Student affairs administration: international student services, study abroad, multicultural programming, student support services, information/library science, primary and secondary education
English as a Second Language
Universities and colleges
Campus cultural centers
Support programs (e.g., Educational Advancement Program, Upward Bound)
School and community libraries
K-12 schools, public and private
Head Start programs
Non-profit organizations including those promoting literacy (e.g., VISTA)
Adult education programs (e.g., those focusing on GED preparation)
Earn a Ph.D. to teach and research at four-year institutions. The interdisciplinary nature of Asian Studies makes it good preparation for advanced education in a variety of fields.
Obtain a master’s degree in student affairs or library/ information science to prepare for those fields.If interested in K-12 teaching, fulfill requirements for certification. This may involve a double major or a minor. Research alternative paths to certification such as Teach for America and other similar programs.
Get involved in leadership roles on campus including peer mentor, resident advisor, or orientation leader.
Join related professional associations as a student member.
Interact with students from Asia and the Middle East. Participate in international programming on campus.
Plan to study or work in Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Develop strong communication and public speaking skills. Learn to speak relevant languages such as, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Arabic.
Volunteer with community organizations that serve the Asian population. For example, tutor non-native English speakers.
Secure strong recommendations from faculty, and maintain a high grade point average. Assist a professor with research or take an independent study class to develop research skills.
Domestic and international advocacy
Community action agencies
Non-profit organizations (e.g., Asian American Alliance)
Private voluntary organizations
Faith based organizations (FBO’s) and Asian-American church communities
International aid and relief organizations
Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s) (e.g., International Red Cross)
Federal government agencies with an international focus, e.g. Peace Corps, USAID or focus on community assistance (e.g., Americorps)
State and local government agencies
Community action agencies
Volunteer at local social service agencies that work with Asian communities to gain experience and demonstrate interest.
Participate in an international service learning experience or church-led mission trip to Asia.
Learn to speak relevant languages such as:
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Arabic.
Get involved with cultural and international events or organizations on campus.
Take additional courses in social work, global studies, or other relevant areas.
Develop excellent research, writing, communication, and organizational skills. Learn how to motivate individuals and groups.
Plan to move to geographic regions where the Asian population is growing.
Mental health services
Mental health institutions
Hospitals and clinics
Residential treatment facilities
Private and group practice
Federal, state, or local government
Department of Human Services
Organizations that aid immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees or focus on cultural issues
Youth organizations and camps:
Boys and Girls Clubs
Non-profit and social services organizations:
Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology, social work, or child and family studies.
Obtain a graduate degree in psychology, counseling, or social work for increased counseling opportunities or advancement into administrative work.
Gain essential practical experience through part-time or summer jobs and internships.
Volunteer with organizations that assist people of diverse backgrounds, particularly the Asian population.
Participate in training opportunities, e.g. suicide prevention or crisis hotline response.
Gain a firm understanding of various Asian cultures and how culture impacts individuals and families.
Become bilingual in a relevant language in order to better assist some clients.
Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need.
Training and development
Equity and diversity functions
Travel and tourism
Public and private corporations in various industries:
Pair an interest in Asian Studies with communication skills to write about Asia, write on topics of interest to minorities, or for publications targeting an Asian audience.
Study a second field such as journalism, English, or broadcasting to prepare for career in media.
For positions in the arts, consider a minor in art history. Plan to pursue a relevant graduate degree such as museum studies.
Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or department/program newsletters. Work at campus radio or television stations.
Intern with a publishing house, magazine, radio or television station depending upon area of interest.
Create a portfolio of writing samples, especially those that have been published. For other areas, create a website or digital portfolio to promote skills to potential employers.
Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions.
Become familiar with the proposal and submission process involved in freelance writing.
When job searching, research media outlets to find those that target Asian populations.
Volunteer in local museums or galleries.
Travel to Asian countries and visit local museums and cultural attractions.
General Information and Strategies
Asian Studies provides an interdisciplinary background that helps students develop analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills while gaining knowledge about the cultures, histories, and languages of Asian countries.
When paired with a major in another field, Asian Studies can enhance the employability of a student because of a deeper understanding of the Asian experience which many organizations will value. Training in this field can lead to a better appreciation of certain customers or clients.
Some students may choose to pursue Asian Studies because they enjoy the subject but wish to pursue careers requiring “any major.” In this scenario, it is critical to develop skills relevant to targeted field through internships, part-time or summer jobs, or volunteer experiences.
Asian Studies majors are excellent candidates for a number of graduate school options because of their broad liberal arts background as well as specific interests that may set them apart from other students. For those wishing to pursue graduate education, maintain a high GPA, establish relationships with faculty to secure strong recommendations, and gain experience through volunteer, work, or research opportunities.
Travel as much as possible to Asia to experience it first-hand. Complete at least one study abroad experience. In the U.S., look for ways to interact with people from Asia who are living in or visiting the States.
More job opportunities may exist in parts of the United States where the Asian population is the largest or growing such as California, Washington, and New York.
Read and stay abreast of politics and current events in regions of interest.