What Can I Do with My Linguistics Major?

Overview

Linguistics majors engage in the scientific study of language, and view languages as an integral part of a cultural, social, and psychological identity. The program examines how languages are structured, learned, and used, and looks at both the unique and shared features of various languages. There are many different specializations within the study of linguistics, ranging from understanding sound and syntax, to the examination of language teaching and learning, to the study of how language use varies depending on place, group or situation, and more. Research into these areas spans many disciplines, including the Humanities, Social Sciences, Logic and Mathematics, and Natural Sciences. In addition to the major in Linguistics, the department offers a 5-year accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program.

Skills

The study of linguistics develops a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.

Communication

  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Expressing & understanding multiple viewpoints
  • Presenting information logically
  • Reading critically
  • Writing effectively
  • Linguistic sophistication

Human Relations

  • Appreciating relationships between groups and nations
  • Understanding diversity
  • Identifying and crossing cultural boundaries
  • Understanding multicultural human relationships

Critical Thinking

  • Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
  • Thinking collaboratively
  • Comparing & contrasting interpretations
  • Offering diverse perspectives
  • Assessing cultural differences
  • Synthesizing themes
  • Analytical ability

Problem Solving

  • Assessing needs
  • Defining problems
  • Understanding alternative perspectives
  • Gathering information from a variety of sources
  • Weighing alternatives
  • Generating creative solutions
Sample Internship Opportunities
  • U.S. State Department
  • Embassy (U.S. & foreign)
  • Museums (e.g. Smithsonian Institutions)
  • Educational Programs (e.g. Summerbridge)
  • Consulting firms
  • Media (e.g. ABC Nightline, Dateline NBC)
Where are Georgetown Linguistics Majors Now?
  • Public relations
  • Journalist/Writer
  • Television reporter
  • Radio production
  • Editorial assistant
  • Speech writer
  • Web editor
  • Attorney
  • Translator
  • Software engineer
  • Legislative assistant
  • International relations
  • Specialist
  • Grant writer/fundraiser
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Community organizer
  • Human rights worker
  • Foreign Service
  • Financial analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Human resources specialist
  • Consultant
  • Art dealer
  • International marketing
  • Investment banking
  • Electronic commerce
  • Medical professions
  • Teacher
  • ESL Teacher
  • Speech pathologist
  • Professor
  • Librarian
  • Nonprofit manager
  • Fundraiser
  • University Administration
Relevant Web Sites and Publications
Professional Organizations

For more information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the language and linguistics majors and degree requirements, visit the website of the Department of Linguistics. The department is located at Bunn Intercultural Center (ICC) 479, and may be reached at (202) 687-5956.