Many assume linguistics is just about studying foreign languages and many linguists really are truly multilingual, speaking fluently at least one other language on top of their mother tongue. But linguistics is actually a science. A science that involves learning about language instead of learning a language. Linguistics studies the structure, the differences and variations of different languages, how humans learn to communicate and have an unconscious knowledge about their mother tongue, as well as the influence language has on how we interact with others and understand the world around us. A linguistics degree gives a strong foundation for communication and so opens up the world as it enables deeper understanding of other cultures through the language they use.
Become a World Class Communicator
Have you ever wondered why certain words are very similar in most languages, like mama, mamma, mother, maman? Where do the words originate? How do babies go from not being able to communicate with others, to learning their mother tongue correctly without studying it or knowing the first thing about grammar? How we develop a natural understanding of which consonants can go together, what the words in our native tongue sound like and the correct intonation when asking a question for example. Linguistics will give you the answer to these and many more interesting and fascinating questions. When we understand how language is formed we naturally become better communicators.
Linguistics give us a true insight into human behaviour as language directly relates to cultural and social issues. There are many different type of courses available and depending on your interests and future plans think which aspect would you most like to focus on and why? Which other subjects could you study alongside to give you the best possible start for your desired career path. Linguistics students develop many useful and sought after skills such as analytical reasoning and critical thinking which will be assets in any career you choose. However fast the world and technology changes there will always be a need for linguists, as this is one area that computers are unlikely to ever be able to fully replace people, if for no other reason purely for not being able to put language in to its sociological, cultural or historical context and have empathy towards the writer or speaker. Finding the right linguistics course and college can be difficult if not for platforms like http://www.schoolapply.com, check it out.
Work Globally With Your Linguistics Degree
So where do linguistics graduates end up working? The world is literally open as there are so many fields and careers where linguistics are useful. Many linguists find themselves working as journalists, teachers, speech and language therapists, translators, interpreters or in various communication roles. Linguistic skills are sought after in all types of businesses and industries and even even in creative fields as actors for example benefit from linguistics background as it can open doors to wider range of roles. The possibilities are endless and very varied, depending where your interests and skills lie.
As linguistics can lead to such a number of roles in all kinds of industries, the salary you will earn will depend hugely on the field you choose to specialise in and whether you end up working in the public or private sector. Private sector often has better pay but on the other hand public sector often has better job security and unparalleled benefits , so it is always a good idea to weigh up how interesting the job is as well as the overall package on offer and not just go where the biggest pay packet is.
If an international career is what you are after, linguistics give you a good base for that too. Many businesses need employees who speak more than one language. Foreign language skills obviously give the option to work abroad or in international roles. As a native English speaker, teaching English as a foreign language could be a great career choice that could take you anywhere in the world. As a freelance translator you could as easily work from a beach in Tahiti or cafe in Sydney or a little Paris pied-de-terre, as long as you have a computer and WiFi, the world could literally be your oyster.
From Teaching to Spying, Take Your Pick
With a linguistics degree you are well qualified to apply for many graduate programs. A lot of employers are happy to accept applications from graduates regardless of their major and with a linguistics degree you will have many desirable skills that could benefit any number of businesses. So don’t limit yourself to just the most obvious career paths such as teaching, translation or speech and language therapy but look into different companies and organisations and the type of roles they offer. Many linguists find their perfect career in public relations, marketing, publishing, journalism, civil service or as librarians or information officers.
Studying linguistics could also equip you to work in IT and Telecommunication companies for example on speech recognition, artificial intelligence or computer led language learning. Other organisations and industries that hire linguists are media and publishing houses, branding and PR companies. The government requires linguists in the foreign service and national security and intelligence roles. Law and accountancy firms and other businesses where the correctness of language is paramount to their existence are big employers too. If you are interested in healthcare, hospitals and health centres both public and private around the world hire linguists for speech and language therapy but also as scientists to study cognitive neuroscience, establishing literacy programmes and much more. And finally you can work for schools and universities where apart from teaching, a background in linguistics could be a gateway to training teachers, development of educational materials for different populations, educational research or finding new and effective ways to teach language-related topics in specific communities such as immigrants.
Varied Opportunities With a Linguistics Degree
I hope that you have found this post useful and informative to help make up your mind if you are considering a linguistics degree. In this ever changing and fast moving world linguists will always be needed and the opportunities open for them are everywhere. With the looming Brexit, linguistics are likely find plenty of opportunities for many years to come in many roles supporting the negotiations, translating, consulting the lawyers drawing up new agreements and even proof-reading paperwork. Linguistics graduates are sought after for roles that require excellent communications skills, critical thinking, analytical reasoning and argumentation. Where there is a need to communicate, there is a job for a linguistic. So be prepared for an interesting and fulfilling career.