What Can I Become with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies?

We are all too familiar with the question: “What will you do after graduation?” Compared to other popular degrees like Electrical Engineering, Business Administration, or Law, most people might find it less obvious what Asian Studies students can do with their lives after graduation.

Rather than seeing this as a disadvantage, having a degree in Asian Studies ensures you have a unique edge on the job market, as there will be less competition for highly specialised and well-paid jobs.

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Job prospects for graduates of Asian Studies are as varied as one can imagine. You can find work either in an Asian country, in an international Asian company with offices all over the world, or even in a multicultural city like London, New York, Amsterdam, or Berlin.

Why Asian Studies degrees are versatile

Asian Studies degrees, as well as other Area Studies, cover a wide range of aspects and offer multiple potential specialisations such as:

  • language learning for translation or interpretation
  • social developments
  • economic and trade relations
  • political developments
  • cultural aspects
  • history

And if you are wondering which are the most popular destinations for degrees in Area Studies, here’s your answer:

So, what are some of the most popular Asian Studies careers?

1. Translator/Interpreter

  • Average salary in the United States: 43,000 USD/year

Whether it’s Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or another Asian language, they are all highly valuable to many international employers.

You can either work as a conference interpreter in business and diplomacy or as a translator, doing independent work, collaborating with a translation office, or as an employee in a large organisation. You can also work as an interpreter to assist police investigations or legal trials involving suspects or witnesses who speak an Asian language.

2. Foreign Correspondent

  • Average salary in the United States: 65,700 USD/year

If a career in journalism sounds interesting, a job as a foreign correspondent in an Asian country might be a good fit for you. Similar to reporters, foreign correspondents are responsible for covering the most interesting news and stories in a foreign country. You can work as a freelancer or for a mass media company.

You will have to travel or live in an Asian country for a certain amount of time and investigate or follow a story; this could include any topic related to the local culture, politics, law, or even report dangerous events like wars or conflicts.

3. Foreign Affairs Analyst/Consultant

  • Average salary in the United States: 63,600 USD/year

You can work as a foreign consultant in fields like international politics. Career opportunities for foreign consultants are available within government agencies, embassies and consulates, or international organisations.

Your knowledge of the country's history and language proficiency make you a valuable advisor for foreign diplomats and ambassadors that need to work to resolve issues within the country or try to establish tighter relationships with the international community.

Ivona told us about her experience of studying a degree in Asian Studies: “I have experienced four kinds of teaching (Slovak, Czech, Chinese, British) and they are all completely different and they all focus on different things.”

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4. Financial Advisor

  • Average salary in the United States: 55,000 USD/year

If you complete an Asian Studies degree with a focus on finance, you can become a financial advisor for Asian markets. You will provide consulting services in areas that include outbound investment, private equity, stock exchange, insurance, etc.

Your main tasks will be to research the financial market, communicate with clients, and complete risk analysis and financial reports.

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5. International Marketing Specialist

  • Average salary in the United States: 65,800 USD/year

Understanding how people from a certain area think and behave makes it easier to sell them products and capture their attention.

Companies are looking for marketing specialists who can help them better understand their international customers and avoid any embarrassing mistakes, which are an ever-present risk in global markets. You will help your company understand cultural etiquette, cliches, sensitive subjects and ideals of the population you know a lot of from your studies.

Bring the world together with your knowledge and experience and help others share your fascination for some of the oldest cultures in history.

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