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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Plannning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Latin American Area Studies

Latin American Area Studies

Description of Major
The history curriculum is designed to introduce students to the study of the human past. Students majoring in history learn to approach decision-making with an awareness of a broad range of choices; learn to think critically and communicate their ideas effectively; integrate their academic study with their intellectual and moral maturation; understand the construction of historical knowledge; and learn how to learn. The curriculum emphasizes the role of the student as an active learner and encourages individualized learning experiences, including those outside of established coursework, and the development of close working relationships between students and faculty.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- inventing
- ability to work self-directedly
- making decisions
- analyzing
- identifying problems and needs
- identifying priorities and parameters
- predicting and evaluating future trends
and patterns
- identifying the critical issues and making
decisions quickly and accurately
- making commitments to others and
following through
- conceptualizing
- applying data
- taking risks
- organizing
- initiating projects or ideas
- making and keeping a schedule
- identifying alternative courses of action
- identifying people who can contribute to
the solutions of a problem or task
- analyzing the behavior of self and others
in a group


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- describing objects or events with a
minimum of factual errors
- writing factual material clearly and
- identifying and communicating value
judgments effectively
- writing effectively
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- critiquing, editing, proofreading
- summarizing
- reporting accurately


Research/Analytical Skills:
- sorting data and objects
- cataloging information
- understanding and using organizing
- developing new approaches to problems
- using library and research facilities
- gathering information
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- applying appropriate methods to test
the validity of data
- identifying information sources
appropriate to special needs or problems
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas form several perspectives
- compiling and selecting information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- reading
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extraction essence
- using a variety of sources of information
- designing an experiment, plan or model
that systematically defines a problem
- formulating questions to clarify a
particular problem or issue


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the History Discipline:
- the ability to work self-directedly
- setting goals
- predicting future trends
- defining a problem systematically
- identifying people who can contribute to
the solution of a problem
- reporting accurately
- taking risks
- initiating projects and ideas
- analyzing interrelationships of events
- identifying information sources
- describing events with a minimum of
factual error


Jobs Obtained by UMM LAAS Graduates
Studies conducted by UMM Career Services have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM Latin American Area Studies graduates:

Children's Book Editor
Customer Service     Representative
Elected County Administrator
Elementary Bilingual School     Teacher
Foreign Service Officer
Gift Shop Owner
High School Counselor
High School Social Science     Teacher
High School Spanish Teacher
Import-Export Business     Agent
International Banking
International Faculty Advisor
International Investment     Banker
Juvenile Delinquency Officer
Legal Education
Library of Congress     (Researcher)
Marketing Person     Telecommunications
Newspaper Reporter
Radio Broadcaster
Small Business Owner
Social Security Administration     (Analyst)
Social Worker
Television Reporter
University Admissions     Counselor
University Professor (Spanish     American Literature)


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one's general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Graduate/Professional Schools in LAAS
Links to LAAS Jobs