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College of Arts and Sciences

Foreign Language Careers

romance languages and literatures

Sunny employment future for interpreters and translators

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, "Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 46 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increasing globalization and by large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification."

Translators in Demand

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on: "In Translation: More multi-lingual workers needed" in the USA.

Foreign language skills provide sharp edge in the job market

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, "A growing number of business schools seem to be taking the view that a degree of fluency in at least one other major language is essential for the next generation of corporate leaders, despite the fact that most of their international programs are now conducted in English."


2014 Top-Paying Liberal Arts Majors 

The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that the top-paying liberal arts majors for 2014 graduates are foreign languages and literature (average starting salary $46,900) and English ($42,200). The results are based on job offers that students accepted earlier this year and were reported by employers in February 2014 primarily through a variety of government surveys.


"The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals," New York Times article by Katherine Kinzler.

Learning a second language expands your life, keeps your brain young, and enhances your credentials on the job market, says

Lawyers and Foreign Languages. If you want to work in the competitive legal profession, having foreign language skills can help set you apart.

The International Business Times reported that job seekers with bilingual skills could look forward to a profusion of opportunities in the coming year.

"Monolingual Myopia: American students are making a mistake by opting out of foreign language courses."

The Vistawide World Languages and Cultures website is a resource for foreign language majors.

"What Can You Do With a Foreign Language Degree? The Possibilities are Endless!"

"Language Study in the Age of Globalization: The College-Level Experience" an excellent brochure prepared by the Modern Languages Association (MLA).

Omniglot, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages, offers these career suggestions and many links for additional information and resources for those majoring in foreign languages.

The "Education Portal" website offers "Career Information for a degree in Foreign Languages" (with salary stats).

In its list of The 13 "Most Useful College Majors," Newsweek magazine placed at #10 "French, German, Latin and other Common Foreign Languages."


Current Research on the Benefits of Second Language Study and Study Abroad


Going Abroad Makes You More Creative

According to the latest scientific research reported in The Atlantic, traveling abroad and living in a foreign culture stimulate the brain's creative capacities.

What happens in the brain when you learn a language?:  

Learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain. This is what Swedish scientists discovered when they used brain scans to monitor what happens when someone learns a second language.

Why Everyone Should Learn a Second Language: Money, Dream Jobs, A Better Brain

Learning a New Language Helps the Brain

Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World



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Night scene, Bogotà, Colombia