Man Of Many Words – Does Any Anyone Want To Hire A Linguist?

Travelling the world would be so much more fruitful if we understood and spoke the various dialects and languages used by the various ethnicities around the globe.

According to SIL International ‘Ethnologue: Languages of the World’ (12th Edition) there are over 6,900 spoken languages in our modern world. The very joy of communication in various dialects attracts several individuals to pursue courses in learning how do languages work. However, many graduates specializing in languages are often filled with misconceptions and uncertainty about the career options available for them. Many graduate wondering what kind of job their qualification would fetch them.

LinguistDoes Any Anyone Want To Hire A Linguist?

If you are one such linguist or simply an individual seeking career opportunities based on your different language skills, then let us see what kind of jobs are in store for you.

First – Determine Your Skills

It is imperative to say the least that you determine your skills prior to considering career choices. Some of the skills to determine

  • Oral and Written Communication
  • Knowing Foreign Languages
  • IT skills
  • Presentation and Management Skills
  • Exposure to various cultures and ethnicities

Second – Exploring Various Job Options

When it comes to languages there are three clear categories of jobs that can be explored. They range from translating, interpreting and teaching. However, due to the onset of globalization many types of business and companies require their employees to know some foreign languages. There is also a rising demand for foreign language in media, market research, politics, creative writing, and even journalism. Now that we have determined the growing importance of foreign languages, let us go on to explore the three categories of jobs as discussed above.


Perhaps one of the most important categories of jobs under languages is Translation. One needs to be a complete master of language with the ability to pay attention to details and intentions when it comes to translation. Sofia Coppola’s Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson starrer ‘Lost In Translation’ had several scenes between the Japanese Director and the Interpreter, which clearly indicated to Mr. Murray that there is a lot that gets lost in translation.

Many writers are not too keen on translating their works unless the translator is good enough to convey the exact representation of the writer’s work in a completely different language. But, if you are gifted with the required attributes translation offers a varied choices of career with a rewarding experience. Although, many international organizations, NGO’s, political bodies, institutions hire full time translators, one can even purse careers in translation through free lancing for the movie industry, literature world, music industry etc…


Interpreting is nothing else but live translation. Several jobs require live translation of the spoken words of an individual into a language comprehensible to the interlocutors. Many interpreting scenarios are either one on one settings, conferences, or business meetings. And, just like translation, interpreting too has a major scope of options in freelancing.


The last and the best category of job opportunities for graduates of language degrees is Teaching. Be it schools, colleges, institutions, universities or foreign countries, Teaching has a wide range of strong job opportunities. Qualified professionals are required to teach foreign languages in schools across various countries.

Even as English continues to grow as a Foreign Language in many second and third world countries, the demand for tutors expert in the Queen’s language has simultaneously increased. The teaching profession also requires one to use the language regularly and constantly pass on their knowledge to being taught. The growing outsourcing and globalization of business has also seen various companies hiring teachers and professionals to teach their foreign employees the ability to communicate in the company’s or their customer’s native language.

Degrees in languages are not bad after all. With a variety of career options and job opportunities in education, translation, politics, business, media etc. one can easily opt for a job that fulfills their heart’s desire. Get in touch with various university and institutions career services, attend the various career fairs, network with other established language graduates to get a breakthrough towards a lovely career in languages. After all, as the great U. S. based poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo once said,

Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.

This is a guest post by Mathew Hall. Apart from providing career guidance, he helps come up with a unique career plan based on the qualities of a student and helps them guide to a better future.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by matt.wagers

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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