10 best career options for Native American college students was originally published on College Recruiter.
Despite all the progress we’ve made as a society, disparities, and inequalities continue to exist, and educational opportunities for Native Americans are no exception. For many Native American students, finding a career that not only provides a good income but also aligns with their heritage and culture is important.
1. Healthcare Professional
Majors: Nursing, Pre-Med, Biology, Health Sciences
Healthcare is an ever-expanding field, with a constant need for professionals in various roles, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and healthcare administrators. Native American communities in particular often face a shortage of healthcare providers, so your work could make a significant difference. Biology and pre-medical studies are great for aspiring doctors, while nursing or health sciences can be ideal for those aiming for other healthcare roles.
2. Environmental Scientist
Majors: Environmental Science, Ecology, Biology
Native American culture places a strong emphasis on nature and the environment. Careers in environmental science align with this perspective, enabling individuals to work toward preserving our planet. By studying environmental science, ecology, or biology, students can prepare themselves for roles in conservation, resource management, environmental consulting, and more.
Majors: Pre-law, Political Science, Sociology
As a lawyer, one can play a crucial role in defending Native American rights and tribal sovereignty, dealing with issues such as land rights, water rights, and treaty obligations. A pre-law major is the most straightforward path, but political science or sociology can also provide a solid foundation, as they offer insight into societal structures and governance.
4. Social Worker
Majors: Social Work, Psychology, Sociology
Social work is a fulfilling career that allows individuals to provide essential services to their communities. Social workers can help address many of the social issues that Native American communities face, including poverty, addiction, and mental health problems. Studying social work, psychology, or sociology can provide the knowledge and skills needed for this role.
5. Education Administrator
Majors: Education, Educational Leadership, Administration
For those who have a passion for education and community building, becoming an education administrator could be the perfect choice. These professionals manage schools, school districts, or colleges, and can have a significant impact on educational policies. Education or educational leadership majors will provide the necessary knowledge.
6. Business Owner/Entrepreneur
Majors: Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Economics
Entrepreneurship offers the flexibility and autonomy to create businesses that benefit and uplift Native American communities. Whether it’s a startup focused on Indigenous arts, a tech company, or a non-profit organization, the possibilities are endless. Studying business administration, entrepreneurship, or economics can equip students with the skills they need.
7. Cultural Anthropologist
Majors: Anthropology, Sociology, History
Cultural anthropologists study different cultures, traditions, and societies. This career could allow Native American students to explore, preserve, and educate others about their rich cultural heritage. Majoring in anthropology, sociology, or history can provide a solid foundation.
8. Tribal Leader/Politician
Majors: Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology
Native American communities need strong, knowledgeable leaders to advocate for them at the local, state, and national levels. By studying political science, public policy, or sociology, students can gain an understanding of policy-making, governance, and societal structures to effectively represent their communities.
9. Civil Engineer
Majors: Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering
Civil engineers play a crucial role in designing, building, and maintaining infrastructure. For Native American students interested in the technical aspects of community building and environmental preservation, civil engineering could be a promising career path. Studying civil or environmental engineering would be essential.
10. Mental Health Counselor
Majors: Psychology, Counseling, Social Work
Mental health is a critical area in many Native American communities, and there’s a need for counselors who understand the cultural and societal nuances of these communities. As a mental health counselor, you can make a real difference in people’s lives. A major in psychology, counseling, or social work can prepare students for this important role.