5 Careers for Foreign Language Professionals

The mastery of foreign languages allows us to broaden national boundaries and blur international horizons. By learning a new language and the culture of a people, we gain the ability to move fluidly in the global marketplace.

Now more than ever, foreign language skills provide employees and employers with a depth and breadth of resources to reach clients around the world. Increasing globalization has changed the market, creating a wealth of careers for which knowledge of a foreign language is crucial. Here are just a few of these fields:


Translators and interpreters deal with written and oral translation, respectively, from a source language into a target language. Not only do professional multilingual translators and interpreters provide freelance services to companies and organizations, but they also play a vital role within those businesses, serving as a necessary liaison between their home companies and the international organizations with which they interact.


Foreign language is taught beginning at the earliest elementary setting, well into secondary, collegiate, and corporate environments. Harnessing new technologies and ever-increasing personal mobility, language teachers can practice not only in the classroom, but online and abroad. Additionally, many organizations utilize language trainers to prepare their employees to meet the needs of their international clients.


With the growth of online news, journalism has become an international field. Even people in the smallest towns have instant access to information from around the world. This shift places a new value on foreign language skills. Multilingualism provides journalists with the ability to penetrate a breadth of topics and reach a wider audience.


From airlines and cruises to hotels and convention centers, employers seek multilingual personnel to make international clients feel at home. Foreign language skills are a major asset in the hospitality industry both within the United States – accommodating the myriad languages and ethnic groups found here – as well as in international careers, where they bolster customer relations, speed up communication, and enhance an employer’s reputation as a global seller. Moreover, an influx of tourism to America causes hospitality and customer service employers to place a premium on multi-lingual employees.

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