When you think about the type of language careers open to professional linguists, you’ll consider the obvious positions like interpreter, translator, foreign language teacher, or even the head of a translation company. However, the reality is that there are far more options out there than language lovers might first think.
These days, talented linguists have an extremely diverse range of potential careers to choose from. Globalisation and the emerging markets have made linguists a must-have for companies looking to build links and expand overseas. This opens up myriad job opportunities in advertising, sales, management, finance and investment. Language jobs also crop up in the Foreign Office and elsewhere in the civil service, in journalism, and in international charities, so there’s no shortage of opportunities for someone with a linguistic skill set.
Let’s take a look at five potential language careers for professional linguists to help you find a position that’s well suited to your aptitudes and interests…
If you are an exceptional linguist with the ability to think on your feet then the role of an interpreter could be for you. Interpreters convert speech from one language to another and are commonly used at international conferences and business meetings.
There are many potential employers of interpreters, such as the European Commission, United Nations, the civil service and private agencies.
If you enjoy working alone, have an eye for detail and write well, a career as a translator could be for you. The job of a translator is to convert scientific, technical, commercial or literary texts to another language. European languages are currently in high demand, with many large-scale international companies frequently on the lookout for in-house translators to help them communicate with clients and customers.
Prospective employers include charities, government, international businesses and freelance opportunities through translation agencies.
3. The travel industry
More often than not, those with a passion for languages also love to travel, so a job in the travel industry could be a perfect fit for those with a head for business and a sense of adventure. There are a wide range of roles in the travel industry for those with a second language, from sales and marketing to hospitality and tour guiding.
Employers include travel agencies, booking websites, tour operators and more.
4. Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
The Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, is an intelligent and security organisation based in Cheltenham. Although working for the secret services might not be everyone, there are some excellent positions on offer for the right applicants.
GCHQ needs to know what is going on in other countries in order to protect our interests. A linguist is often the first person at GCHQ to discover something of importance. They then have to compile a report on the information, which requires intelligence and a well-trained mind. Of 4,500 people at GCHQ, roughly 250 are linguists.
5. Secondary school teacher
In the UK, we are currently crying out for hard working modern language teachers. If you are a qualified linguist with an interest in teaching, postgraduate grants of up to £25,000 are available to train as a secondary school teacher. Secondary schools in the state and independent sector are constantly on the lookout for qualified language teachers with a sense of vocation. If that sounds like you, you might just have found your next language career.
For more information about the language careers on offer at Linguistica Recruitment please take a look at our jobs page. If you see anything you like the look, please click the ‘apply for this position’ button to upload your CV. Once received, a member of the HR team will be in touch to discuss your suitability for the role.