Modern Languages Major Career Planning Options
- Modern Language Education (see also Education Major)
Modern Languages involve learning about the language in terms of it’s form, literature, and culture. Language offers clues about how certain populations think and what they value. Dealing with diversity has become a necessity of life and modern language majors are trained to foster understanding and to pull groups together. These majors realize the value of sharing a common language, while interested employers value their ability to make positive connections with those from different cultural backgrounds. Visit Rivier’s Modern Languages Department for information on degrees and course offerings.
Rivier University modern language majors develop a sensitivity for another culture through an understanding and appreciation of it’s given language and cultural norms. In doing so, they also develop a deeper understanding of their own language and culture. In this day and age, distant countries no longer seem as distant, given technological advances such as those in the telecommunications industry, the travel industry and on the internet. Countries both far and near are ever more entwined in economic, political, social and military concerns.
Modern Languages Major Skills
Modern Language Education Majors should also develop skills involving creativity, planning, and the ability to adapt teaching methods and modalities to the various learning styles of students. Foreign language instructors work to instill tolerance and an appreciation for multiculturalism through engaging and motivational instruction.
Career Paths in Modern Languages
Career options for modern language majors are broad. As with other classical liberal arts degrees, the emphasis is on communications skills in writing, speaking, and reading. Skills involving making better connections with other people can be used in most any setting and in most occupations. From a career planning perspective, a key consideration for a modern language major is to determine whether the foreign language skills gained are to be used in a primary or secondary role. The difference is that a primary role involves using language skills on a daily basis in one’s work, while a secondary role involves using language skills intermittently or in conjunction with other skills (i.e.- business or social service skills). Hands on experiences in occupations and settings of interest are key for reality testing options and for facilitating future job search efforts. Career options exist in, but are not limited to, teaching, translating and interpreting, government, educational administration, business, travel and tourism, human services, law enforcement, the media, medical and technical fields, and library and information science.
Modern Languages graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.)
International Relations Director
Modern Languages graduates may work at . . .
Ways to Increase Employability
- Pursue elective course work or additional training related to one’s professional field of interest.
- Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.
- Become an active student member of university, community, or professional organizations, which enhance leadership skills and promote networking relationships with fellow professionals.
- Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through relevant part-time, full-time, and summer job or internship positions.
- Consider completing an academic exchange program in another country which will allow you to experience and learn ,first hand, a given language and culture.
Sources of Information on Majors, Careers and Employment in Modern Languages
- Rivier University Faculty, Academic Advisors, & Modern Language Department Resources
- Professionals Working in the Field
- Professional Organizations
- Professional & Rivier University Organizations related to Modern Languages
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- American Translators Association
- Modern Language Association
- National Association of Bilingual Education
- American Society of Interpreters, P.O. Box 9603, Washington, DC 20016 (No Internet site available)
- American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
Career Related Websites for Modern Languages Majors
- “What does an interpreter do?” (From the Russian Interpreters Co-op – explains the differences between interpreting and translation, as well as the different forms of interpreting, and qualifications of a good interpreter.)
- Career Profile: Translator
- Living Abroad (“How to Live Abroad” – relocation information for about 81 different countries for those interested in working abroad.)
- Teaching Jobs Overseas (International Employment for teachers)
- The Electronic Embassy (A resource of and for the foreign embassy community of Washington, DC)