- Applied linguistics
- Teacher training
- Curriculum development
- Test/Assessment development
- Foreign language instruction
- English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction
- English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL)
- Literacy development
- Information/Library science
- Universities and colleges
- K-12 school systems
- Language institutes
- Community education programs
- Testing companies (e.g., ETS)
- To teach in higher education, earn a doctoral degree in linguistics or a related subject such as English, philosophy, speech pathology, or foreign language.
- As an undergraduate, maintain a high GPA and secure strong recommendations from faculty.
- Serve as a tutor, peer mentor, or other student leader.
- Look for opportunities to assist faculty with research.
- Study languages, both Indo-European and non-Indo-European.
- To be more competitive for tenure-track positions in linguistics, plan to complete a post-doc and gain experience with multiple subfields or those that are more applied. Subfields include: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, pragmatics, and language acquisition.
- Earn relevant graduate degrees to prepare for other fields such as, information science, ESL/TESOL, or language education.
- Foreign language instruction requires teacher certification for K-12 and a doctoral degree for postsecondary.
- To prepare for work with non-native English speakers, get involved with the campus or local international community. Study abroad and attend multi-cultural events on campus or in the community.
- Research the many programs available for teaching English abroad. Consider earning a certificate or seeking specialized training to prepare for these positions.
- Speech synthesis
- Speech recognition
- Natural language processing
- Text-Content analysis
- Machine translation
- Artificial intelligence
- Database or Lexicon development
- Information extraction
- Text mining
- e-Businesses (e.g., Amazon)
- Software developers
- Computer companies (e.g., IBM, Microsoft)
- Natural-language processor firms
- Search engines (e.g., Google)
- Database developers
- Other business firms
- Earn a master’s or doctoral degree in linguistics, computer science or computational linguistics.
- Supplement undergraduate curriculum with courses in computer science.
- Develop skills in computer programming, computer scripting, natural language processing techniques, and other relevant technologies.
- Gain experience by completing an internship in the computer industry.
- Read use/net or netnews groups and professional journals to understand current trends in the field.
- Be prepared to continuously learn new computer languages and technologies to stay abreast of changes.
- This area represents some of the higher-demand opportunities within linguistics.
- Forensic linguistics
- Federal government:
- National Security Agency
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Foreign Service
- Armed Forces
- State and local government:
- Police departments
- Seek leadership roles in relevant campus groups such as model United Nations, student government, and cross-cultural organizations.
- Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis.
- Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions. Consider studying critical needs languages (e.g., Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).
- Complete an internship with the federal government. There are a large number of specialized agencies within the federal government. Do extensive research in order to find the area that best fits your interests and to learn about candidate requirements.
- Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from your college career center.
- Speech pathology
- Language disorders
- Aural rehabilitation
- Neurocommunicative science
- Cognitive sciences
- Schools, K-12
- Universities and colleges
- Physicians’ offices
- Speech, language, and hearing centers
- Developmental learning centers
- Home healthcare offices
- Nursing homes
- Residential facilities
- Health maintenance organizations
- Private individual or group practice
- Public health departments
- Rehabilitation centers
- Federal agencies:
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- National Institutes of Health
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Education
- Armed Services
- The study of communication disorders is interdisciplinary and draws upon linguistics, speech pathology, audiology, and psychology. Research prerequisite courses for graduate school admission and take the appropriate undergraduate classes.
- A master’s degree from an accredited speech language pathology program is required to enter that field. A doctoral degree is commonly required for audiology. Most states require certification of speech pathologists and all states for audiologists. Obtain the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology or Audiology offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- Take courses in American Sign Language.
- Maintain a high GPA and seek related experiences to be competitive for graduate school.
- Learn to work well people of varying ages and backgrounds, including those with disabilities.
- Develop patience as progress in clients may be slow.
- Language documentation
- Lexicography (work with dictionaries)
- Technical writing
- Medical linguistics
- Forensic linguistics
- Product naming
- Government agencies
- Foreign governments
- International businesses
- Publishers: Magazine, book, textbook, dictionary
- Internet sites
- Manufacturers of consumer products
- Law firms
- Consulting firms
- There are many employment settings in which students can utilize a degree in linguistics.
- Research areas of interest and seek the appropriate education, skills, and experiences to qualify for that field.
- Some of these areas will require graduate degrees in linguistics or educational background in other disciplines.
- Gain relevant experience through internships.
- Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field and therefore good preparation for a wide variety of graduate programs: linguistics, speech pathology, audiology, cognitive sciences, English, law, journalism, foreign languages, etc.
- Students who major in linguistics develop strong analytical and communication skills and the ability to debate. They are commonly required to gain proficiency in a second language.
- Students should consider a secondary area of study such as, foreign language, computer science, psychology, or other area of interest to increase opportunities for employment or graduate school.
- Consider study abroad and getting involved with the international community on campus. Attend language conversation tables.
- Research career paths of interest and seek to gain the skills, experiences, and degrees necessary to work in that field.
- Conduct informational interviews with or shadow professionals to learn about various work environments.
- Join related professional associations as a student member.
- Because many career paths require graduate education, learn about the graduate school admissions process and build a strong candidacy.
- Gain relevant experience through jobs, volunteer positions, or internships.