Foreign Languages Degree Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Foreign Languages

Foreign languages degrees teach students about vocabulary and conversational speaking within a language other than the person’s mother tongue. After completing a degree program in foreign languages, a student will be prepared to pursue a career as a translator, as a teacher of foreign languages, or as a business consultant overseas.

Foreign Languages Degree Programs

Individuals that pursue a degree in foreign languages are generally interested in being able to speak more than one language for a variety of different reasons. It can be exciting to communicate with people from other countries and understand the language when traveling overseas. It also gives students a greater appreciation for the culture and history associated with the language as well as their own. Students that pursue a career in foreign languages may be asked to take some or all of the following courses:

  • Conversation and Composition
  • Reading Skills
  • Applied Phonetics
  • Linguistics
  • Civilization and Cultural History
  • Literature

Once a degree in foreign languages has been completed, a student will be prepared to pursue a career as a translator, business consultant, or teacher of foreign languages.

Foreign Language Teachers Job Opportunities for Foreign Languages Degree Graduates

Individuals that work as foreign language teachers can specialize in post-secondary, primary, and secondary education, and they are able to connect with students that wish to learn foreign languages. There is a strong need for teachers of English as a second language, and they are responsible for preparing and planning courses. English teachers evaluate the progress of students by developing assignments and examinations, grading them, and helping students to do better in the future. ESL teachers are expected to see major job growth in the future, while teachers in other levels of education are only expecting average job growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a post-secondary English language teacher in 2009 was $58,870.

Translator Job Opportunities for Foreign Languages Degree Graduates

Translators help individuals to understand meanings and words from another language, and they can be used when individuals such as readers, conference participants, law enforcement, or journalists cannot understand a spoken language. Translators can convert written language into a more familiar language for a person, such as converting Spanish writing to English. They may also listen to a person talk and translate the language to the listener’s native tongue. For example, a translator may work to translate conversations between a French-speaking person and English speaking law enforcement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a translator or interpreter in 2009 was $40,860, and growth for individuals in these positions is expected to be extremely high within the next few years.

Consultant Job Opportunities for Foreign Languages Degree Graduates

Consultants work with businesses and organizations that want to expand beyond the United States. They help to facilitate communication with workers in foreign countries and can serve as translators to help both parties to understand the other’s language. Consultants are aware of religious practices, customs, traditions, and taboos that are used within the other country and this knowledge will help to ease tensions that occur with inter-cultural relations. Consulting is one of the fastest growing careers within the U.S. economy, and the median annual salary in 2009 was over $50,000.

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