Jobs You Can Get With a Religious Studies Degree
As a religious studies graduate, you have a lot of career options. Why is that? Well, simply put, because the skills you can acquire can be applied to so many different types of careers.
Take the skill of being able to understand different cultures and philosophical points of view. A skill such as this has many career applications. It can be applied to careers such as Community Services Director, where it’s important to be able speak to the specialized needs of a community with a culture that is different than your own.
But that’s not the only skill you’ll acquire. You’ll gain an entire portfolio of skills that can be applied to a wide variety of careers in religion, as well as careers not concerning religion at all. In fact, only a relatively small number of religious studies graduates utilize their education for religion-based careers such as Pastor or Liturgist.
So, for a better idea of what you can do with this degree, take a look at the Job Board for Religious Studies Students & Grads tab below; it has job postings that you can apply for with a degree in Religious Studies, or other closely related fields.
Job Board for Religious Studies Students & Grads
More On What You Can Do with a Religious Studies Degree
Many graduates use their religious studies degree to pursue professional and graduate programs, and eventually careers, in various areas including education, journalism, sociology, law, social work and medicine. Others go directly into the workforce, often starting near the bottom and using their skill set to work their way up!
So read on below, we have heaps of information on what you can do with a religious studies degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to careers you can pursue with your degree.
What Religious Studies Teaches You
The main goal of religious studies (in most cases) is to help you understand the world’s various religions, as well as their relationships to culture both in the past and in the contemporary world.
An understanding of religion helps us understand the world around us, as religion is a major force in contemporary politics, societies and cultures, just as it has been throughout history.
To help examine religious belief in its relation to these social sciences, religious studies programs often incorporate elements of sociology, political science, anthropology, language studies, classical studies and history.
Depending on the school offering the religious studies program, you may be able to study religion in general, or you may be able to study individual traditions, religious figures and deities. Some religious studies programs divide their coursework into that of Eastern Religions, Western Religions or the Nature of Religion.
Religious studies can be taught in an academic or confessional setting, depending on whether or not the school is sectarian. Either type of program however, can provide an excellent basis for going on to specific training to be the leader of a religious community or one of its professional members.
Skills You’ll Gain for Careers in Religion
As a result of earning your degree in religious studies, you can gain a skill set that is highly applicable to a future career in religion:
• Ability to evaluate current affairs from a critical perspective
• Ability to assess the impact of religion in the contemporary world
• An understanding and appreciation of human cultural, social and religious diversity
• An understanding of the multi-faceted nature of human interactions
• Research skills that facilitate the study and appreciation of diverse cultures
• An understanding of social patterns, both in a historical and contemporary context
• Specific knowledge of the teachings and philosophies of various religions
Career Guides Related to Religion
Because of the directly applicable skills you’ll gain, one career option you have is to pursue a career in a profession that is directly related to a community of faith. Such professions may include, but are not limited to:
Please Note: Many of these positions may be available to you straight out of school, but most require graduate training at a seminary or theological school.
Other Transferrable Skills You’ll Gain - Applicable to Many Careers
Studying religion is not necessarily meant as preparation for professional careers in religion. It’s largely about studying people and their many perspectives. As a result of these studies, you can gain a skill set that can be applied to careers across many different industries:
• A fundamental cultural literacy
• Research skills, including data gathering and direct observation
• Able to interpret and express your position on perplexing phenomena
• Critical intelligence and skills in intellectual analysis
• Ability to empathize with your fellow human being in order to understand his or her perspective
In particular, this skill set serves as an excellent foundation for jobs that require relating to others, reaching out to them, building bridges, or incorporating many perspectives at once.
Please Note: While this type of skill set may not be enough to ‘get you a job’ per se, it does serve as an excellent foundation for many jobs. The degree itself also serves as an excellent pre-requisite to many graduate and professional training programs that will allow you to become fully qualified for many positions to which this skill set applies.
Other Career Guides: Related to the Transferrable Skills
Outside of religion, you still have many career options because of the transferable skills you’re able to gain as a result of your studies. These careers include, but are not limited to:
Please Note: Many of the above careers require additional training, education and/or experience. To find out more about the specific education and training requirements of each career, click on their links above.
Job Postings Related to Your Degree!
Whether you're a student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your religious studies degree.
Religious Studies Graduate Salary
The salary you could earn as a religious studies graduate first entering the workforce can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The type of job you have, and your level of responsibility
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other work experience you may have accrued
• Other skills you may have
Religious Studies Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $38,407 CAD* is the average salary earned by Humanities graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.
*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in the Religious Studies, not specifically for philosophy graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.
Religious Studies Degree Scholarships
If you’re a religious studies major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to your field of study, those for arts students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.
Professional Associations for Religious Studies-Related Career Fields
To find out more about careers in the field of religious studies, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.