Latin American Studies

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  • Higher Education
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Student affairs administration (e.g., international student services, study abroad, multicultural programming)
    • Student support services
    • Information/Library science

  • Primary and secondary education
  • Language services
    • Private tutoring
    • Interpreting
    • Translating

  • Community education:
    • Literacy
    • English as a second language
    • GED preparation


  • Universities and colleges
  • International schools
  • Overseas dependent schools
  • Third party study abroad providers
  • Campus cultural centers

  • Support programs (e.g., Educational Advancement Program, Upward Bound)
  • School and community libraries
  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Federal government agencies
  • Head Start programs

  • Nonprofit organizations including those promoting literacy (e.g., VISTA)
  • Adult education programs (e.g., those focusing on GED preparation)
  • Libraries (for Latino Studies, museums)


  • Earn a Ph.D. in order to teach and research at four-year institutions. The interdisciplinary nature of Latin American 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.
  • Research certification options for teaching English (TESOL, CELTA, TEFL)
  • Get involved in leadership roles on campus such as peer mentor, resident advisor, or orientation leader.
  • Join related professional associations as a student member.
  • Interact with students from Latin America. Participate in international programming on campus.
  • Plan to study, work, or volunteer in Latin American countries.
  • Develop strong communication and public speaking skills, particularly in Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Volunteer with community organizations that serve the Latino population. For example, tutor nonnative
    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
  • Humanitarian services
  •  Development:
    • Economic
    • Community
    • Housing

  • Disaster/Disease relief
  • HIV/AIDS advocacy
  • Policy development
  • Policy analysis
  • Program administration
  • Education
  • Volunteer coordination

  • Grant writing
  • Program management and development
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Research
  • Community education and outreach
  • Public relations and marketing


  • Community action agencies
  • Labor unions
  • Nonprofit organizations (e.g., Amigos de las Americas, Centro Hispano)
  • Social service agencies
  • Private voluntary organizations
  • Private foundations (e.g., The Boston Foundation,
    Lumina Foundation)

  • Faith based organizations (FBO’s) and churches
    (e.g., Catholic Relief Services)
  • Hospitals, medical centers and clinics (especially
    those in areas with high Latino population)
  • 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, etc.) or a focus on community assistance (e.g., Americorps)
  • State and local government agencies
  • Special interest groups
  • Cultural heritage organizations
  • Research organizations (e.g., Pew Hispanic Center)


  • Volunteer at local social service agencies that work with Latino communities to gain experience, demonstrate interest, and build contacts in the field.
  • Participate in an international service learning experience or church-led mission trip to Latin America.
  • Learn to speak Spanish or Portuguese, focusing on relevant technical vocabulary for your chosen field.
  • Pursue scholarship opportunities to study relevant languages, teach English, or conduct research abroad (e.g. Fulbright).
  • 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, particularly in Spanish
    or Portuguese.
  • Learn how to motivate individuals and groups.
  • Plan to move to geographic regions where the Latino population is growing.
  • Learn how to write grants and gain an understanding of budgeting and fiscal management.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field.
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for more job opportunities and advancement.


Human Services

  • Healthcare advocacy
  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Mental health services

  • Case management
  • Social work
  • Vocational/Career counseling
  • Grant writing

  • Program management and development
  • Community relations
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Administration


  • Mental health institutions
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Private and group practice

  • Correctional institutions
  • Federal, state, or local government:
    • Department of Human Services
  • Organizations that aid immigrants and refugees or focus on cultural issues

  • Youth organizations and camps (e.g., YMCA, Boys and Girls Club)
  • Nonprofit and social services organizations (e.g., United Way, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army)
  • Faith-based programs


  • Gain essential practical experience through part time or summer jobs and internships.
  • Volunteer with organizations that assist people of diverse backgrounds, particularly the Latino
  • Participate in training opportunities (e.g., suicide prevention or crisis hotline response).
  • Gain a firm understanding of various Latino cultures
    and how culture impacts individuals and families.
  • Become bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese in order to better assist some clients, emphasizing acquisition
    of relevant technical vocabulary.
  • Acquire knowledge of government and community resources available for those in need.
  • Research state licensure requirement in fields such
    as counseling, social work, and psychology


Business and Industry

  • International business
  • International development
  • Importing/Exporting
  • Logistics
  • Banking and finance
  • Management
  • Customer service

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Labor relations
  • Training and development
  • Human resources

  • Equity and diversity functions
  • Travel and tourism
  • Real Estate
  • Consulting
  • Agriculture economics


  • Public and private corporations in various industries:
    • Banks and financial institutions
    • Insurance companies
    • Retail stores
    • Hotels and restaurants
    • Consumer goods manufacturers
    • Businesses targeting Hispanics

