Some people choose to pursue a Language degree simply because they love the language. Others may take a language program to learn enough reading, writing, and speaking skills to function successfully in a work environment where that language is spoken. A certificate degree program can give you the skills required to communicate in a work environment where the primary language spoken by your co-workers or customers is not your own.
- If you're drawn to teaching, you can complete a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in English as a Second Language (ESL).
- Certificates in translation, focusing on French, Chinese-Mandarin, Chinese-Cantonese, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese offer a good jumping-off point for students pursuing a career in business, government, or publishing.
Language Job Opportunities
Professionals with extensive training in foreign languages find careers in nearly every industry:
- In government, you can work as a translator, in civil service, in the diplomatic corps, the Peace Corps, in customs or immigration agencies, intelligence communities, Homeland Security, the armed forces, or government journalism.
- Private industries such as finance, marketing, education, or health care need linguists to work as translators in sales, consulting, imports/exports, labor relations or customer service. Translators may be retained to prepare business records, sales briefs, technology user manuals, or legal documents. In health care, they are called on to assist with patients who do not speak English.
- The travel and tourism industry also needs linguists for service at hotels, resorts, cruise lines, museums, convention centers, spas, airline operations, and restaurants.
- Foreign language training can be beneficial for media positions like reporters, publishing representatives, and advertising/public relations professionals.
Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018 decade. There is a higher demand for interpreters and translators with the large amounts of non-English speaking people in the United States. In 2008, the annual salaries for interpreters and translators were $38,850, where the middle 50 percent earned between $28,940 and $52,240.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.