Department of Language and Linguistics

Career Prospects

Two students wearing mortar boards at a graduation ceremony.

Communication defines how we think and the decisions we make

Helping diverse communities access information, communicating with speed and clarity, promoting collaboration and understanding during a time of crisis. These are the critical skills you will learn to help overcome the global challenges we face.
Order a prospectus
Which jobs will suit me?
  • Teaching, journalism, copy writing, translating, interpreting, marketing and public relations; these are just a few of the diverse career paths that a degree from the Department of Language and Linguistics could lead to.
  • You could continue your education with us and complete a degree at Masters or PhD level. Your advanced skill set will be highly valued by the education sector, large multinational companies, media organisations or government and non-government organisations.
  • Past students of the Department have graduated into a range of successful careers in roles such as; interpreters, translators, policy writers and teachers.

How will a degree from the Department of Language and Linguistics benefit my future career prospects?

Which employers will value my degree?

As the world responds to the pandemic, the need for clear communication and ease of access to information across the globe, has become paramount. Sharing messages in a language and format that can be understood quickly and by diverse communities has become a crucial element to successfully coordinating an international response. Those who study language and linguistics are now uniquely placed to help us communicate effectively on a global scale, like never before.

A degree from the Department of Language and Linguistics will prepare you for careers in fields such as:

  • Diplomacy
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Journalism
  • Education
  • Charity sector

The sectors listed above are just a few examples of the pathways that a degree from the Department can lead to. Employers are often looking for a degree level qualification rather than anything subject-specific, so there is no need to limit yourself to the sectors listed above. The skills you will develop during your time at Essex will enable you to pursue a wide range of potential career paths.

Which skills will I develop in readiness for the workplace?

At Essex you will be immersed in a broad programme of study, uniquely designed to equip you with a diverse skill set. Graduates of the Department will find their skill set highly sought after by a wide range of employers looking to work in a multinational context.

A degree from the Department of Language and Linguistics will help you to develop:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills; reading, writing, speaking foreign languages, communicating complex ideas, listening to and understanding others
  • Cross-cultural skills; adapting to different cultural settings, dealing with complexities of meaning, understanding local and global perspectives 
  • Presentation skills; confidence communicating in public and with diverse audiences, conveying meaning precisely, presenting information effectively in speech and writing
  • Analytical skills; gathering assessing and interpreting information, identifying patterns, applying methodologies and constructing and applying theories

How will my degree help me to succeed in a challenging jobs market?

Communicating key messages to diverse audiences, ensuring equal access to vital information, working collaboratively on a global scale; these are just a few areas in which recent events have necessitated an increased demand for highly skilled language and linguistic specialists across many employment sectors. From diplomacy and government, to multinational businesses and organisations, healthcare, education and the third sector, today's students of language and linguistics will find their unique skill set in high demand by employers looking to operate in an increasingly interconnected world and on a multinational level.

How will the Department support my career development?

Which career development opportunities are unique to the Department of Language and Linguistics?

We provide a range of unique career development opportunities. Many of our students gain professional qualifications (such as TESOL and CELTA) alongside their degree programmes. There are also opportunities to practice skills in interpreting and translation via real life scenarios such as conferences. The department also offers the University Research Opportunity Placement (UROP) scheme which provides students with an opportunity to be involved in an ongoing research project and experience conducting research first-hand, a fantastic opportunity regardless of what career you want to pursue.

What about opportunities for further study?

Many of our students go on to pursue further study, either immediately after their degrees or after a period of employment. Our Department offers a wide range of Masters level courses as well as research-based postgraduate courses at both MA and PhD level. Some of our students also go on to pursue further study in other fields such as Speech and Language Theory, which build on their training in the Department and in Language and Linguistics.

 

A portrait of Marta Popescu.
"Once I received an offer from the University of Essex all other options ceased to matter. The course and its diversity, the native speaker teachers, the extra-curricular and volunteering activities all made it an incredible opportunity."
Marta Estera Popescu, English Teacher BA Modern Languages

Learn more about Marta's career as an English Teacher in Vietnam

Marta Estera Popescu, BA Modern Languages, University of Essex

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

Ever since I was in third grade I dreamed of studying abroad. Once I received an offer from the University of Essex all other options ceased to matter. The course and its diversity, the native speaker teachers, the extra-curricular and volunteering activities all made it an incredible opportunity.

