Language skills are in high demand, particularly in larger companies that operate internationally, so there are plenty of career opportunities with a Language degree. You could find yourself working in locations all over the world, immersing yourself in other cultures, and having a career in any number of sectors.
You won’t just be working in translation or interpreting roles either. Global industry requires employees that can speak multiple languages for all kinds of roles from business transactions to politics and international crisis management.
A language degree isn’t just about learning another language. You’ll learn many skills during your degree that will make you an attractive prospect to potential employers.
Here’s more about studying a Language degree and the career opportunities after graduation:
What will I learn during my Language degree?
The most obvious thing you’ll learn during your Language degree is a high level of fluency in your chosen language(s). However, there are many other things you’ll cover during your time at university.
The other main aim of a Languages degree is to develop an understanding of the current and historical culture of the country whose language you’re learning. This could involve studying the literature, music, film, media, and popular culture of the country, or countries, where that language is spoken.
Universities also usually include modules on the history and politics of the country, or countries, where the language you’re learning is spoken so that you have a broader knowledge.
Depending on the exact course you’re taking, the modules might have more of a business focus – for example, modules could include translation, international commerce, media and communication, or the business relationships between different regions.
What are my study options for a Language degree?
Many students combine their Language degree with another subject for a joint honours degree. Popular combinations include:
Students often also take two different languages, for example French and Italian, in order to have a broader range of language skills to offer future employers.
What are the entry requirements for a Language degree?
Surprisingly, many universities don’t require you to already speak the language you want to study at university, although knowing a few key phrases already wouldn’t hurt!
The entry requirements for each university are different, so check individual courses before applying, but you’ll need to demonstrate a strong interest in the language, culture, and country you’re applying to study.
Some universities ask that you already have an A Level in the language that you want to study and even if they don’t require this, it might help you to stand out from the crowd if you do.
What are some career options for Language graduates?
Here are five career options for someone with strong language skills from a range of industries:
Foreign government roles
If you have a strong interest in politics, as well as language skills, you might want to consider a role within a foreign government or local authority. Generally these roles revolve around foreign affairs and international relations. This is ideal if you’re looking for a role that allows you to live and work abroad, really embracing another country and culture.
Global commerce roles
Businesses of all sizes operate internationally in the modern age, largely because of our increased use of technology. Having strong language skills makes you a valuable part of the team as you’ll be able to communicate with all parties involved in the business, particularly if you’re involved in import/export for example.
Hotel/Event management roles
If you’re more interested in a hospitality or tourism role then you could find yourself working in a foreign hotel or managing events for international clients. Depending on the exact role, you might find it useful to be able to speak more than one foreign language and have a good understanding of the local culture of your clientele.
Although this is a very specialist role, and you certainly don’t need a second language to be able to be a nurse, you could find it incredibly useful. For example, there may be areas of the UK where there is a high percentage of the population that speaks your second language, or you might be considering taking on nursing roles abroad.
Subtitles and voice-over roles
For those of you that have an interest in acting or drama then you’ll be pleased to hear that being able to speak more than one language could really help you get ahead. Good spoken and written language skills are essential and you could find yourself doing voice-overs for everything from public information documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters.