March 22, 2021

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What to Do with a Foreign Language Degree

2 min read

What Can I Do With a Major in a Foreign Language?

Being able to speak a foreign language can be a very valuable skill, but it’s most valuable when coupled with another ability. For example, speaking Chinese isn’t very valuable on its own, but it could be very valuable if you also have the skills and knowledge required to work in business or finance.

If you’re passionate about learning a foreign language and want to study it intensively in college, the best way to make yourself marketable is by earning a second major or even a minor in a subject like economics or business. By combining two different skills, you are able to develop a specialized set of abilities that can be in very high demand.

Of course, not everyone who majors in a foreign language has any interest in the business or finance world, and that’s perfectly fine. In fact, there are foreign language majors working in many different occupations in just about every industry. Sales, teaching, administration, and marketing positions are often great fits for foreign language majors.

Foreign language majors earn a median salary of $48,000 per year, which is about fifteen percent lower than the combined salary of all employed college graduates.

Career Options for Foreign Language Majors

Below are some of the most common career choices for people who choose to major in a foreign language. This is not a comprehensive list, as foreign language majors go into so many different types of occupations that it would be impossible to list them all. However, the occupations below should give you a good idea of the work that people who earn a degree in a foreign language are able to do.

OccupationMedian SalaryMedian HourlyCurrent jobsOutlookRequired Education
Adult Literacy Teacher$46,530$22.3786,900GoodBachelor’s Degree
College Professor$62,050$29.831,756,000GoodGraduate Degree
Elementary School Teacher$51,660$24.841,549,520GoodBachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher$53,230$25.591,109,500GoodBachelor’s Degree
Interpreter$43,300$20.8258,400GoodBachelor’s Degree
Kindergarten Teacher$48,800$23.46179,520NormalBachelor’s Degree
Middle School Teacher$51,960$24.98659,460GoodBachelor’s Degree
Translator$43,300$20.8258,400GoodBachelor’s Degree

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