Article - What You Can Do With Applied Linguistics Degree:

Majoring in applied linguistics can open up a number of career opportunities for someone who is interested in studying language. Linguistics students learn how to write and communicate effectively and gain advanced problem-solving skills. These broad skills are useful in a variety of settings. Students also study the development of languages and how people learn them. Because many of the careers in this field benefit from or require specific coursework, it's ideal to plan with future goals in mind while still in school.

Teaching language is one possible use for a linguistics degree. To become a foreign language instructor, it's usually necessary to get formal education in the specific language. Another option is teaching English as a second language (ESL), either overseas or in the United States. This can be an exciting career with a lot of travel opportunities. Requirements for teaching ESL vary between different types of employers. Specific coursework, a certificate, and/or a graduate degree in ESL may be needed.

Government work is another option for linguists, particularly those who are fluent in one or more foreign languages. There are opportunities in a number of different agencies, including working as a document analyst or special agent linguist for the FBI. The government also hires translators and interpreters.

Applied linguistics majors may find work in writing or publishing. A graduate degree in journalism can lead to a career as a reporter. Linguists are the people who develop language reference books. They compile information and write entries for dictionaries, for example. This major provides a good background for technical writers and even freelance writers and novelists who want a degree.

Corporations hire linguists to fill roles in communications and research. Jobs in the high-tech industry are available to help create new technologies and computer programs. One example of this is the development of voice recognition software. Computer science involves a lot of language and problem-solving skills, which makes it an ideal area for linguists who have completed some training in information technology.

Studying linguistics as an undergraduate can be used as a starting point for further academic work in other fields, particularly the social sciences. Library science, literature, anthropology, speech therapy, law, philosophy, and psychology are some examples of master's programs for which this background may be helpful. Of course, it's possible to get a graduate degree in applied linguistics as well. These degrees could lead to more research work or a position in the field.

Career Possibilities

What to Do with a Linguistics Major

Why Study Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Career Opportunities for Linguistics Majors

What Can I Do with a Degree in Applied Linguistics?

Degree Programs

Database of College Linguistics Programs

American Association for Applied Linguistics – Master's Programs

Job Listings

Linguistic Society of America Job Listings

LinguistList Jobs Area

The ESL Job Center

Jobs in Linguistics Links

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