What can I do with my degree in linguistics?

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Case studies

Linguistics graduates are well-equipped to undertake careers ranging from marketing and publishing to speech and language therapy

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Look for voluntary or work experience opportunities with organisations and businesses that you're interested in working for or that will help you develop the skills relevant to your career interests.

For those interested in training to become a speech and language therapist, work shadowing/experience is essential. Try and arrange an observation session at your local speech and language therapy service and get some experience working with children and adults with a learning disability or the elderly and disabled people.

Experience of working with children in a classroom setting is essential if you want to become a teacher.

Examples of other areas of work experience that may be of interest to linguistics students include:

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Graduate jobs are typically available in areas such as communications, public relations and marketing.

A degree in linguistics is useful for teaching abroad, publishing roles and roles in government administration.

Linguistics graduates also go into jobs where they can use their knowledge of linguistics directly, such as working for dictionary compilers or as proofreaders and editors.

Others train as speech and language therapists or as teachers, or find work teaching English as a foreign or second language. There are also opportunities in computer programming and information technology.

Typical employers include:

Find information on employers in healthcare, teaching and education, media and internet and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Skills honed on a linguistics degree include transcribing and analysing language and understanding and critiquing theories and ideas. You learn how to present linguistic data in various formats.

Research skills are also developed, especially regarding the accurate collection of data, research methodology, analysis techniques and statistical analysis while using IT packages.

Students study the subject of communication and pick up excellent communication skills, in written form through writing up research, and oral communication by interacting with language subjects.

Generic, transferable skills include:

Further study

Almost a quarter of linguistics graduates are undertaking further study or combining further study with work six months after graduation.

Some go on to study at Masters level to specialise in an area of linguistics of interest to them, for example applied linguistics and TESOL, or a related area such as:

Others go on to take the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) to work in primary and secondary teaching or go on to an approved postgraduate qualification leading to a career in speech and language therapy.

Although further study is not a requirement for careers in areas such as HR, journalism, IT and social research, further vocational study may enhance your chances of employment, particularly when combined with relevant work experience.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do linguistics graduates do?

Around two thirds of linguistics graduates are in paid employment six months after graduation.

One in ten linguistics graduates employed in the UK are working as marketing associate professionals, where excellent communication skills are highly valued.

Graduate destinations for linguistics
Destinations Percentage
Employed 64.9%
Further study 17.5%
Working and studying 6.2%
Unemployed 5.7%
Other 5.8%
Types of work entered in the UK
Marketing, PR and sales 15.9%
Retail, catering and bar work 14.9%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 13.7%
Business, HR and financial 10.7%
Other 44.8%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies  - provides support and services for higher education linguistics.

Written by AGCAS editors
June 2015
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