Languages - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Languages.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Understanding of the development of language and the interaction between culture and languag
  • An awareness of the rich use of language to effectively communicate ideas and information
  • The ability to develop and alter written material to communicate appropriately to different cultures
  • Knowledge of cultural differences in communication and interpretation of language and information
  • The skill to assess and evaluate the meaning of communication with reference to cultural differences
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences/nuances when planning/organizing events and activities
  • The skills to teach and educate others using language and your understanding of other cultures
  • The ability to translate written or spoken information in a way which accurately conveys the intended message including context, emotions and cultural subtleties
  • The language skills necessary to effectively negotiate and mediate in a variety of settings

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Advertising Copy Writer
Airline Representative
Art Dealer
Bilingual Educator
Bilingual Officer
Communications Specialist
Community Activities Planner
Community Relations Manager
Conference/Meeting Interpreter
Cultural Attaché
Cultural Officer
Cultural Tutor
Curriculum Developer
Customs/Immigration Officer
Dialect Coach
ESL Instructor
Event Planner
Exchange Program Co-ordinator
Festival Co-ordinator
Film Translator (Dubbing)
Flight Attendant
Foreign Correspondent
Foreign Exchange Trader
Foreign Services Officer
Hospital Interpreter
Human Resources
Import/Export Trader
Information Researcher
International Account Manager
International Conference
International Hotel Administrator
International Telephone
Judicial Interpreter/Translator
Language Consultant
Library Technician
Literacy Program Co-ordinator
Literary Agent
Literary Researcher
Marketing Representative
Media Consultant
Multicultural Relations Manager
Opinion Researcher/Pollster
Overseas Manager
Public/Corporate Relations
Radio Broadcaster
Sales Representative
Script Supervisor
Settlement Officer
Speech Pathologist
Speech/Language Coach
Staffing Specialist
Student Housing Co-ordinator
Technical Writer
Television Programmer
Tour Guide
Trade Show Organizer
Travel Agent
Travel Writer
University Recruiter
University Registrar

Potential Employers

Advertising Agencies
Conference/Convention Centres
Educational Institutions
Entertainment Industry
Hospitality Industry
International Businesses
Law Enforcement Organizations
Media Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Publishing Organizations
Travel/Tourism Industry


Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario -
The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers -
Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council -
Chartered Institute of Linguists -
International Federation of Translators -
International Association of Conference Interpreters -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3