Finding Work

Jobs and Careers

Most people will have several different careers in their lives, and many, many jobs. Like the popular and valuable advice about learning from mistakes, when you take a job you don't end up loving, you get closer to finding what you do want to do. So please approach the process with this in mind!

If you have been working while going to school, what do you like and dislike about your work?

  • Do you like talking to people and helping them?
  • Do you enjoy written communications and marketing (like in email or on social media platforms)?
  • Do you like to be outside, on your feet, or sitting down?
  • Do you prefer working with other people, or on your own?

These are typical of questions you will answer on a personality indicator test or career assessment. You can take these likes and dislikes and find career areas that match as a jumping off point for your job search.


LALS Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are the kind of attributes you can bring with you to your jobs. All students completing a degree in LALS will have proficiency or competency in the following five areas:

  1. Critical Thinking. Ability to analyze from a transnational/transborder/translocal perspective—to see the interconnections between Latin American and Latino issues, people, ideas, problems, and solutions. This includes key skills, such as understanding sources, comparing arguments, analysis, and historical perspective.
  2. Research Methods. Working knowledge of social scientific and/or humanistic approaches to LALS relevant topics. This includes acquiring qualitative and quantitative skills, gathering or obtaining research data, finding/using primary sources, and other research methods.
  3. Communication. Key communication skills, including written, oral presentation, and digital, including an understanding of media sources and ability to apply media literacy to cross-cultural analysis.
  4. Language. Fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese, in addition to English.
  5. Lifelong Learning Skills. Acquisition of practical hands-on skills in community engagement, cross-cultural fluency, familiarity with Latin America, and familiarity with Latino experience acquired through experiential learning while working with community and civic organizations.

When you are creating your résumé, writing your cover letters, and applying for jobs, don't forget to share your skills with your future employers! Feel free to use the language we use in our catalog description, or tweak it to fit your needs. For instance:

  • Critical Thinking = excellent problem-solving skills with global/intercultural fluency
  • Research Methods = experience in data-driven analysis
  • Communication & Language = extensive bilingual communication skills, including experience in oral presentations and cross-cultural literacy across digital platforms
  • Lifelong Learning Skills = ability to understand new concepts and explore new ideas through community engagement and collaborative/team efforts

FYI, the skills and abilities described above are exactly what research has shown employers are looking for!



O*NET is a fantastic site for researching your potential career and education options. I did a couple of searches like this:

  1. Click on "Advanced Search" button from homepage.
  2. Find the first category, "Browse by O*NET Data," and make a choice from the drop-down menu.
  3. I tried "Knowledge" and then selected "Sociology and Anthropology" to get a first list of suggested careers.
  4. Going back to the "Browse by O*NET Data" menu, I chose "Work Activities" and then "Working with Others" and then "Coaching and Developing Others" to get this list of possible careers

The lists I link to above of suggested and possible careers are interactive. Each job title is a link to a detailed list of work activities, skills required, education, and much more.


Working Abroad

Would you like to live and work abroad? UCSC Study Abroad has collected a number of resources for you to explore. You can also find a list of graduate school programs in international education, comparative international education, and similar fields.


Ready to Work

Are you looking for a job right now?

  • Check out Handshake through the Career Center
  • If you want to work locally, look at Monterey Bay Career Connect
  • Ask everyone in your network (friends, parents, parents' friends, instructors) if they have any leads or know of any jobs that might be a good fit for you. Have your résumé ready in case they ask. (It's okay to have an electronic copy you can email right after speaking with someone.)
  • You will need references and letters of recommendation! Make it as easy as possible for your letter writers by using the Career Center's helpful suggestions
  • Want to work at UCSC? Email for advice if you're thinking about applying for a campus job


If this feels overwhelming or confusing, contact your LALS Advisor or make an appointment with a Career Center Counselor. You do not have to figure this out on your own!