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6 Great Jobs You Can Get with a Degree in English Language and Linguistics

Updated on December 16, 2017
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Poppy lives near Tokyo with her husband and likes to read novels and play video games, especially fantasy RPGs.

A degree in English Language and Linguistics not only gives you a strong command of the English Language and some valuable writing skills, but also opens up many doors to a variety of job opportunities. This article examines several of those career possibilities and how to pursue them.

1. Teaching

Like many degrees, getting an education can lead to a career path of passing on your knowledge to the younger generation. If you're interested in teaching, you can either pursue a career teaching in your home country, or teach abroad.

Teaching abroad
A fantastic opportunity if you love to travel is teaching English as a foreign language in other countries. Popular locations include Europe, China, Japan and South America. To do this, a lot of the time you only need your degree.
Some companies prefer you to have certificates such as TEFL or CELTA, but this isn't always necessary. Many jobs only require a degree, and obtaining one in linguistics show that you have a good command of the English language, which might set you above other applicants.

Teaching in your home country
In most countries, teaching is a good career to pursue as it pays well and there are always jobs around. See what the requirements are in your home country to become a teacher, either in a community school or teaching in a primary school. For example, in the UK you must train for a few years and acquire a PGCE.


2. Translation

If you speak more than one language, entering a career in translating is another job that can pay quite well. A lot of the time, you can study a foreign language along with English or linguistics, and it sometimes offers a module in translation.

Translating jobs range from freelance to professional translation or interpreting for large international companies, ranging from organisations such as the EU or NATO, to entertainment companies like Nintendo. Holding a degree in linguistics shows that you have a strong command of the English language, which is important in translation.


3. Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading also are available in a wide variety of job types. Some editors read novels or essays, check for spelling errors and readability, and get paid to do so. Others can excel in a newspaper or magazine company as editor of not only the linguistic side, but the presentation of the page itself too.

Those who are very particular about spelling, grammar, readability and flow of writing will do well with a career in editing. Start off by looking over your friends' essays or stories, gain experience and move on to better paid jobs.


4. Publishing

Publishing involves getting written works, such as books, magazines and other works into print. There are hundreds of publishing houses out there. If you have an eye for good writing, good communication skills and a knack knowing what would sell, publishing might be a good route to take.

A good way to get into the industry is to check with lecturers, alumni and associates of your university, and even fellow students for connections to publishing houses. It might be an idea to get publishing experience in an academic setting before you can pursue your ideal publishing company (for example, fiction). For instance, if someone from your university has a connection with someone who works with a company that publishes textbooks, it might be a good place to start and gain valuable experience.


5. Business Administration

Having a degree in English Language and Linguistics demonstrates your ability to use the English language effectively, give good presentations, write essays and have decent organisational skills. All of these are valuable for a person seeking a career in business administration. It's a diverse and rewarding career that takes on many shapes and forms. For more information on this kind of job, click here.

6. Writing

If you're the creative type, writing might be the pathway for you. Although there are many writers out there, only a few can achieve excellence. With a degree in English language and linguistics, you are equipped with the basics of English grammar and syntax, which can give you an advantage in the quality of your writing.

Writing novels is a possibility, but very few can live to write books full time. Other writing pursuits include freelance writing for websites such as HubPages (earning revenue by writing articles), or writing articles for magazines and newspapers. All of these require preparation, experience and patience.

If writing is something you're interested in, there's no need to wait until you graduate to start. Here are some ideas for starting out as a writer and building a name for yourself as well as valuable experience.

  • Start your own blog. There are many free website makers such as Blogger or Wix to help create your author platform and portfolio. Interview local bands, write about events happening in your local area, and send them to local newspapers or magazines for consideration.
  • Enter writing competitions. If you're achieving first, second or runner-up positions in local writing competitions, it's something excellent to put on your CV that show you're serious about writing and that you have talent.
  • Consider getting into journalism. Start off by writing for online websites to show off your writing skills. Write about things from recipes to vacations you've been on.


Other careers where an English Language degree is useful, but not essential, include public speaking and politics. There are many jobs where a degree in Linguistics not only shows your relevance in a certain field, but your ability to write, provide a clear and sustainable argument or discussion, and many other skills that you gain with this degree. Whatever your career path, it's guaranteed that a degree in Linguistics is likely to help you fulfill your goal.

© 2014 Poppy


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