Your linguistics degree sets you up for 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.

Work experience

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

Some universities provide opportunities to take a work placement during your course, either in the UK or abroad, or to learn an additional language.

If you're interested in training to become a speech and language therapist, it's essential that you get some work experience. 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:

  • opportunities provided by BookCareers and The Society of Young Publishers (SYP)
  • work on university publications as proofreaders or editors
  • work in a bookshop or library.

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

Typical employers

A degree in linguistics is useful for careers in:

  • communications
  • government administration
  • marketing
  • public relations
  • publishing.

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, specifically within areas such as voice recognition and language software development.

Typical employers include:

  • media organisations
  • publishing companies
  • marketing and PR companies
  • primary and secondary schools
  • language schools both in the UK and abroad
  • Civil Service, especially on the Fast Stream
  • law and accountancy firms
  • IT and telecommunications firms
  • the NHS and private hospitals.

Find information on employers in marketing, advertising and PR, media and internet, teacher training and education and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying linguistics teaches you about the science of language and how it evolves. You develop skills in analysing language, looking at syntax and semantics as well as words and sounds. You also study and critique theories and ideas and learn how to present linguistic data in various formats.

You also develop other important skills, including:

  • research skills, including knowledge of research methodology and quantitative methods
  • a range of analysis and statistical analysis techniques
  • the ability to accurately collect, interpret and manage data
  • written and verbal communication skills
  • IT skills
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • the ability to work well in a team and independently
  • project management skills
  • self-management
  • time management and organisation skills.

Further study

Some linguistics graduates go on to study at Masters level to specialise in an area of linguistics of particular interest to them, such as:

  • applied linguistics
  • forensic linguistics
  • language sciences

or a related area such as:

  • English language
  • philosophy of language
  • creative writing
  • philosophy.

Others go on to postgraduate study in order to enter a particular career such as speech and language therapy or teaching. There are also opportunities to take a qualification in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Although it's not essential to do a postgraduate qualification for careers in areas such as marketing, PR, 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 in linguistics.

What do linguistics graduates do?

Seven of the top ten jobs held by linguistics graduates include secondary education teaching professional (7%), educational support assistant (6%), marketing associate professional (4%), PR professional (3%), author, writer and translator (3%), primary education teaching professional (2%) and admin (2%).

DestinationPercentage
Employed58.3
Further study14.8
Working and studying9.4
Unemployed11.3
Other6.2
Graduate destinations for linguistics
Type of workPercentage
Education15.6
Retail, catering and customer service15.4
Clerical, secretarial and administrative14.5
Childcare, health and education14.2
Other40.3
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Find out more

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