College of Arts and Letters Career Initiative

Initiative Overview

The College of Arts and Letters Career Initiative seeks to help students connect their majors to careers. In a corporate world without Africana Studies, History, or Spanish Analysts, humanities and social science majors must forge their own career paths. Our career journeys rarely directly correspond to our majors: think about your own company and if there is an Anthropologist or Sociologist position.

In other majors, career paths are much more defined. For example, the vast majority of nursing students become nurses. The same is true for Accounting, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science majors. These majors directly align with specific careers. For CAL humanities and social science majors, we lack a one-to-one matching between major and job title. This lack of a direct career path can cause stress, but it also illuminates the near-infinite career paths available for CAL majors.

We believe that CAL majors can go into nearly any field after graduation: it depends on how they want to align their passions, skills, and intellect with the working world. Study after study reveals how humanities and social science majors thrive in the workplace—once a graduate can identify and pursue a career field.

The CAL Career Initiative seeks (1) to nurture students’ passion for their major subjects and (2) to assist students in connecting their passions to satisfying careers.

Why a Career Initiative for CAL, now?

In recent years students are turning away from majoring in the humanities and social sciences in large part because there is an increased preoccupation with practical majors. At San Diego State University, our students want to major in the humanities and social sciences but they often face pressures to major in something “practical.”

Our students want to learn about Religion or Sustainability, for instance, and are excited by reading classic texts in these fields as well as the most recent and innovate scholarship and projects. To study French or Greek language and culture and then to conduct their own research in these fields utterly excites our majors.

If you were a humanities or social science major, you’ve probably heard the biting riddle about where English majors end up: as coffee baristas. Now is the time to combat this horrible controlling stereotype so that students can follow their passions—and pursue rewarding careers.

And we want to continue supporting students’ intellectual interests and journeys. We know that majoring in the humanities or social sciences allows us to become lifelong learners and remain curious about the world. We know that CAL grads can thrive in multiple positions and career fields.

Now is the time for us to help students know the value and power of a humanities and social science degree. Now is the time for alumni, faculty, and parents to support students who have found a subject they are passionate about and to help them keep that passion going as they enter the workforce.