Because advancements in electronics have brought the world closer together quickly, proficiency in a second or third language is a marketable skill which can serve you well.
Coupled with expertise in such areas as international business, public administration, education, law, banking and finance, engineering, medicine, or social work, strong written and spoken communication skills in a language other than English will contribute substantially to personal advancement in an increasingly global economy.
- Consider complementary minors such as finance or economics
- Develop good computer skills
- Study the culture of countries speaking your language of interest
- Start networking and researching careers early
- Get involved with on- or off-campus related cultural activities
SKILLS RELATED TO MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY
- Ability to read and write articulately and analytically
- Comprehensive command of grammar and vocabulary
- Good listening, clarifying, questioning, and responding
- Ability to organize and memorize detailed information
- Ability to think logically, evaluate, summarize, and quickly make analogies
- Ability to speak to groups/collaborate as team member/understand and communicate between cultures
- Ability to acknowledge value systems/understand and appreciate diversity
FOREIGN LANGUAGE AS A PRIMARY SKILL
(Will almost always require further training or a second degree.)
- Foreign Language Teacher, ESL (English as a Second Language) or EFS (English for Foreign Students) on the elementary, secondary, community college, or university levels.
- In a bilingual U.S. school, foreign schools, or corporations dealing with foreign corporations.
- For national government, private companies, public services translating important documents such as contracts, medical forms, computer manuals (after taking American Translator’s Association [ATA] Exam).
- Simultaneous/sequential interpretation of speeches or dialogue for foreign clients or immigrants as employee of private companies, gov’t, law, international organizations.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE AS A SECONDARY SKILL
- Banking as bilingual officers, clerks, tellers, commercial and international loan officer; Insurance as actuary, auditor, investment analyst, international investor; Finance as director, planning associate, national or international trade economist or specialist.
- Retail and Wholesale:
- Sales clerk, customer service, fashion buyer, importer/exporter, salesperson, pharmaceutical representative.
- Advertising/Marketing/Publishing/Print and Broadcast Media/Art:
- Copywriter, manager, editor, editorial assistant, proofreader; Journalist, TV or radio station mgr., announcer, reporter, media specialist, film maker; Dealer, museum curator, acquisitions negotiator, guide.
- Transport equipment mgr, translator, scientific interpreter, software documentation translator, production supervisor, H.R. director, import/export agent, contract negotiator, overseas plant and personnel manager.
- Travel and Tourism and Hospitality:
- Customer service telecommunications, reservationist, flight attendants, international visitors information service, travel agent, transport equipment mgr., travel writer, multi-lingual port receptionist, restaurant manager, tour organizer, tour guide, hotel/resort manager or concierge.
- Professors/readers of source material for course work in original language, researcher, historian.
- Local, industry, and university librarians in research, evaluation, and international communication.
- Medicine and Law:
- With additional training or higher degree): Pharmaceutical sales, pharmacologists, pharmacist, doctors, nurses, ER personnel, ambulance drivers,medical records clerk, lawyer, paralegal, law professor, researcher.
- State, County, Municipal social service agencies:
- Social worker, case management worker, children services workers, shelter workers, immigration worker.
- Clergy/missionary; mayor, senator, congressman, philanthropic foundation executive, scientific linguist.
- State Department:
- Armed service recruit, diplomat, cultural attache.
- Defense Department:
- Army, Navy, Air Force, Nat’l Security Agency
- Intelligence Agencies - FBI/CIA:
- Gather/read/interpret foreign newspapers
- DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY:
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
- 10 Astor Place New York, NY 10003
- American Association of Language Specialists
- 1000 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 9 Washington, D.C. 20036
- American Society of Interpreters
- P.O. Box 9603 Washington, D.C. 20016
WEB SITES OF INTEREST