Why Study a Language?
The capacity to speak and comprehend a foreign language is intrinsically valuable to the perspective of an educated member of society. To understand the workings of a different language reaches beyond knowing a separate set of words or phrases. The acquisition of language skills involves stepping into a new means of expression.
Language studies bestow opportunities on the learner unavailable to the majority of his or her peers on account of the explicit skills gained and the implicit intellectual development required to reach full command of an unfamiliar discourse.
Nearly any career path will be augmented through foreign language skills. For many occupations it is a requirement. The following is a list of general fields in which foreign language skills make for serious additions to a resume or in which aptitude in a second language is required. If you see your own goals here, think about which language would be most helpful to you and read about our offerings in French, German, Spanish and other languages. Additionally, take some time to read about study abroad opportunities through our department and university.
Business and finance: administration, accounting, economics, import-export work will continue to become more internationally orientated.
Communications: journalism, publishing, editing, interpretation and translation, tourism, and public relations are fields in which foreign language ability are or may be required.
Social services: law enforcement, social work, school counseling and other counseling careers will bring you into contact with people who may not speak English well or at all.
Education: elementary, secondary and college level teaching in the US and librarianship will require foreign language knowledge for certain career paths, but any sector in these fields will be strongly aided by ability in a second language.
Science and Technology: chemistry, physics, anthropology, archeology, geology, biology, oceanography, engineering and any other scientific discipline are international in their scope. Professional literature and conferences are often written or held in languages other than English. A successful scientist or technology professional will need facility in an appropriate language.
Government: law enforcement, translation, interpretation, diplomacy and customs are all fields in which the ability to work in a foreign language is self-evidently valuable.