What Can I do With a Foreign Language Degree?

What is the career outlook for language majors?

For U.S. employers, the demand for foreign language skills is greater than ever before. Whether it’s in the boardroom, in the field, with customers and partners, or on social media, companies today are increasingly more likely to conduct business in a language other than English. Consequently, a command in multiple languages is a valuable asset for U.S. students and employees—not only in boosting their marketability in the workplace, but in helping them thrive in a global economy*.

90% of U.S. employers rely on U.S.-based employees with skills in a language other than English. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of job postings aimed at bilingual employees more than doubled, to approximately 630,000*.

The demand will continue to grow. In the next five years, employers in the healthcare and social assistance sector anticipate the largest increase (64%), followed by trade (59%), education (57%), professional and technical services (55%) and construction (54%)*.

* leadwithlanguages.org

What kinds of professional opportunities do language students pursue?

Many of our students will use their language ability and intercultural competence in a variety of professional arenas, including government, business, the non-profit sector, teaching or research. Regardless of career path, we seek to prepare our students to contribute to a diverse and changing world as active participants who can work across cultural perspectives.

  • Education
  • Airline / Aircraft Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Translation and Interpreting
  • Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Government and Military (Civil Service, Foreign Service, CIA, FBI, Coast Guard, National Guard)
  • Law Enforcement
  • Information technology
  • Pacific Rim environmental agencies: Asian languages
  • Latin American environmental agencies (with US): Spanish, Portuguese
  • Internships
  • Peace Corps
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • AmeriCorps

Yes, Spokane offers career opportunities for candidates with skills in other languages.

As the largest metropolitan area between Seattle and Minneapolis (208,000 residents in the city and 688,000 people in the metropolitan area), Spokane is home to global technology and manufacturing companies. These companies have a history of looking to Gonzaga University for candidates to fill roles that benefit from graduates in foreign languages:

  • Comcast
  • Kaiser Aluminum
  • Itron
  • KeyTronic
  • Next IT
  • Pearson Packaging
  • Schweitzer Engineering Labs

Where are They Today? Stories of Recent Graduates

Eva Gallagher

Eva is pursuing a Master of Arts at McGill University in Second Language Education, where she focuses on studying minority language maintenance and improving pedagogy for second language teaching.

Maggie Braun - Two goals: Live in Paris and Become a Lawyer

Since childhood, I had two goals: live in Paris and become a lawyer. Thanks to Gonzaga, I achieved both!

Nicholas Blackbourn - Market Research Analyst based in India

Studying German, living with international students, and studying abroad helped me develop the communication and critical thinking skills to work for international companies.