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American and Canadian Studies

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Studying American and Canadian studies with its option for a year abroad can help develop your cultural awareness and ability to market yourself as a global graduate.

Many students choose to study American and Canadian studies due to their interest in the history, literature, politics and culture of North America. Their decision is not often a vocational one and career options are open-ended.

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What skills will I gain during my degree?

The skills you have gained from studying American and Canadian studies are transferable to a wide range of areas which means that you can, and do, enter a diverse range of roles and sectors.

A graduate will typically have the ability to:

  • communicate effectively using advanced literacy and communication
  • work independently
  • plan and research written work
  • analyse and critically examine diverse forms of verbal and textual communication
  • exercise independent thought, judgement and skills in critical reasoning
  • be sensitive to the opinions of others and alternative perspectives
  • work with others when presenting ideas and information
  • work with information technology
  • gain a broad range of vocabulary and critical terminology
  • demonstrate flexibility and cultural awareness particularly if undertaking the year abroad option

What careers have graduates gone into?

96% of graduates leaving American and Canadian studies courses in the 2015/16 academic year secured work or futher study within six months of graduating.

It is worth noting that around two-thirds of jobs that require a degree do not specify a particular subject.

Students who decide to continue their studies went on courses including:

  • journalism
  • international relations
  • business
  • teaching

Of those going into the workplace, the range of occupations and sectors entered includes:

  • commercial, industrial and public sector management
  • marketing and advertising
  • journalism
  • business and finance including human resources
  • sales and retail including management roles
  • event management and public relations

Types of Jobs - explore roles and sectors

 

Stepping stones from my degree

It is true to say that many graduates of American and Canadian studies (and other subjects) take some time building their career through a series of roles to get to a specific career where they want to be or even to decide what job suits them.

This could be due to a variety of reasons for example:  the sector they want to enter requires an entry-level position (for example: heritage, media roles and publishing) or they are saving up to fund a postgraduate course or travel and therefore their first destination is a stop gap.

How can I develop my skills and gain experience during my degree?

Developing skills outside your degree course will enhance your CV and allow you to provide evidence of these in applications and at interviews. Some examples are listed below.

Work experience

Depending on what area of work or role you might be interested in, and where, there will be specific strategies, from speculative applications to formal processes you need to be familiar with.

Work experience - what, how and when

Nottingham Internship Scheme

We work closely with a huge variety of local and national businesses to bring you an exciting range of internship opportunities, for both current students and recent graduates.

Nottingham Internship Scheme

Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop your employability. With over more than 300 modules across our three campus in the UK, China and Malaysia.

Nottingham Advantage Award

Advice from Nottingham alumni

With our eMentoring programme, you can receive invaluable support via email from an alumnus while considering your career options. Choose a mentor in the career area that interests you and get a real insight into the sector.

eMentoring

Enhance your digital skills

Digital skills are essential in many career fields including advertising, publishing, marketing and general commerce. They range from social media to coding and will definitely enhance your employability.

More about digital industries

Students' Union

The Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering options both locally and internationally which you can fit around your studies.

Alternatively you could get involved in a society or sports club - there's so many, you're bound to find one that interests you!

Students' Union

Students in Classrooms

There are three initiatives which will give you the opportunity to work in a local educational setting.  These initiatives support the academic attainment and raise the aspirations of primary and secondary pupils, whilst developing the skills and employability of those involved. 

These are excellent opportunities for students considering teaching, youth work or community engagement as a career.

Students in Classrooms

Exchanges programmes overseas

Undertake an exchange semester in another country and broaden your horizons. Talk to your tutors and find out more about the programmes available from the International Office.

Exchange programmes

Psychometric tests

Many graduate recruiters use psychometric tests during the recruitment and selection process.They are common across all sectors and career fields. Practise will really help your performance.

Use our example tests

 

Careers and Employability Service

The University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk