What Can I do With a Foreign Language Degree?

What is the career outlook for language majors?

When employers list the skills they most seek in a candidate, “knowing more than one language” is listed among the top eight—regardless of the job title, the economic sector, or the candidate’s experience. In other words, whether you’re an engineer, a restaurant server, a salesperson, or a small business owner—any role in any sector—multilingualism will serve your professional goals well.

And while knowing more than one language is a powerful way to distinguish yourself from your peers and colleagues, it’s becoming less of a nice-to-have and more of a job requirement. A full 90% of U.S. employers report relying on employees who speak more than one language—with one in three of these businesses reporting a significant “language skills gap.”

* 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.