Top 5 Jobs for Language Graduates (Not Translation!) | Top Universities

Top 5 Jobs for Language Graduates (Not Translation!)

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Guest Writer

Updated Apr 13, 2021



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Guest post: Matt Arnerich

If you do a quick Google search of the top graduate jobs with a language degree, it would be easy to feel like you’d accidentally pigeon-holed yourself into being a translator or a teacher.

But if neither of these appeal, don’t fear! In the multinational, connected world we now live in, demand for language skills is increasing all the time. Nowadays, many companies with foreign offices, clients or commercial interests will specifically hire foreign language speakers, and will often consider fluent speakers favorably even for roles without a specific language focus.

Doing a modern languages degree will not only leave you with the impeccable language skills needed to get these jobs, but also a good understanding of different cultures. You’ll develop key softs skills, including a fine attention to detail and flexible communication skills.

Here are my top five jobs for language graduates – and not a translation in sight!

1. Account management 

One of the consistent factors for a lot of the graduate jobs listed here will be that they’re client facing. Account management involves being a great communicator and brilliantly organized, identifying clients’ needs and making sure everything is delivered efficiently from your side.

These are the kind of skills you’ll develop doing a language degree, and which will be useful even if you’re applying to companies which operate in a single language. On top of this, your fluency will add another string to your application bow for any company that deals with foreign clients.

Your ability to communicate effectively across the whole spectrum of clients at the company will make your CV stand out, and that’s why so many multinational companies look favorably on foreign language skills when recruiting account managers.

2. Finance 

More and more, the world of finance is diversifying from its traditional talent pool of mathematics, economics and science graduates, recruiting from a broader range of academic backgrounds.

With any client-facing role, all large banks will be working multi-nationally, and so the ability to communicate effectively is seen as a huge bonus, as is the ability to liaise effectively with other offices throughout the world. Almost all job descriptions will name a foreign language as ‘highly desirable’.

In fact, Goldman Sachs claims to actively seek language graduates or native speakers for around 50% of its roles, and huge graduate employers HSBC and Credit Suisse both suggest a second or even third language will be a huge advantage in the application process.

3. Retail buying 

A career in retail buying is all about being able to analyze trends, making good judgements and negotiating hard. As a result, language graduates can be in demand for buyer roles, due to their ability to communicate and work with suppliers throughout the world.

Whether you’ve got a passion for fashion, food and drink or stuffed animals, it’s a chance to use your knowledge of foreign cultures, as well as languages, to get ahead. Buying is all about noticing market trends and companies with an interest in foreign markets will want someone who has an understanding of that culture.

You’ll also get the opportunity to travel abroad to trade shows and fairs, where you can put your language skills to stellar use.

4. Social media 

A foreign language degree can be useful for all sorts of marketing jobs, but particularly social media, which is generally a role filled by a graduate anyway. Many companies will have an array of social media profiles if they are working across different countries, and your knowledge of the language and culture of a foreign country will stand you in good stead to be given a lot of responsibility quite quickly.

If you want to move into other areas of marketing or advertising, you’ll find that your language skills will be useful to converting your role. The chances are you’ll be taking on ad-hoc duties from a variety of departments, due to your specialism, which will provide a boost to your CV and an opportunity to prove yourself in areas you want to move into.

5. Spying 

If none of the above appeals, you can always be a spy. National agencies such as MI5 hire language graduates to join their foreign analyst teams. If you want to listen to and analyze intercepted messages (and pretend you’re James Bond), this could be the job for you!



Matt Arnerich is the content writer at graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. Matt writes about everything to do with graduate employability and how to get ahead in the competitive grad market. For the latest graduate opportunities, check out Inspiring Interns’ graduate jobs listings or, if you’re looking to hire a graduate, take a look at their innovative video CVs.



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