Women's studies degree programs focus on several issues concerning women. Students in these programs may learn about violence, economics and equality issues that affect women in different cultures. Majoring in women studies may lead to a career in areas such as social work, counseling, or academics. Candidates may also find work in non-profit management, journalism or publishing houses. Jobs for counselors, postsecondary teachers as well as social workers are anticipated to grow between 2012 and 2022, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A number of degree and certificate programs are offered in women's studies. Students can work towards the bachelor's or master's programs that may take 1- 4 years to complete depending on the enrollment status of the students. Candidates who want to become teachers may pursue a master's or doctoral degree.
Certificate in Women's Studies
In addition to degree programs, a certificate in women's studies is also available. These short courses can be suitable for those who want to learn about various problems of women in a short period of time. A certificate in this area of study may take 6 months to one year to complete. The duration of a program may vary by the route that candidates opt to take.
A certificate might be useful to show one's expertise in this field, which in turn may enhance the career prospects of candidates. Social workers and counselors may work towards a certificate program in this concentration and expand their knowledge and skills for career advancement.
The curriculum in these programs may include topics such as stress management or domestic violence issues. Classes may also available in education and gender, gender and violence, psychology of women, women and politics and world perspectives on women.
Women's Studies Programs Online
Both degree and certificate programs in women's studies are available online. The distance learning programs can help working professionals earn vital credentials to make a career switch or build upon their knowledge to improve their existing job prospects without making major changes in their routine. Stay-at-home parents as well as students with disabilities can particularly benefit from the distance learning programs as they do not require candidates to be physically present in the class. Instead, students may study from any location at any time. The coursework in these programs may be the same as in degrees and certificates offered at traditional schools. Online programs, however, may be more flexible compared to the courses offered by traditional schools.
Graduates of women's studies degrees may adopt a career path in teaching, social work or counseling. According to the BLS, the median annual wage of social workers in 2012 was $44,200 while mental health counselor earned $41,500.
To enroll in a degree or certificate in women's studies, students should hold a high school diploma or GED. They may also have to provide test scores and submit letters of recommendation among other prerequisites.