Career Options

Many of our recent graduates have gone on to careers in the following areas:

Industry: Linguistics have many applications in industries beyond academia, including publishing, testing, medicine, and more. Our focus on strong theoretical foundations with an emphasis on real-world applications and internships prepare our students for industry careers. 

Tech industry: Another strength in our curriculum is computational training, which equip our students to work on speech recognition, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, user interface research, and more. Pittsburgh is fast becoming a new technology hub; our graduates continue to land positions at local and national technology companies.

English as a Second Language (ESL): Many of our students are currently teaching English abroad, some through CLS and Fulbright. Our majors prepare through taking courses in second language acquisition and volunteering opportunities at the ELI (English Language Institute), an integral part of our department. We also offer the TESOL certificate, often needed to teach ESL in the US, which some of our majors pursue after graduation. 

Foreign Language Education: Many of our students double major in a foreign language and have gone on to become foreign language teachers. Linguistics can give you a valuable cross-language perspective. 

Higher Education: If you go on to get a graduate degree in linguistics you might teach in departments such as Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Speech/Communication Sciences, Anthropology, English, as well as departments focused on specific foreign languages. 

Here are some other career opportunities relating to linguistics:

  • Work in government: The federal government hires linguists for the Foreign Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA), and more. 
  • Work on language documentation, conduct field work, or be part of language conservation effort
  • Work in the publishing industry, as a technical writer, or as a journalist
  • Work for a testing agency
  • Work as a translator or interpreter
  • Work with dictionaries (lexicography)
  • Work for an advertising or branding company
  • Become a consultant on language in professions such as law, medicine or entertainment industry