Foreign language is a branch of the language arts that involves the study of languages other than your native tongue and focuses on communication and the knowledge of a languageā€™s culture, history, and literature. Studies in a foreign language improve your ability to communicate, develop cultural awareness and sensitivity, and expand your general knowledge. *

Sample Occupations

  • Government/Law
  • Immigration & Customs Inspector
  • Foreign Services Officer
  • CIA/FBI Agent
  • Paralegal/Lawyer
  • Business
  • Transportation Planner
  • International Trade
  • Specialist
  • Hotel Manager
  • Travel Agent
  • Airline Customer Service
  • Education
  • Adult Literacy/ESL Teacher
  • Private/Public School Teacher
  • International Student Advisor
  • Communications/Language
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Journalist
  • Advertising Executive
  • Advocacy/Non-profit
  • Community/Legal Advocate
  • Client Services Director
  • Non-profit Fundraiser

Types of Employers

  • Tour & Excursion Companies
  • Non-Profits
  • International NGOs
  • International Businesses
  • Law Enforcement
  • Educational Institutions
  • Publishers
  • Financial Institutions
  • Libraries
  • Social Service Agencies

Preparing for your career in

For all industries: Study abroad to further develop language skills and intercultural competency

Government/Law: Gain knowledge about government organizations as they are the largest employers of people with foreign language skills, intern at a government agency, obtain a J.D. for attorney positions or masters in public administration, public policy, or international relations for government positions

Business: Join a business-oriented student organization, earn a business minor, seek an international internship, research which companies do business with the countries with your language, be prepared to start working in the U.S. for a firm with overseas interests before working overseas

Education: Obtain teacher licensure for K-12 teaching, get experience as a teaching assistant or tutor, consider teaching English as a foreign language overseas, obtain ESL/TESOL certifications (ex. CELTA)

Communication & Language: Intern with a local newspaper or advertising agency, volunteer language skills to local community organizations, read foreign publications

Advocacy/Non-profit: Volunteer/intern for a social services agency/nonprofit organization that serves international populations; volunteer with on-campus & local cultural organizations, pursue a relevant double-major (ex. Social Work) or graduate degree (Public Administration)

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.