Youâ€™ve chosen to study a linguistics degree, and you may well be loving every minute of it â€“ but still have no idea what to do next… Not to worry â€“ weâ€™ve got plenty of ideas! Take a look at these seven jobs for graduates in which a linguistics degree is likely to give you a head-start.
1. Computational linguist in the tech industry
The job: An interdisciplinary field combining computing and rule-based modeling of natural language, computational linguistics can solve problems in many areas, including artificial intelligence, machine translation, natural language interfaces, document processing, grammar and style checking, and computer-assisted language learning.
Salary: As a computational linguist, you could expect to work for blue chip companies, labs, universities or big software brands and earn between US$6,000 and $110,000 (including bonuses) in the US.
Specifications: Â Youâ€™ll need to follow your undergraduate linguistics degree with a masterâ€™s degree in computational linguistics or a related field, knowledge of programming, and in some cases a foreign language.
2. Linguistics professor
The job: Pursue an academic career and impart your expert knowledge in university departments such as linguistics, philosophy, psychology, speech and communication sciences or anthropology.
Salary: This will really depend on your years of experience and the country and establishment in which you decide to teach. A lecturer in the US with less than a yearâ€™s experience could expect to earn on average between US$32,000 and $91,000, while a professor with more than 10 years of experience could hope to earn between US$50,000 and $158,000 with bonuses included. In other countries such as the UK, however, these figures drop somewhat: a junior lecturer could hope to earn on average between US$31,000 and $64,000, while a professor with more experience might make between US$72,000 and $128,000. Note that you would need to fund about six to seven years of study before cashing in your first pay check â€“ though you may be able to obtain a funded PhD place.
Specifications: For academic roles, youâ€™ll need to complete a masterâ€™s degree, PhD, and in some cases also a professional teaching certificate.
The job: Working in translation, you would be expected to churn out 2,000 to 3,000 words every day. Your typical day would involve liaising with clients, consulting specialist dictionaries and using reference books to find precise translations for industry jargon. Whether freelance or in-house, you would typically be expected to specialize in one area (such as commerce, education, law, literature or science).
Salary: Starting salaries for translators are calculated based on word count and degree of specialism and vary based on your employer. The average translator in the US earns between US$24,000 and $83,000, while in the UK the figures drop to US$25,000 and $56,000.
Specifications: A degree and thorough knowledge of two languages in addition to your mother tongue are expected. A postgraduate qualification, such as an MA in translation, could significantly increase your chances of getting hired, especially within international bodies.
4. Teach a foreign language
The job: A popular source of jobs of graduates in a range of language-related disciplines, as a foreign language teacher, you would spend your days preparing lesson plans, marking student work, ordering material, instructing pupils either one-to-one or in the classroom, liaising with parents and attending administrative meetings. You would be expected to impart your pupils with a degree of proficiency in a new language, as well as knowledge of the culture, history and culture of the language in question.
Salary: This would again depend on your experience and location. UK salaries for a high school teacher range between US$29,000 and $61,000 depending on the city and years of experience, while US salaries fluctuate between US$31,000 and $72,000 based on skill, experience and city.
Specifications: A bachelorâ€™s degree with evidence of classes and extensive coursework in your chosen language as well as completion of a teacher-education program or a â€˜PGCEâ€™ in the UK.
5. Forensic linguist
The job: Forensic linguists perform language analysis on emergency calls, suicide letters, threat communication and social media during legal proceedings for law firms, the police and/or the government to help solve crime. Other areas you may be involved in as a forensic linguist include trademark disputes, author identification and language analyses of asylum seekers. Forensic linguists working with the CIA or FBI in the US would work on matters of national security. While the average forensic linguist works a regular nine to five, those working with government may to work slightly more irregular hours.
Salary: One of the main perks of the job, salary can stack up high, with the average forensic linguist in the US making somewhere between US$37,000 and $100,000.
Specifications: A bachelorâ€™s, masterâ€™s and PhD in linguistics, as well as knowledge of legal procedures.
6. Technical writer
The job: Technical writers produce content in close collaboration with graphic designers, user experience designers, software developers and testers, chiefly collecting information, planning content and writing technical documentation to educate consumers about a product or service in the form of manuals, whitepapers, business correspondence, et cetera. Working hours are usually a regular nine to five, though schedules may vary based on deadlines. Flexible work (freelance or home-based) is possible once you have gained more experience.
Salary: US salaries range between US$37,000 and $86,000, depending on the city, experience, skill and employer, while in the UK, a technical writer will earn between US$29,000 and $72,000based on skill, city and experience.
Specifications: A bachelorâ€™s degree in IT, communications, English or journalism as well as knowledge of publication software such as Word, Adobe, Photoshop, Paint, CSS, et cetera.
The job: Lexicographers write, compile and edit dictionaries for native speakers, learners of English, professionals or bilingual speakers. They monitor and record new words and check the accuracy of their own texts, performing a wealth of editorial tasks.
Salary: UK salaries may range between US$25,981 and $65,000, while US salaries fluctuate somewhere between US$51,000 and $55,000.
Specifications: A degree in linguistics, English, modern languages, history/politics, or classics. A postgraduate qualification in foreign languages or linguistics may be useful for aspiring bilingual lexicographers. For those aspiring to work on English teaching titles, some previous work experience teaching English as a foreign language may be essential. Some essential general skills needed for the role include an excellent command of English, grammar, an eye for detail and time management.
All salaries listed here are estimates only, gathered from PayScale.com, Prospects.co.uk and GlassDoor.com.Â
Source by Topuniversities