Picking a college is hard enough, but for all you “undecideds” out there, picking a major might be even harder. Most students enter college at 18, and how are you supposed to know what you want to do with your life at that age? There are forty-year-olds who still don’t know what they want to do, yet they’re pressuring you to make the tough decisions! Majors 101 is here to help. We’ll break down all of the major options one by one so you don’t have to.
If you’ve ever had an interest in learning a different language, or you are curious about studying the sound patterns and patterns of speech and writing, then a career in languages and linguistics may be for you. These professionals may work as translators and interpreters, FBI linguists and investigators, foreign service officers, researchers, or teachers, so the career field for these majors is vast.
As a language major, you may want to study the romance languages – Spanish, Italian, Romanian, French, and Portugueses – or a harder language. Chinese, especially Mandarin, is always useful, as is German or Sign Language. As a linguistics major, you’ll study speech and writing patterns. You may apply this study to identifying authors of ancient documents by comparing patterns of writing and common phrases in different documents. Or you may use it to study speech patterns in different cultures.
In order to pursue a career in these fields, a bachelor’s degree is required at minimum. Advanced positions require Master’s degrees, and if you want to teach in college, a Ph.D. is necessary. During your study, going abroad may be helpful, since it will immerse you in new cultures that speak the languages you are studying. So, if you like to travel, this may be an ideal major. Starting salaries for these positions are around $40,000 per year.
If you decide to pursue this degree, try applying to a few of the following colleges, all of which offer linguistics and language majors:
- Arizona State
- Brigham Young
- George Washington University
- Iowa State
- McGill University
- University of Maryland