There are many different career options for a language learner. Certain jobs, such as translation and teaching, require foreign language proficiency and often an advanced degree, but the ability to speak another language can be a major advantage in a number of other fields as well. The information below is meant to help foreign language students learn more about their career options and find employment in their field. To get started, read about Global Careers on the Career Services website as well as view country guides for employment trends, writing a resume/CV, and interviewing advice on Going Global (must be on campus to access this link).
The links below are for those seeking part-time, independent translation work. These sites will match you directly with clients, without the need to spend time advertising.
The following are employment opportunities with the University of Colorado. Those seeking experience while still in school are advised to consider part-time employment as a means of honing their foreign language skills.
Translation and Interpretation (T&I) are growing and exciting fields for those who are dedicated to the nuances of language. Translators and interpreters can work in-house for translation agencies, the government, non-profit organizations or larger international companies. Other translators and interpreters freelance from their home. Often a certification or an advanced degree is required for employment at a larger firm.
There are many jobs available in private organizations, however, these positions are often one-time occurrences. To find a job with a private company, one is advised to search by job-type. Some examples are linked below:
Localization is the process of translating and adapting a product to suit the language and cultural needs of another country or region. There is growing demand for these services from software and game developers, and while some companies do require in-house translators, they are rare. However, there are a number of translation companies which specialize in localization, and could be approached directly (e.g., Straker Translations provides translation services for multiple corporations but hires their own translators since their customers do not need a full-time translator on staff).
If you are interested in a career as a language teacher, the path that you will need take is determined by your audience of instruction. To teach K-12, you will need a teaching certification from the state in which you live. University teaching positions require a Master's degree to teach general language classes, while a Doctorate is required to teach advanced literature classes. There are alternate paths that can help you to determine if you are indeed interested in pursuing an advanced degree (e.g. teaching abroad or working with organizations such as Teach for America).
CU Boulder Teach Abroad: Demand for native English speakers continues to rise throughout the world, and Americans can find jobs in any non-English speaking country, regardless of their undergraduate major.
Although CVs are common in many parts of the world, in the United States resumes are by far the most common experience-presentation document. The following links are meant to help provide guidance for those looking to build or update their resume.