Although linguistics is still largely unfamiliar to the educated public, it is a growing and exciting field with an increasingly important impact on other fields as diverse as psychology, philosophy, education, language teaching, sociology, anthropology, computer science, and artificial intelligence.
A student with an interest in linguistics can choose among several different career paths. Note that different career paths will benefit from different course concentrations, so it's a good idea to consult with the undergraduate advisor when choosing courses.
Careers with a B.A. in Linguistics
- Teach English in a foreign country. Many of our students pursue teaching in countries such as Russia or Japan.
- Coupled with excellent multilingual skills, work as a translator. For example, translators of American Sign Language are in demand in many places in the U.S.
- Coupled with a concentration of courses in computer science, obtain a position in a company like Macintosh, IBM or Microsoft creating computers that can comprehend and produce human languages. For example, many new search engines work on the basis of natural languages. In recent years, the demand for people with such backgrounds has exploded, and linguists are in high demand.
Careers with a B.A. in Linguistics Plus 2-3 Years of Additional Graduate Training
- Go on for a Masters degree in education in order to teach English as a second language in the U.S. or to teach a foreign language in an American school.
- Go on for a graduate degree in another field. For example, many of our graduates in recent years have gone on to law school. Linguistics teaches excellent analytic and writing skills needed in fields like law and journalism.
Careers with a B.A. in Linguistics Plus 4-5 Years of Additional Graduate Training
- Go on for a Ph.D. in Linguistics in order to teach at a college or university or to work in language-related industry (e.g., editing, software development).
- Coupled with courses in computer sciences, philosophy or psychology, and go on for a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, teach at a college or university or to work in industry on problems involving language and artificial intelligence.