For the first couple of decades or so, life is a pretty straightforward path in the sense that it is dictated to you. You are born, you go to junior school, then middle school, then high school and then, maybe, you go to college, picking a degree that a) you enjoy, b) interests you and c) will let you live a better quality of life. That’s how most paths look, give or take a few hiccups along the way.
However, the day you graduate, head out the college exit and spring yourself unto the big wide world, something changes. The path is no longer paved. Sure, you’ll no doubt follow convention and get a job, but that scope is as wide as the universe and so you are faced with the first massive decision in your life, “what am I going to do with my degree?”
Of course, the nature of your degree will dictate your choices somewhat, but not as much as you may have expected, especially if you studied a language at college (which is a fantastic route to have gone down).
Well, we want to help, which is why we have pulled together a list of modern language jobs you could venture into.
- Be Marvelous In Marketing
One of the fundamental skills you pick up when studying a language is how to communicate effectively, which is something that all good marketers, social media managers and advertising executives all need to have in their skill set. The reason for this is simple: in all marketing roles, you have to work closely with both your colleagues and clients in order to hit the right notes when attracting your target audience.
- A Jolly Good Journalist
Modern journalism isn’t as simple as it once was. Nowadays you need to decide whether you fancy media, online, multimedia or print journalism most, although all of these are highly suited to your degree. It is that ability to analyze both written and verbal information, conducting interviews with sources, investigating leads, presenting arguments and ensuring all content is accurate. Yes, you could do this with just an English degree but, in this ever-more globalised world, those with more languages under their belt will be more employable.
- Interpret This Anyway You Like
Going into interpretation is one of the most literal career choices anyone with a language degree can opt into. It is this idea of converting one language into another, using that excellent command over your native language and the foreign ones you studied. How you use this interpretation is up to you, however. It could be you work in government diplomacy, interpreting meetings between foreign leaders, or you could set up your own translation company, becoming one of the Boostlingo language companies as a means of scaling your operations fast. Whatever you choose, a great way to start building up experience and connections is to work as an in-house translator, which you could do anywhere in the world.
- Aid People Internationally
International aid and charity work have grown in popularity thanks to millennials wanting to do more with their lives, whether that be travel, aid or have a purpose. What makes international aid work so attractive is how rewarding it can be in every sense of the word – work overseas and you can find yourself getting paid reasonably well for your efforts. Of course, the languages you are fluent in have a huge say in your success, with French, Spanish and Arabic all being in high demand. The work itself is also incredibly varied. You could be offering aid support to people in war-torn parts of West Africa or you could be teaching indigenous people how to use modern day tech in order to enhance their lives. How do you get into this strand of language work? Network. That’s the best way. It is getting out there and meeting people and using charity job websites to land your first gig and then see where you get carried from there.
- Those Who Can Do, Teach
Teaching is another highly desirable route that a lot of language graduates opt for, but not always in the conventional sense. Yes, you could become a trainee teacher at your local high school, but you could also use your degree to travel the world and make a small fortune while you are at it. How? By teaching English as a foreign language. Of course, where you go to apply your trade and how experienced you are will have a lot of say over how much you earn but, to use a few examples, Japan pays up to $3000 per month plus housing, Vietnam pays $2000 per month, the United Arab Emirates plays up to $4000 per month and the best of the best in Dubai can lead lives where they get paid in excess of $80,000 a year. That is a phenomenal amount, especially if you pick places where the cost of living is low, and you get the chance to enjoy another culture.
- Be Better At A Business
A lot of people looking at finance careers and believe they need to have a degree in maths in order to land on an onboarding scheme. But this is far from accurate. Big businesses tend to be forward-thinking companies that want to hire people with entrepreneurial qualities. They also operate in a global marketplace and that is why your language skills are highly valued by these corporations. It could be your ability to communicate with international clients, or perhaps you are perfectly positioned to manage global business connections. Banks, accountancy firms, insurance companies – all of these operate on an international basis and that is why they actively seek people with language degrees. However, it isn’t just money-based companies that are interested in your abilities, it is also businesses that operate in logistics and distribution, all of whom require goods to be moved across international borders.
As you can see, a language degree is the key that can open a plethora of different career opportunities. This is great because choice is great. Not every degree comes with that luxury.