What can you do with a foreign language master's degree?

  • What can you do with a foreign language master's degree?

    Whether you’re drawn to the beautiful cadence of Italian, consonant-heavy linguistics of German or staccato of Arabic, you might be interested in improving your breadth of knowledge in a foreign language. If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree in a different language, you might consider following one of the following career paths:

    Foreign language teacher

    If you’re interested in helping children or young adults, you might be drawn to a career path as a foreign language teacher. With a master’s degree, you will be qualified to teach at both the K-12 and higher education levels. Even with an advanced degree, you may need to go through a few other steps to become a K-12 teacher, depending on the state you plan to teach in.

    Plenty of schools are in high demand of foreign language instructors. According to the Department of Education, there is a shortage of world language teachers in the K-12 sphere. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of K-12 education, this should come as excellent news for the future of your career. The American Councils for International Education reported that the languages with the most high school programs in the U.S. are Spanish, French, German, Latin and Chinese. While instructors of these languages are in demand in schools across the country, U.S. K-12 schools are expected to experience an increase in enrollment in Arabic and Portuguese classes and — as a result — a rise in demand for these instructors.


    As the U.S. increases trade with new, international markets, the nation will need more translators to bridge the language gap. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs as translators and interpreters are expected to rise 18% between 2016 and 2026, at a much faster rate than other careers. Although the demand is the strongest for translators of the commonly spoken languages — such as Spanish, French, German — there is a need for those who are well-versed in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other languages.


    If you’re interested in living outside of the country, you might be interested in pursuing a career in diplomacy and moving to a country whose native language is one you can speak. As a diplomat, also known as a foreign service officer, you will represent the nation by observing and reporting activity, then reporting it back to the U.S. government.

    Although it’s possible to begin a career as a diplomat with a bachelor’s degree, most foreign service officers are required to pursue their master’s degree. After earning an advanced degree, you will need to undergo a few other steps before becoming a diplomat, including the Foreign Service Officer Test and an orientation course called the A-100, per the Department of State.

    A master’s degree in Languages can improve your earning potential and ability in plenty of careers, including those in government, business, marketing, media, hospitality and more. If you’d like to become fluent in a foreign language and open the door for communication with individuals who don’t speak English, browse a selection of graduate schools to see which programs best suit your needs.

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