also have the opportunity to discuss and analyze difficult topics and learn to listen to and consider the experiences of people whose lives are very different from their own.

Empathy: Twenty-first century leaders and managers need to be able to lead, mentor, understand, problem-solve for and appeal to an increasingly diverse global workforce and consumer base. The WGST major gives our students insights into the lives of those who are different from themselves and teaches them to consider how their workplace decisions impact groups that others might overlook.

Workplace Experience: All WGST majors have the opportunity to participate in the WGST internship, which gives students the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to the workplace, providing work experience and networking opportunities outside of TCU.

Purpose: WGST majors bring a sense of passion and commitment to the workplace, what Dallas County District Judge Amber Givens-Davis describes as “purpose.” Employees with a deep sense of purpose bring a sense of commitment and creativity to the job that others simply don’t have.

Finally, Women’s & Gender Studies coursework gives students a better understanding of their own lives and provides them with the support and courage they need to pursue their dreams and become active, engaged participants in our democracy. WGST majors learn how to envision a more just world and implement tangible change in their personal and professional lives

Student Spotlight: Alex Harvey, English Major and WGST MinorTCU Class of 2017
At a social gathering recently, I sat in silence as my friends commiserated about the narrow scope of their studies. The truth is that I just couldn’t relate. The multidisciplinary aspect of the Women & Gender Studies program pushed me to experiment in subjects across the board– from Civil War history to silent film. The wide scope of topics bolstered my confidence in my ability to adapt to different styles of writing, research, and thinking. Furthermore, the diversity of my studies provided me with a wide variety of valuable experiences to draw upon and reference in job applications and interviews. More subjectively, I believe that being exposed to so many unique points of view has affected a lasting change in me. Regularly exercising my ability to put myself in others’ shoes and see things from other perspectives while in the program has made me a better team member and collaborator. I use the skills and self-assurance I honed in the Women and Gender Studies program every single day, both in my professional and personal life.

Student Spotlight: J.R. Hardy, Communication Studies/WGST Major, TCU Class of 2019
I interned for an advertising/consulting company in Summer 2018, and although the internship did not seem like it would relate to Women & Gender Studies, my WGST coursework was applicable in more areas than expected. I was assigned onto an account in which one large project was related directly to issues of gender, which led to interesting conversations about gender representation in the workplace. Senior leaders in the company asked questions about my WGST coursework and showed a genuine interest and appreciation for TCU offering this program as well as the pride in gender-related issues that resides in me. They recognized the importance of WGST for this current generation and told me that learning these concepts in school is extremely important and can stand out to potential employers, just as it did to them.

Student Spotlight: Lexy Cruz, Journalism Major and WGST Minor, TCU Class of 2015

Career Development

TCU’s Women and Gender Studies Program currently offers a minor and emphasis for undergraduate students, a certificate for graduate and PhD students, and coming this fall, an undergraduate major. The skills garnered through the WGST program range widely, including research, oral and written communication skills, critical analysis, problem solving, leadership, creativity, and many more. All of these are highly valuable to employers, and prove useful beyond graduation.

With so many great opportunities in the department, what are some viable paths to shape career goals or ambitions? Here are a few examples and helpful links for professional development, post-WGST:

Education– the knowledge and understanding of a wide range of relevant topics through studying WGST is a great stepping-stone to becoming a successful teacher at any level. With such interdisciplinary study, a career in education is a great way to go.

Social Work– experience with problem solving and analytical reasoning are extremely useful skills in any social work position. Providing knowledge and support to those in need with a background in WGST is a major plus in this field.

Law– with experience in research, problem solving, and great communication skills, pursuing the world of law—whether it be law school, a paralegal, or a court reporter—is greatly supported by studying WGST.

Public Relations– skills and study acquired under the WGST program like communication, social science, and organization are key to a successful career in public relations. PR is a wide field that incorporates many professions and businesses, so bringing an education backed by WGST to the table would be a great asset. Potential occupations include speechwriter, market researcher, public outreach coordinator, social media promoter, or event coordinator.

Non Profit– pursuing the non-profit sector is a great way to find rewarding, impactful work for someone looking to help others. These organizations function essentially the same way for-profit businesses do; they need accountants, IT workers, online developers, and basically every job you would find elsewhere. So if compassionate work is what you hope to go after, a non-profit job, strengthened by a WGST education, could be a great path. Some prominent non-profit companies include; (RED), charity: water, Kiva, Education Pioneers, and TED.

Health Sciences- another field that is highly rewarding with the ability to see first-hand the impact your work has on others. Due to daily interactions with patients and others in your care, tools like compassion, leadership, and social skills learned through WGST are essential. There are also many other career avenues besides the traditional nursing or medical school paths that go into health sciences. The field is wide and varied, with almost unlimited pursuable opportunities.

Fine Arts– if producing, studying, or enjoying art is something that you love to do, the area of fine arts may be a viable long-term career option. The ability to turn passion into occupation is a wonderful thing, and not always easy. However, having the perspective of WGST study is highly valued and marketable as an employer. Whether you want to be a writer, critique, director or any kind of artist, utilizing an education centered in women and gender studies is vital to the world of media in all forms, and vital to its future.