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Foreign Language

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

Representative Job Titles and Area of Specialization
  • Bank Officer
  • Hotel Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Immigration Inspector
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • International Trade
  • Interpreter
  • Journalist *
  • Lawyer *
  • Public Administration
  • Publishing
  • Social Security Representative
  • Social Services
  • Social Worker
  • Tourism
  • 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.

Places of Employment

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

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


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.


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