Carnegie Mellon University

Careers and Internships

With foreign language skills, undergraduate language majors and minors are in a unique position to maximize their career and internship opportunities. Whether pursuing traditional language careers, such as translation or teaching, or combining language proficiency with skills acquired in other areas of study, such as business or information technology, language skills open doors.

What can I do with a degree in Modern Languages?

The question most frequently asked to faculty advisors by students seeking assistance with career planning is "What can I do with this major?"

Opportunities exist for students fluent in a language as well as for those interested in combining foreign language proficiency with other skills and areas of expertise. There is an increasing demand for speakers of a variety of foreign languages in the academic arena and in a range of businesses and industries, enabling graduates to pursue an array of challenging professions. While these lists are by no means complete, they are intended to give students an idea of possible career paths and to prompt reflection on careers of particular interest:

International Business: international banking; marketing; management; sales representative for divisions of industries such as high-tech, auto, appliances, food, cosmetics, clothing, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals

Communications: editor, publisher, literary agent, interpreter, translator, public relations, writer, radio and television

Education: graduate school, law school, medical school, bilingual education, foreign languages in elementary and secondary schools, college teaching

Government: Defense, Department of State, Foreign Service, FBI and CIA, U.S. Information Agency, Immigration, Customs, International Development, Commerce, U.S. Travel Service, United Nations

Kristin Staunton is the Dietrich College Career Consultant in the Career & Professional Development Center.