Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Linguistics : Job Prospects & Career Options

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A career as a linguist is an attractive proposition, for those who have a flair for languages. Language skills prove to be an essential attribute in many professions. The demand for those trained in linguistics is increasing with the expanding of overseas trade links. There are several areas in which a linguist can work. He can work as an audiologist, communication disorder specialist, broadcaster/ news reader, copy writer, editor, technical writer, translator, publisher, interpreter, language planner, lexicographer, teacher, psycholinguist, tour operator, researcher etc. They can find employment in both public and private sectors. Major employers include government departments and agencies, education and health sectors, travel and tourism sector, journalism and mass communication related organisations, software and computational companies, interpreting and translation services, libraries, business and information management services, media and advertising, publishing houses, international organizations, market research and public relation companies.

Job opportunities for linguists are available in the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore; Institute of Hindi Language, New Delhi; Anthropological Survey of India; Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and embassies etc. Publishers abroad often recruit linguists for online dictionaries. Linguists may work with computer scientists to create new computer languages that are more like human languages. Linguists are also in high demand by technology companies to develop websites and voice recognition software. Linguists could also explore job possibilities in hospitals as speech therapists, with call centers as speech trainers or as dubbing and voice experts. They may go for medical transcription job as well. Often, after pursuing courses in linguistics, people like to work as freelancers. Many international organizations like WHO, UN, NATO, etc. also need language experts to function effectively in various parts of the world.

Career fields which linguists can opt are endless. Some among them are

Teaching- Teaching is one of the best options for linguists. They can opt for a career as lecturer in various institutions that impart education in Indian languages. Several government agencies hire linguists to supervise language training programmes. Linguists are also hired to carry out research in various languages, or to work in specialised fields such as the determination of geographical names for mapping and other purposes. Freelancing also offer very good prospects.

Hospitals- People having done post graduation in linguistics are recruited in hospitals as speech therapists or Neuro linguists, who treat speech problems in children and adults.

Banking- A new upcoming field for linguists is banking and financial services sector, where more and more multinational companies are hiring linguists for providing effective phonetics, language input, culture and customer service training to delegates, etc.

Investigation- Linguists play a major role in solving certain criminal cases. Even the CBI has to take the help of a linguist in cases which involve speaker identification. Acoustic phonetics is one of the significant courses of linguistics.

Publishing- Publishers are frequently looking for graduates with knowledge of principles of textual organisation, discourse structure, grammar and semantics. In publishing, linguists are involved with producing foreign language text books, editing, consulting and planning elementary and secondary programmes of curriculum design. They can also become Lexicographers who are involved in the publishing of dictionaries.

Media- Areas of the media such as television, magazine or newspapers could have similar translating, editing or lexicographic needs.

Public Relations- Public relations require a good knowledge of language for communication.

Travel & Tourism- There is a wide scope for the students of languages in the travel and tourism industry where proficiency in at least one language means surety of job. Employers in this field include airline offices, hotels, foreign embassies etc.

Software Careers- The software industry also offers opportunities for linguistic majors, asking linguists to develop search software, voice recognition software, dictionaries and translation software.

Translator/Interpreter- Accurate translation and interpretation require linguistic knowledge. Translators provide written translations of texts, such as business documents, manuals, educational material and literary works. Translators are generally employed by industries, publishing houses, government and research organisations. An interpreter translates the language orally, and they can find employment in judicial services, health care and social work. There are also employment opportunities for translators and interpreters in the military, intelligence, foreign service and diplomatic corps.


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