  • Staffing agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Market research firms specializing in Latinos
  • Public relations agencies
  • Latin American firms operating in the U.S.
  • U.S. firms with operations in Latin America
  • Hispanic chambers of commerce
  • Minority Business Development Centers

  • Hispanic trade associations (e.g. Latin Business Association)
  • Travel agencies and tour operators
  • Convention and visitors’ bureaus
  • Organizations for research on and advancement of Latino’s in business (e.g., Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI))


  • Double major or minor in Business or Language & World Business (MFLL).
  • Gain business experience through internships or part-time and summer jobs.
  • Through research, identify corporations that have a reputation for reaching out to Latino populations.
  • Become bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese, emphasizing acquisition of relevant technical vocabulary.
  • Gain leadership experience through campus organizations or professional societies.
  • Understand the skills employers desire and be prepared to demonstrate them, such as
    communication (oral and written), computer, interpersonal, leadership, and teamwork.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn more about career fields.
  • When job searching, seek employers interested in
    hiring “any major.”
  • Learn how to sell your Latin American Studies major to companies that value cultural diversity.
  • For international assignments, plan to start in U.S. based positions and gain experience with the company/industry. Usually more seasoned employees are given international assignments.
  • Earn an MBA or a graduate degree in another area of interest such as accounting or finance for more advanced opportunities.


Law and Policies

  • Law:
    • Corporate practice
    • Public interest law
    • Civil law
    • International
    • Immigration law

  • Lobbying
  • Government relations
  • Elected or appointed leadership
  • Public policy
  • Research
  • Intelligence

  • Campaign management
  • Special interest advocacy
  • Program administration
  • Immigration Services


  • Law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Public defenders offices
  • District attorneys

  • Public interest groups (e.g., The Center for Justice and International Law)
  • Civil rights organizations (e.g., National Council of LaRaza)
  • Legal aid

  • Sole practitioner
  • Government agencies (e.g., Department of State, foreign service)
  • Lobbying groups


  • Obtain a law degree (J.D.) for law positions or an advanced degree in public administration, public
    policy, or international relations for government positions.
  • Supplement curriculum with relevant courses to prepare for law school (research and writing skills).
  • Participate in activities that develop strong debate and public speaking skills such as mock trials.
  • Run for office in student government or work on a political campaign.
  • Get involved with the pre-law society on campus.
  • Gain relevant experience through jobs or internships with law firms, government agencies, or mediation
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations.
  • Prepare for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
  • Study abroad in a Latin American country.
  • Learn Spanish or Portuguese, specifically the relevant technical vocabulary.


Media and the Arts

  • Journalism
  • Creative writing
  • Freelance writing
  • Copy writing
  • Editing

  • Research and analysis
  • Broadcasting:
    • Television
    • Radio
  • Media sales

  • Museum work
  • Arts programming
  • Art sales
  • Fundraising/Development


  • Newspapers
  • Magazines, (e.g., Hispanic, Latina)
  • Broadcast media companies including television and movie industry
  • Radio stations
  • Foreign news agencies
  • Trade, professional, or consumer publications

  • Internet sites marketed toward Latino Americans
  • Advertising agencies
  • Publishing houses
  • Large corporations
  • Freelance
  • Museums

  • Galleries
  • Organizations and centers dedicated to promoting Hispanic visual and performing arts (e.g., Latino Arts Inc., National Association of Latino Arts and Culture)
  • Smithsonian Latino Center


  • Pair an interest in Latin American Studies with communication skills and/or language skills to write about Latinos, write on topics of interest to minorities, or for publications targeting a Latino audience.
  • Study a second field such as journalism, English, or broadcasting to prepare for a career in media.
  • For positions in the arts, consider a minor in art history or music 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
  • Become familiar with the proposal and submission process involved in freelance writing.
  • When job searching, research media outlets to find those that target Latinos.
  • Volunteer in local museums or galleries.
  • Travel to Latin American countries and visit local
    museums and cultural attractions.
  • Learn to speak Spanish or Portuguese and develop
    relevant writing and communication skills in the

General Information

  • Latin American 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 Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • When paired with a major in another field, Latin American Studies can enhance the employability of a student because of a deeper understanding of the Latino 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 Latin American 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.
  • Latin American 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 Latin America to experience it first-hand. Complete at least one study abroad experience. In the U.S., look for ways to interact with people from Latin America who are living in or visiting the States.
  • More job opportunities may exist in parts of the United States where the Latino population is the largest or growing such as Florida, Texas, and California.
  • Read and stay abreast of politics and current events in regions of interest.