A sample of 150 Masters and Doctoral graduates in Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town from 1973-2005 shows that alumni have successfully established careers in three broad areas: (1) education and research (48%); (2) clergy (31%); and (3) government, business, and professions (21%).
Many Religious Studies postgraduate alumni-73-are employed in education and research. Thirty four graduates have established careers as university academics, currently serving in academic posts from lecturer to professor, not only at South African universities-University of KwaZulu-Natal (7), University of Cape Town (6), University of the Witwatersrand (2), University of Stellenbosch (1), University of the Western Cape (1)-but also at international universities including African universities of Lesotho, Botswana, and Nairobi; US universities of Chicago, Duke, and Notre Dame; and Canadian universities of Ryerson and Calgary. Although most are pursuing academic careers in religion, alumni with postgraduate degrees in Religious Studies also have academic posts in sociology, anthropology, history, journalism, and law. In addition, seven graduates have gone into university administration, with five assuming the highest administrative position at their institutions as vice-chancellor, rector, or principal.
Twenty seven graduates are currently employed in research, either in university-based research projects (13), including work in one of the department's three research institutes but also in energy, water management, and children's rights, or in NGO, community-based, or government research agencies (14). Five graduates have found careers as school teachers.
A large number of postgraduate alumni in Religious Studies-46-have pursued vocations as clergy. Most have served Christian congregations, assuming leadership roles and engaging in community work, but Religious Studies alumni also include imams and rabbis who have served as religious leaders within Muslim and Jewish communities.
A substantial group of alumni-31-are employed in government, business, or professions. Postgraduate alumni have served in government-currently 8-in South Africa (including the Director-General of the Department of Arts and Culture, the Chair of the National Archives, and a research specialist in the Department of Foreign Affairs) but also outside of South Africa as a government minister in Uganda and Director of National Cultural Heritage in Namibia). Perhaps a surprising number-13-have gone into business, including international trade, global market research, and development consultancy. Another 10 have established careers in the professions of publishing, journalism, arts, medicine, or law.