Career Opportunities Abound for American Indian Studies Program Grads

SDSU American Indian Studies Medals

The next decade has lots of opportunities in store for American Indian Studies program graduates. 

Over the past year, there were 1.2 million job postings across the country in the field. As we continue to face the impact that environmental and ecological issues are having on Indigenous communities across the globe, that number is expected to grow by almost 8% over the next 10 years. In California, job postings are predicted to grow by over 10% over the next decade.

Meeting Challenges with SDSU Global Campus

SDSU Global Campus offers a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies Online Degree Completion Program, perfect for students looking to finish up their degree and begin a career either within or on behalf of Native American communities. It’s a versatile and well-rounded liberal arts degree program, meaning the areas you can use your degree in are plentiful and diverse. 

The American Indian Studies program coursework prepares students for careers in areas such as tribal economic development and tribal enterprises (particularly gaming facilities), education programs, social and human services programs, and cultural preservation divisions. You’ll gain the experience necessary to work with various federal agencies that work with Native communities, such as the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Careers in the Public and Private Sector

Federal agencies are just one source of employment. 

According to an article by Peterson’s, a college planning organization, “With this major, you may choose to vie for a position in tribal government; serve as a mental health counselor, social worker, or attorney specializing in Native American issues; or work in a healthcare or educational setting within a Native American community. You could also head to work for nonprofits, cultural or historical organizations, museums, and natural resource organizations that touch on issues vital to Native American communities.” 

According to the National Congress of American Indians (NCIA), examples of recent job postings for professionals with this degree include:

  • Assistant Legislative Attorney
  • Civic Data Research Assistant
  • Director of Finance
  • General Manager of Tribal Operations
  • Marketing & Communications Specialist
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Program Analyst

Our American Indian Studies program also offers the unique opportunity to become a leader in the tribal gaming industry. At the same time as you work toward your bachelor’s degree, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Tribal Casino Operations Management from the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming, a program within the SDSU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. This five-course certificate program focuses on casino operations, marketing, regulation, and finances. 

The Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming offers the only four-year degree in Tribal Casino Operations Management in the country and was endowed by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. Professor Kate Spilde, the Sycuan Institute Chair, also serves as an adjunct professor in SDSU’s American Indian Studies department and teaches tribal gaming as a form of nation building. 

“The certificate is an ideal companion to the American Indian Studies degree completion program at SDSU since it allows students to see the role that gaming plays in economic development while highlighting the fact that it is government gaming with a unique history in Indian Country,” said Spilde.

A Little More About the American Indian Studies Program

The SDSU Global Campus online American Indian Studies program focuses on a variety of issues, including history, political economy, tribal law and federal treaties, nation-building, social justice issues, cultural studies, tribal sovereignty, and the needs of contemporary Native American communities. 

This degree completion program is specifically designed for students who have started, but not finished, their four-year undergraduate degree. With our online American Indian Studies program, you can fit your classes to your personal busy schedule. You’ll graduate with the same degree that in-person graduates have. Applications for the program are open now!