University of California, RiversideUCR


Foreign Languages

Foreign Languages majors gain insight into the language, thought, and character of other cultures and an understanding of other parts of the world.


Your choice of careers extends well beyond translating, interpreting and teaching.

Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization

Bank Officer Lawyer *
Hotel Management Public Administration
Human Resources Management Publishing
Immigration Inspector Social Security Representative
Intelligence Analyst Social Services
International Trade Social Worker
Interpreter Tourism
Journalist * Translator *
* See Training section

Nature of the Work

If you've mastered a foreign language, you have a marketable skill that is in demand across a broad range of business and industry.

American businesses overseas prefer candidates with foreign language skills when filling management positions. If you are interested in a career with an international company, make sure to include business courses and experience in your resume.

Many service organizations need people who can speak a foreign language to work here and abroad. You may need to have a professional skill as well such as being a teacher or medical assistant.

State and local government service agencies, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and community action programs all need bilingual or multilingual employees depending on the language or languages spoken in the community.

Travel and tourism industries increasingly need employees who speak foreign languages. Positions include lobby manager, reservationist, and concierge and banquet coordinator. While language skills are not a requirement for all hotel jobs, they are nearly always an advantage.


Interpreters and translators are employed everywhere in the world. You need to be exceptionally fluent in English and at least one foreign language.

Places of Employment

Advertising agencies Film industry
Airlines Hotels
Banks Insurance companies
City, county and state government International service organizations
Federal government Language institutes
Agency for International Development Libraries
Central Intelligence Agency Publishing companies
Department of Defense Research and educational institutes
Department of State Retailers
Federal Bureau of Investigation Social service agencies
Immigration and Naturalization Service United Nations
Peace Corps Universities and colleges
United States Information Agency  


Many of the jobs listed require you to have other business, technical or professional skills in addition to a Foreign Language degree. Those job titles designated by an asterisk generally require specific education and/or experience beyond the bachelor's degree.

Special training is usually required for translating and interpreting. If you are considering a career in teaching and research at a university, you will need to pursue a Ph.D.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Career Center
Career Center Plaza

Tel: (951) 827-3631
Fax: (951) 827-2447
Student Questions: careercounseling@ucr.edu
Employer Questions: careerrecruiting@ucr.edu