As our world becomes more and more connected in the 21st century, one of the most useful college majors you can choose is language. If you plan on obtaining a foreign language degree, there are a multitude of career opportunities available. What follows is a list of some of the most popular jobs open to language majors.
One of the most common career paths for language majors is that of a translator or interpreter. As a translator, you could choose to work as a freelancer or as an employee of a translating company. Alternatively, you could also seek employment with an international corporation or a government agency. Interpreters often find jobs with international groups such as the United Nations. Whether you choose to work on your own or for an organization of some sort, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to set obtainable goals at first, then work your way up to the more lucrative and/or prestigious positions. Experience is key in this profession, and everyone has to start somewhere.
International Account Representative
If you enjoy sales and/or working for private industry, you might consider pursuing a career as an international account representative. Most often employed by international corporations and import/export companies, this career path often provides extensive travel opportunities. It’s also somewhat easier to advance in this profession than some others, although you will undoubtedly have to start with an entry level job before working your way into a more desirable position.
Foreign Diplomat/Cultural Attache
If you enjoy the prospect of living and working in another country for extended periods of time, being employed by an embassy or an international political organization might afford you that opportunity. Two of the most common career paths are those of a foreign diplomat or cultural attache. There are several levels of diplomatic service – such as ambassadors, ministers and envoys, for example – and they all involve a commitment to living abroad and representing the interests of your home country. A cultural attache is also an embassy employee whose job it is to promote cultural relations between his/her home country and the country in which the embassy is located.
Teaching is an excellent choice for language majors. The opportunities in the education field are numerous and varied. You might choose to simply teach a foreign language at your local community college, for example, or seek a position as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in your county school district. Alternatively, there are many organizations that actively seek the services of teachers to live and work overseas. The Department of State is often a good resource for overseas teaching opportunities, along with non-profit organizations such as the Peace Corps, for example.
There are a myriad of job paths open to language majors. No matter which career you choose to pursue, you should be congratulated for deciding on obtaining a language degree. As our world becomes increasingly more connected, the job opportunities for language majors will continue to grow.