One of the most daunting things about starting university is having to start thinking about your career and how your degree might help you get there. This can be especially true for degrees that don’t lead to a specific profession, unlike medicine or dentistry. But no matter what you study, your degree can take you to some incredible places. Having studied French and Philosophy, I am going to talk about how language degrees can open the door to a huge range of jobs.
Summer jobs and working abroad
If you are applying to university, you might be thinking about seasonal jobs during the holidays. As a languages student, however, it’s important to bear in mind that you have access to so many more jobs, simply because you can speak more than one language. In the summer before my year abroad began, I worked in a chalet in the alps. Though many winter Alpine visitors are Brits looking to hit the slopes, the summer season sees French residents fleeing the cities for the magnificence of the mountains. Many of these seasonal roles therefore require workers to speak French so that they can speak to guests. These kinds of jobs are perfect for languages students looking to put their studies into practice, and often come with great perks: I got free accommodation, lift pass and pool pass as well as getting paid! So whatever language you study, you can make the most of the opportunity to travel and see a bit of the world, whilst getting some work experience.
Translation, interpreting and writing
Lots of languages graduates put their skills into practice by going into roles where languages form an integral part of their daily tasks, and nowhere is that clearer than in the translation industry! Translation roles can take a number of forms, whether it’s legal, educational, or commercial translation, working either within an organisation or freelance, meaning you can often control your hours and work remotely. If you prefer translating verbally, working as an interpreter can also be incredibly rewarding and allow you to work in some amazing situations. What is common to all these roles is that you need to be able to communicate well in more than one language, and as such, languages graduates are also well-suited to careers in writing or journalism. If so, you can be assured of an exciting career!
The great thing about languages degrees is that they allow you to study subjects from History and Philosophy to Film Studies, Politics and Art. As such, languages graduates are well-placed to go into a huge range of professions. Many choose graduate schemes, such as finance or management. Others choose law or the civil service, and some continue in academia, building on their invaluable language degrees. Language degrees open the door to so many opportunities: all you need to do is seize them!