What Can I Do With a Major In African American & African Studies?

Laura Heilman
Connect with:
Laura Heilman

Career Counselor

Major Information

You can do a lot with this major! African American & African Studies majors go on to successful careers in business, academics, advocacy, politics, government, publishing, the arts, research, and much more.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and African American & African Studies majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong analysis and critical-thinking skills
  • An in-depth understanding of the cultural and historical experiences of African American or African peoples
  • Knowledge of social and economic development issues
  • Broad understanding of cross-cultural and diversity issues
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Research skills     

Interest Code: IES

Internship & Job Search Websites


Professional Organizations

Graduate Programs in African American & African Studies

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are African American & African Studies alumni in all eight of the career fields). For more career information for African American & African Studies majors utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Nonprofit, Human Services, & Social Justice


  • Intern, Office for Equity and Diversity - University of Minnesota
  • Student Support - AmeriCorps
  • Servant Leader Intern - Freedom School, Children's Defence Fund


  • Program Coordinator - University of Minnesota YMCA
  • AmeriCorps VISTA Circle of Care Coordinator - Boys Totem Town
  • Residential Counselor - Children's Residential Treatment Center
  • Family/Child Advocate - Wayside House, Inc.
  • Young Women's Mentoring Program Coordinator - YouthCARE
  • Program Coordinator - Wingspan Life Resources
  • Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist - Youth Homes, Inc.
  • Manager, Youth Services and Development - Community Action in Minneapolis
  • Regional Youth Director - NAACP
  • Acting Executive Director, Program Director, Fundraising - At Home Group
  • Youth Division Director - YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Prevention Education Director - YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis


  • Director, Innocent Community Development - Innocent Technologies
  • Employment Counselor - Goodwill/Easter Seals
  • Mental Health Counselor - Fred Finch Youth Center*
  • Case Manager - College Bound Brotherhood Hayward*
  • Executive Director, Fundraising, Community Engagement, Relationship Management, Operations - Dress for Success Twin Cities *
Business, Consulting, Marketing, & Sales


  • Business Analyst Intern - Target


  • Executive Team Leader Human Resources - Target
  • Associate Recruiter - Target
  • Business Analyst - Target
  • HR Specialist/Residential Lease Administrator - Property Management Concepts, Ltd.
  • New Hire Champion - Victoria's Secret
  • Human Resources Lead - American Eagle Outfitters
  • Human Resources Analyst - Berkshire Associates Inc.
  • Merchandise Specialist - Target
  • Quality Assurance Manager - Bay Valley Foods
  • Bilingual Customer Service Assistant - Honeywell International
  • User Support Desk - Concur
  • Implementation Project Manager Associate - Concur
  • DOL Facilitator - GBX Consultants, Inc.
  • Administrative Assistant - Fairview Hospital
  • Agency Manager - Optima Drive Services, Inc.


  • HR Business Partner - Target*
  • HR Consultant - Target*
  • Partnership Coordinator - Parents in Community Action, Inc.
  • Senior Business Analyst - UnitedHealthcare*
  • Human Resources Assistant - School of Visual Arts
  • Senior Human Resources Coordinator - Stroz Friedberg
  • HR Lead, Learning & Organizational Development - Stroz Friedberg
  • Manager - Snap Fitness 24/7
  • Office Manager - American Family Insurance
  • General Utility - Ford Motor Company
  • Senior Merchandise Specialist/Interim Business Analyst - Target
  • Project Manager - Concur

Graduate Programs

  • Business Analyst Certificate - University of Minnesota CCE
  • MBA - Fontbonne University
  • MBA, Technology Management - University of Phoenix
Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs


  • Intern - Minnesota State Senate
  • Intern - Torre de San Miguel, CommonBond Communities
  • Researcher - Council on Crime and Justice
  • Intern - Thomas Vaughn Chapter 13 Trustee's Office
  • Case Management Assistant Intern - Hennepin County
  • Women's Advocate Intern - Saint Anne's Place


  • Citizen Assistant Analysis - Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
  • In-House Attorney - Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • Healthcare Law - Olusina Consult


  • Juvenile Case Manager - 180 Degrees, Inc.
  • Law Clerk - New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division
  • Certified Student Attorney - Ramsey County Attorney's Office
  • Attorney - Blackwell Burke P.A.*
  • Mediator - Office of the Minnesota Attorney General*

Graduate Programs

  • JD - University of Minnesota Law School