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Linguistics and jobs involving languages - Advice needed

Posted by zhanglihua July 21, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: Study, languages, linguistics

Today, I'm turning to you for some sound advice on behalf of a student of mine. She will graduate from High School next year, but hasn't made up her mind yet whether to study engineering or something involving languages. Since a lot of CP users are language enthusiasts and there are also some real experts here, I think you can help us.

She is really good at learning languages and enjoys it a lot. (Same with engineering, though she's a little afraid she might not be able to cope with maths)

The problem: It seems that the propects for linguists are not particularly good. She does not want to become a secretary, translation is not appealing either because you would have to a freelancer and the market seems to be satiated already. The only options available appear to be teaching (if you don't study education, in which settings could you teach nevertheless?) and research, but that's probably difficult to get into. Are there other fields in which she could work? Apart from the job situation, she doesn't want to restrict herself to one language (which would be the case if she studied anglistics and the like), rather work in optimization of foreign language acquisition, classification or education.
What prospects are there (internationally as well as domestically) and which degrees are available?

I (and she!) will be immensely grateful for any reply.

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