Master Degrees in Asian Studies
If you’re looking for a career in researching cultures, a masters in Asian studies could be a good fit. Learn about the different geographical regions in Asia, ranging from the history to cultural differences, with this degree program.
Why Pursue a Graduate Degree in Asian Studies?
Asia is more than the world’s largest continent geographically – it also comprises the majority of the global population as well as a significant chunk of international businesses and the global supply chain.
In addition, the historical, political, social and cultural impact of Asia on the rest of the world is significant, especially in a business and political environment where globalization is the new norm and international barriers seem less demarcated than ever. A degree in Asian studies might help prepare students to pursue a career in this environment by providing historical background and cultural context for this important part of the world.
Common Coursework for Asian Studies Master’s Degree Students
Similar to its counterpart in American studies, masters in asian studies programs typically boast an interdisciplinary course of study that covers a broad range of subject matter. Many programs prime students by offering historical background and context for major players in the Asian social and political arena over several periods throughout history. Due in part to economic and political prevalence, schools may choose to focus on certain subsets of Asia, such as China, Japan, Southeast Asia or the Middle East.
Aside from historical studies, students in an Asian studies master’s degree program might have the option to explore cultural backgrounds from several perspectives, either focusing on humanities studies or business and government issues. Art and literature criticism can center on prominent Asian creators and significant works, while those interested in a different approach may wish to take courses emphasizing business practices, international relations or foreign policy.
The wide variety of subject matter covered by a degree in Asian studies could mean that there may not be specific prerequisites or degree requirements for some programs. Students are encouraged to check with their academic institution to determine if any such requirements exist.
Potential Careers for Masters in Asian Studies Students
The multidisciplinary nature of Asian studies programs may leave students with a variety of possible career paths to pursue. Those interested in government may wish to seek to pursue a profession in political science and diplomacy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that these professionals earned a 2012 median annual salary of $102,000, with jobs expected to increase by 21 percent through 2022.1
Some private companies and even government organizations need interpreters, especially as the market for international business and politics expands. Interpreters and translators earned a 2012 BLS-reported median annual salary of $45,430, with an expected 46 percent job growth in the field through 2022.2
Asian studies graduates may also wish to apply their education to helping those within their communities. The BLS reported that social workers earned a 2012 median annual salary of $44,200, with jobs expected to increase by 19 percent through 2022.3
Is Earning a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies Right for You?
The future of business, culture and politics may be an international one. With this in mind, cultural literacy and perspective might prove to be an essential component of career enhancement in either the public or private sectors moving forward. The knowledge imparted by a degree in Asian studies could help prepare students to pursue a career in a more global context.
University of Alberta