Linguistics as a Profession
By now, you may be wondering what linguists do for a living. With a degree in linguistics, any number of research and career possibilities are open to you!
Professional linguists work in a variety of fields.
Computational linguists may work in the computer industry on speech recognition, speech synthesis, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, or computer-mediated language learning.
Language educators may teach their native or a foreign language at any level. A degree in linguistics is a good background for those pursuing English as a Second Language (ESL) or Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) credentials. Linguists involved in education are not restricted to teaching. They also develop educational materials, train language teachers, and find a means to assess acquisition and more effectively teach language.
Linguists also work to document, analyze, and help preserve endangered languages by conducting fieldwork and establishing literacy programs.
With additional training, translation and interpretation are other potential careers for linguists. Translators/interpreters can work for the government, businesses, court rooms, hospitals, schools, etc.
Those are just a few of the opportunities open to professional linguists. Other opportunities are available in publishing, law, national security, medicine, editing dictionaries, and the film industry.
Below are resources that will help you start exploring the exciting world of professional linguistics.
- "Why Major in Linguistics (and what does a linguist do)?"
- LSA Job Center
- Other Career Resources
- LSA Member Spotlight - highlights the work of a different LSA member each month. Members include students and professionals from academia, industry, and government.