Background

Formed in 2015, the Linguistics Beyond Academia Special Interest Group (LBA SIG) is open to any LSA member.

Mission

The SIG speaks to the needs of three parts of the linguistics community:

  • Professionals with linguistics training
  • Linguistics students at the graduate and undergraduate level
  • Linguistics faculty

For professionals

  • Promoting the inclusion of linguists outside traditional academic and faculty career paths into the activities and programming organized by the Linguistic Society of America

  • Advising the LSA on the needs of its non-academic membership

  • Providing networking opportunities for linguists beyond academia at LSA Annual Meetings and other events

For students

  • Facilitating mentoring and communication between linguists working across fields and current linguistics graduate students, undergraduate students, and recent graduates

  • Partnering with industry linguists to increase graduate and undergraduate students’ awareness of career paths and opportunities across professional fields

For faculty

  • Working to increase linguistics faculty’s awareness of professional opportunities and the role of linguistic research in non-academic contexts

Membership

  • Linguists working beyond traditional faculty, teaching, and research roles in academic institutions. Members of the SIG are professionally active in organizations such as for-profit businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and higher education.
  • Linguistics students (at all levels) and graduates interested in pursuing careers as linguists outside or “beyond” academia.
  • Linguists working in academic contexts who wish to learn more, and be connected to those who have pursued these paths. This includes faculty, administrators and career services professionals.

Members network and exchange information; discuss and document the uses of linguistics and linguistic research across various professional contexts; and provide insight and advice on career opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students, advisors, and career changers.

Activities

  • Programming at LSA annual meetings, the LSA Linguistic Institute, career networking events, discussions on various professional topics, panels, etc.
  • Occasional events convened by SIG members around topics of interest.
  • Individual mentorship matching between professional linguists and linguistics students.
  • Career development resources for members.

Content & Resources for the Linguistics Community

The Linguistics Career Launch

The LBA SIG members organized the first-ever global career boot camp for linguists held in July 2021. The intensive four-week Linguistics Career Launch was a 19-day "conference" event that served 175 registrants from around the world with 50+ hours of structured content related to career management, workshops and presentations from almost 100 "career linguists" working in business, government, non-profit and tech organizations. There were also 100+ unrecorded hours of live, interactive content focused on tailored advising, mentoring, networking, career counseling and peer support. The SIG was presented with the 2022 LSA Annual Service Award in recognition of this achievement. 

The 2nd Annual Linguistics Career Launch (LCL2.0) was held virtually through cadenced career information released daily on the @LingBeyondAcad Twitter feed from May-August 2022. The daily tweets were supplemented by live, virtual check-ins called "Job Squad" that brought job seekers together for guest speakers, focused presentations and mutual support during the job hunt.

Linguistics Career Launch YouTube channel

All recorded, captioned sessions from the Linguistics Career Launch are hosted on the LCL YouTube channel and freely accessible to all members of the linguistics community. Over 45 hours of edited, focused content on career management strategies, exploration of careers using linguistics and interviews with over 80 career linguists are featured on the Linguistics Career Launch YouTube channel. Check out our playlists for Career Management, Career Panels, How To's and more. We recommend that faculty and students in linguistics program make use of this content in the following ways:

  • Watch parties: Classes, peer groups, student linguistic associations and clubs can host a watch party and discuss as a group
  • Linguistics course curriculum: Incorporate a video showing career applications of the area of linguistics you're teaching. Have students research linguists working in those areas and set up an informational interview
  • Department career workshops: Host a workshop in your department using the career management videos (informational interviews, Resumes 1 and 2) as a prompt to do the work together
  • Department career talks: Show a video featuring an area of employment where linguists create job pathways (educational technology, user experience, strategic communications, nonprofit organizations, federal careers and more)
  • Create a "Career Club" in your department or program: Career management and job seeking is not an individual activity. Get the support you need through creating a Job Club, Career Club or Job Team. Work your way through the Linguistics Career Launch videos as prompts. 

The Linguistics CareerCast podcast

Launched in September 2022, Linguistics Careercast is the podcast devoted to exploring careers for linguists outside academia. We feature interviews with linguists in industry at all stages of their careers: recently graduated, mid-career, and some with 30+ years of industry experience. These career linguists represent tech, marketing, user experience (UX), applied research, data analysis, translation, speech pathology, content creation, and much more. We also host audio content draw from presentations featured at the first annual Linguistics Career Launch, held in the summer of 2021.

Previous webinars co-produced in collaboration with the LSA

Follow us! Get updates from the SIG on Facebook or Twitter!

SIG Leadership:

Special Project Contributors:

Executive Committee Liaison: John Baugh and Alicia Wassink

Staff Liaison: Katha Kissman

LSA members who are interested in participating in this SIG are encouraged to join the Facebook group, follow @LingBeyondAcad and/or email [email protected]

Comments

So this is for grad students? Not for people with a bachelor's degree?

Students at all levels are welcome to join the SIG!

I'm a new LSA member. How can I join this SIG?