Latin American Studies | Albright College

Latin American Studies

What is Latin American Studies?

“Latin America and the Caribbean have always occupied a place of unique and singular importance for the United States. For instance, the Panama Canal, the economic embargo of Cuba, NAFTA, preservation of the Amazon rainforests and drug trafficking are just a few of the many subjects that have consumed the imaginations, the interests, and the energies of U.S. business people, politicians, students and even tourists. In fact, the regions of North, Central and South America, including the Caribbean, are becoming ever more intertwined culturally, linguistically, economically and politically.

For the student interested in issues of bilingualism in secondary education, international trade and finance, foreign affairs, diplomatic history and modern foreign languages, knowledge of Latin America and the region’s relationship to the United States is becoming ever more indispensable. The Latin American studies curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn about Latin America from a broad-based interdisciplinary perspective.”

What are the career opportunities for a Latin American Studies major?

Many Latin American studies majors find employment with the government, international banking and business, and non-governmental organizations that do business in Latin America. “There are many jobs available to people with cultural knowledge and some level of competency in a foreign language. One of the best resources available for thinking about and researching jobs in the field, possible graduate programs and scholarships, and internships, is the book After Latin American Studies: A Guide to Graduate Study and Employment for Latin Americanists. It is available online and is an important resource for anyone interested in working in or in a field that has to do with Latin America.”

Related Career Titles (Some may require education beyond bachelor’s degree.)

Anthropologist Archivist International Lawyer
Business Manager CIA/FBI Agent Civil Service Employee
College/University Professor Community Affairs Specialist Conflict Resolution Specialist
Coordinator of International Students Corporate Trainer Counselor
Interpreter/Translator Foreign Service Officer Cultural Affairs Officer
Cultural Arts Center Coordinator Customer Relations Representative Customs/Immigration Officer
Economist Editor/Writer Drug Enforcement Agent
Employee Relations Specialist ESL Teacher Foreign Language Teacher
Government Agency Administrator Health and Human Resources Director Historian
Historic Site Administrator Import/Export Specialist International Health Care Systems Analyst
International Airport Visitors Center Director International Conference Planner International Education Specialist
International Marketing Analyst International Relations Specialist International Student Advisor
Journalist Librarian Lobbyist
Hotel Manager Management Consultant Market Research Specialist
Museum Curator Nonprofit Administrator Public Policy Specialist
Politician Social Worker Travel Consultant

How do you get ready?

  • Become familiar with current events in the world.
  • Earn leadership positions on campus.
  • Combine major in education and acquire teaching certification if goal is work in educational field.
  • Combine major in business if goal is work in international business.
  • Practice language skills by conversing with native speakers.
  • Consider a major in communications and gain experience working with radio or print media within local media industries.
  • Pursue graduate degree.
  • Demonstrate intercultural competency, sensitivity and tolerance.
  • Gain experience in communications with people from other countries. Get to know international students on your campus.
  • Live and/or work abroad while in school.
  • Commit to a continuous study of host country’s language.
  • Develop a good understanding of etiquette and business practices in country of target.
  • Obtain daily papers in target city to determine international and national news, business features, real estate markets and community calendars.
  • Develop traits such as creativity, initiative, tenacity, a willingness to take risks and an adventurous spirit, and a sense of humor.

Related Major Skills

Speaking to groups Reading/writing another language
Clarifying ideas Writing clearly
Understanding historical language change Reporting and editing
Reading critically Creative thinking
Evaluating information Oral & written communication
Comparing translations/interpretations Gathering information
Working with original sources in many fields Organizing materials/information
Summarizing ideas Compiling/recording data
Computer literacy Collaborating as part of a team
Determining the needs of others Acknowledging value systems
Listening carefully Strong work ethic
Establishing hypotheses Reading for content and structure
Working with research subjects Communicating between cultures
Understanding cultural diversity Assessing needs
Adapting to other cultures  

What about the future?

For specific job outlook information, refer to

“Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth reflects increasing globalization and a more diverse U.S. population, which is expected to require more interpreters and translators.”

“Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.”

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