What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?

Studying foreign languages opened up a whole new world for me. I had the opportunity to study and travel abroad, meet numerous people from different countries, and immerse myself in an international experience. I also liked the technical part of my studies (grammar / vocabulary / syntax) as well as the more practical modules (translating, interpreting, subtitling).I was always curious about Psychology, so I also chose some modules outside my study area relating to it. I wanted to understand myself better and those around me to connect with them on a new level.

What career or further study skills did studying at Essex give you?

Studying Modern Languages, going abroad for one year and leading a teaching project for two years all enhanced my career skills and increased my chances of getting the job I dreamed of. Most of the work experience I gained was done through volunteering (Global Voices, Refugees Teaching Programme, One Off Projects). I have also used the valuable advice from the Career Centre in order to improve my CV.

Can you tell us about your current job, and how you got there?

After completing an online course for teaching abroad (The TEFL Academy), and obtaining my BA at Essex, I started applying online for jobs in South-East Asia, especially China, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. I had a few Skype interviews, and once I made my choice (and completed all the paperwork) I started working in less than a month. I am now working as an English Teacher in Ca Mau City, Vietnam.

Could you describe a typical day?

A typical day usually commences around 2 pm. I have the entire morning to myself. I teach a primary class (90 minutes), then spend the afternoon doing office work (compiling test papers, updating and reviewing old ones, marking assignments, writing reports etc.) At 6pm we start the evening classes – I generally teach 2 classes of 90 minutes each. I usually finished my day around 9pm and head home.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My degree is crucial for my job as it is related to language teaching and one's capacity to adapt to a new lifestyle and country. Studying Modern Languages at Essex was essential for me!

A portrait of Kirsten Alexander.
"Essex was highly rated and even recommended to me by my A-level English teacher who had taken the same course a few years earlier... Also, the department staff are well known across the world for their teaching and research."
Kirsten Alexander, Publications Manager BA English Language and Linguistics

Learn more about Kirsten's career as Publications Manager

Kirsten Alexander, BA English Language and Linguistics, University of Essex

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

The Language and Linguistics department at Essex was highly rated and even recommended to me by my A-level English teacher who had taken the same course a few years earlier. The course itself appealed to me because the modules on offer were varied. Some modules followed on well from A-level English Language and some options explored new areas. Also, the department staff are well known across the world for their teaching and research.

What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?

My main area of interest was sociolinguistics, which I studied throughout the four years of my undergraduate degree. I found that all of the staff involved in these modules were knowledgeable and really helped you to achieve your own personal goals. Personally, one of my main interests of linguistics is accents and dialects, which was complemented well by the various sociolinguistics and phonology modules available.

Which career or further study skills did studying at Essex give you?

Studying at Essex gave me confidence to succeed, with a broad knowledge and skill set behind me. As a student, you learn important skills such as independence and time management, which benefit you greatly in the wider world. I feel that these, combined with a degree from Essex have helped me achieve what I have so far. In addition, the extracurricular activities that Essex offered me have been incredibly beneficial, such as the student newspaper, of which I was TV editor in my final year. Also, the opportunity to study abroad for a year (I studied in Germany) has given me new skills, experiences and opportunities I may never have received if I had not studied at Essex. My current role includes an element of international travel and I feel that my year abroad in Germany has been beneficial in preparing me for solo trips to other countries (and continents!).

Can you tell us about your current job, and how you got there?

I am currently working as the Publications Manager for an international publishing company -Land and Marine Publications, based in Colchester. I am in charge of the production of a wide range of publications in the travel and maritime industries;including editing, writing, proofreading and project managing.

How did your time studying at the University of Essex help your career?

The skills and knowledge learnt from my course have helped shape me as a writer, which forms an integral part of my job. It has also given me the confidence to succeed and have belief in myself and my abilities. In addition, writing and editing for the student newspaper (when it was called ‘The Rabbit’) has been beneficial for me, and without the skills acquired doing this, I feel I would not be in the position I am now.

Contact us
Contact us
Dr Claire Della Luche Employability Development Director
Department of Language and Linguistics
Department of Language and Linguistics University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083