So everybody thinks you want to be a teacher? Thing is, there are loads of other careers you could go into having studied languages — from diplomat to travel writer; scientific interpreter to working in the European Parliament. Plus, by adding a language or two to your CV you’re opening up employment opportunities all over the place, not just in Britain — why not think about working abroad for a while? Last year I worked as an English language assistant in Germany which was a fantastic experience and there are loads of other short-term teaching possibilities abroad — for example, by taking a TEFL course (Teach English as a Foreign Language) you could work all over the world or even work in Japan for a year through the JET scheme.
There are of course careers that are directly linked to languages — translators, business correspondents, tourist guide, steward or stewardess and other jobs related to travel and tourism. However, there are also many other less conventional jobs — a friend of mine used to give guides of Aintree Stadium in 4 different languages during the summer hols and earned loads more than other students studying other subjects. It is worth bearing in mind that many jobs combine a knowledge of a language with other skills, for example in business or in the financial sector, so it’s really worth thinking about gaining work experience whilst studying.
By learning a language you could go into a variety of careers that aren’t solely related to your chosen language — you could work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or other governmental institutions or even become involved in charity organisations or become a journalist for foreign affairs.
Studying languages is great cos’ you can combine it with your passions — for example another friend of mine is working at a ski resort in France and can snowboard every second day for free!! The only thing I would say is that when considering longer-term employment it’s really worth thinking about what else you can combine with your language, even if it is just gaining work experience during the hols as there are few jobs that just rest on your linguistic skills.
So learning a language will open up all sorts of possibilities and you by no means have to go into a career which is purely language-based. If you have any other interesting ideas, why not post them on the forum??