Modern Languages Career Resources | St. Lawrence University Modern Languages

Modern Languages Career Resources

All things being equal, a multilingual job candidate is more attractive than a candidate who only speaks one language. According to a 2017 report from New American Economy, organizations are increasingly seeking employees who can speak more than one language. This is particularly true for companies and industries that provide services requiring high levels of human interaction, such as finance, health care, social media management, etc.

Even more surprising, according to a 2019 ACTFL study, US employers are almost twice as likely to deploy their language capacity domestically rather than internationally, with 97% using these skills to some extent domestically and only 54% overseas. For any company – especially an international company – being able to speak a foreign language automatically makes you an asset.

Language skills can obviously lead to careers in translation, interpreting, or teaching, but they are also in high demand in areas such as hospitality, law, publishing, business services, and many other careers.

Interpretation/Translation

Let us start with an obvious job prospect: countless organizations require translators and interpreters for all sorts of reasons. With more and more businesses expanding globally, there is going to be a shortage of jobs in this field in the near future. Interpretation and translation services are constantly required in places like hospitals, courthouses, universities, immigration facilities, and many other industries, meaning there are plenty of diverse places to work for people who can communicate on behalf of others. What is more, the employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 17% over the next ten years - much faster than the average for all occupations.

  • Interpreting (Simultaneous & Consecutive)
    • Business
    • Conference
    • Judiciary (Court)
  • Translation
    • Legal
    • Literary
    • Localization
    • Machine
    • Medical
    • Technical

Government & International Law:

The government and international firms are among the largest employers of people with foreign language skills. By studying a world language, you will increase your knowledge of geography, history, and international affairs. Careers in legal and diplomatic services often require an aptitude for languages.

The types of jobs you can get in the government include Translation/Interpretation, Language Analysis, Diplomacy, Immigration/Naturalization, Customs, Intelligence, Security and Protection, Law Enforcement, International Arbitration, Journalism/Broadcasting, and many more.

Advertisement, Arts, Media, Entertainment:

For businesses trying to sell their products all over the world, international marketing campaigns are key. Companies need people who are fluent in the language of their target consumers to successfully convey brand messages. A career in advertising would be ideal for creative types who are excited by innovation and the ability to evoke the reactions and emotions of people through their work.

Jobs in the entertainment industry include Advertising and Marketing, Translation/Interpretation, Journalism/Broadcasting, Photography, Publishing/Editing, Film Making, and Museum Work.

Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism jobs in the U.S. are taking off. From 2010 to 2018, travel jobs increased 22% compared to only 17% of jobs in the rest of the private sector, according to a recent report from the U.S. Travel Association. Being bilingual is a useful skill for anyone in the air transport and travel industry. With an increasing number of travelers and the rise of online reviews, many travel companies and airlines are focusing on their customer service. Cultural sensitivity and awareness are critical for many travel jobs, as tourism professionals interact with people from different countries and cultures.

Examples of carriers in Travel and Tourism include Translation/Interpretation, Airline Services, Management, Booking and Reservations, Travel Services/Guidance, Ecotourism.

  • Airline Reservation & Agent
  • Concierge
  • Cruise staff
  • Event Coordinator
  • Flight Attendant
  • Guest Services
  • Interpreter
  • International Tour Director
  • Nature Guide
  • Outdoor Adventure Leader
  • Reservation Manager
  • Tour Operator
  • Travel Agent/Counsellor