Gender diversity goes by several other names, such as gender studies, global gender studies and sexuality studies. Its really an offspring of the women’s studies movement of the 1960s. Fortunately, the discussion is no longer limited to women and their oppression. Today the discipline is largely regarded as an interdisciplinary medium where participants challenge each other’s and scholars’ ideas of masculinity and femininity, gender, and sex.
A gender diversity post-master’s certificate attracts students from literature, art, history, and psychology departments who see a connection between their academic focus and gender diversity. As a cross-disciplinary field, gender diversity welcomes perspectives from all departments. Academics in this field are interested in how these roles have and have not changed in society through time. Though some programs still bear the name ‘feminist studies’ or ‘women’s studies’, most curricula are largely geared toward gender diversity.
Students pursue the certificate for many reasons. Earning the post-master’s certificate might assist students in preparation for the doctoral program. In that case, they may use the certificate as a milestone as they work toward the dissertation and qualifying exams. Other students coming from fields outside gender diversity pursue the gender diversity post-master’s certificate to supplement their master’s studies in human development, psychology, literature or history. Upon completion of the certificate, students walk away with a professional credential, one that will distinguish them among candidates in the job market or academic departments if they continue their education.
Those who continue onto a doctorate program might be driven by the competitive edge they will receive from additional credentials. In many departments, funding is scarce and students must vie for teaching and research assistant positions. Having the certificate program on one’s curriculum vitae can enhance his or her candidacy for employment.
Because the post-master’s certificate in gender diversity program assumes that students have already achieved a high level of education, the enrollment requirements are generally brief.
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree in related field
- Strong GPA
- Recommendation from program faculty
In addition to the most basic requirements, students may also need to have been accepted into the doctoral program, taken a prerequisite foundations course, and received endorsement from a faculty member of the gender diversity department pledging that he or she will serve on the student’s doctoral committee. Furthermore, some gender diversity certificate online programs are designed for licensed mental health counselors and social workers who seek expertise in gender diversity.
As can be assumed from the variety of considerations that inform students’ motives, the nature of the program and how long it lasts will vary by academic institution. Often, certificate programs only require completion of four or five courses. Graduates not enrolled in a doctoral program may be required to submit a final research project to the program for evaluation. In contrast, doctoral students who simultaneously earn a post-master’s certificate will receive the latter only after they have passed their oral defense.
Example courses in gender diversity certificate program curricula include ‘Foundations in Feminist Theory’, ‘Topics in the Study of Gender’, and ‘Sociology of Sexuality’.
What's Next for Gender Diversity Certificate Holders?
Post-master’s certificate holders find jobs in social work, industry consulting firms, insurance companies, and human resources departments. However, careers as instructors, adjunct faculty and tenured professors also continue to attract graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment of postsecondary teachers is slated to increase 13% by 2024, which is close to the average for all occupations.
Opportunities for further education are endless, and some certificate holders may want to complete additional certificate programs like substance abuse counseling or consider a doctorate in gender diversity or human development.