Intercultural Studies Professional: Job Outlook & Career Requirements

Jan 16, 2020

Learn what intercultural studies professionals do. See what kind of education is commonly required, and find out what the earning potential is to decide if this field is the right one for you.

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

International Studies Professional

Public Relations Managers Advertising Managers Art Directors Postsecondary Teachers Archivists Curators
Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Doctoral degree Master's degree Master's degree
Job Duties Writing press releases, communicate with public Plan promotional campaigns, work with department heads Determine how to represent concepts visually, review and approve designs Teach courses, plan lessons and assignments Authenticate historical documents, preserve documents Acquire, store and exhibit collections, design, organize and conduct tours
Mean Salary (2015)* $131,570 $133,090 $101,990 $78,470 (median) $56,400 $58,490
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 8% 8% 2% 13% 9% 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Though the career of an intercultural studies professional can follow many paths, preparation typically includes completion of an education program that can help you acquire the background you need to interact with people from a wide variety of countries and cultures. Some intercultural studies professionals work in the arts, either as artists or art policy makers or overseers of public arts programs. With an in-depth understanding of what may influence a particular group of people to react in a certain way, some intercultural studies professionals apply their skills to the fields of advertising or public relations. Still others may gravitate to the world of academics or research as post-secondary teachers where they plan lessons and assignments and teach courses.

Intercultural studies professionals employed as public relations managers write press releases and communicate with the public, while those who work ad advertising managers plan promotional campaigns. Intercultural studies professionals also include archivists who authenticate and preserve historical documents or curators who acquire, exhibit, and store collections and conduct tours.

Education Requirements

The minimum educational requirement to enjoy a career in intercultural studies is a bachelor's degree; however, many of the professionals in this field, such as post-secondary teachers, hold a master's degree or above. Once enrolled in a program, aspiring professionals may study history, sociology, theology, linguistics, mythology, and anthropology. Coursework in the field of intercultural studies may also include the study of ancient civilizations, art and art appreciation, foreign language, literature, and religion. Due to the fluid nature of this field, some colleges allow intercultural studies students to create their own courses of study within the school's academic guidelines.

Required Skills

An intercultural studies professional must be curious about the world, free of prejudices, and possess the desire to seek out knowledge. He or she should be creative, self-directed, and willing to take initiative. Good research and communication skills will also be needed along with an enthusiasm for the arts.

Job Growth and Salary

Since no one job can represent the outlook for all intercultural studies professionals, let's look at some job growth figures and median annual salaries for some positions that an intercultural studies professional might pursue.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations managers can expect a 8%, or fast-as-average growth in jobs between 2018-2028. In May 2018, they earned a median annual salary of $114,800.

For the same ten year period, the BLS projects that advertising and promotions managers will see a 8% growth in jobs. In May 2018, they earned a median annual salary of $117,130.

Between 2018-2028, archivists and curators will also see a 9% and 10% growth in jobs, respectively. In May 2018, archivists earned a median annual salary of $52,240, while curators earned $53,780.

By comparison, the BLS projects that post-secondary teachers will see a 11%, or faster-than-average growth in jobs from 2018-2028. Post-secondary teachers earned a median annual salary of $78,470 in May 2018.

Alternate Career Options

Other career options for intercultural studies professionals include cultural anthropologist and historian. Let's take a look at these two positions in more depth.

Cultural Anthropologist

Cultural anthropologists study how groups of people live, work, and socialize, often by living within that society and observing and asking questions. They analyze and draw conclusions from their work and may use their knowledge to inform government agencies, businesses, and other groups about the impact of policies or other actions upon a population. Cultural anthropologists typically need at least a master's degree, although a doctoral degree is a more common requirement for lead roles and overseas field work. They may also need knowledge of a foreign language depending on where their research takes place.

The BLS predicts in general will see a 10%, or slower-than-average, growth in jobs from 2018-2028. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services and social sciences had the highest level of employment in this field as of May 2018. During this same month, anthropologists and archeologists earned a median annual salary of $62,410.


Historians research past eras, populations, or individuals in order to better understand the past and, where possible and relevant, apply that information to current events, policies, or actions. Historians look at a variety of sources, like letters, newspapers, diaries, maps, and more; they may also verify the authenticity of these pieces and catalog them. Historians also prepare written reports or articles on their work, such as for agencies working on policy issues, and participate in relevant outreach or education programs, such as for a museum or historical society.

Historians usually have at least a master's degree; research jobs commonly require a doctoral degree, usually in an area of specialization. According to the BLS, employment in this field is expected to increase by 6%, or as fast as the average, from 2018-2028. The median annual salary for historians was $61,140 in May 2018, also per the BLS. Local, state, and federal government agencies offered the highest levels of employment that year.

If you're still interested in working as an intercultural studies professional, remember that you'll need at least a bachelor's degree to work as an advertising or public relations manager. Cultural anthropologists, historians, and post-secondary teachers usually need a master's or doctoral degree.

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