What Can I do With a Degree in World Languages and Literatures?

The information on this page is designed to help you explore possible careers. Use the links below to navigate to different areas of the page. We recommend working with a career counselor to help you identify careers based on your skills, interests, and values.


World Language and Literatures majors may find employment in business, government, education, media, travel and tourism, and social services depending on their skills and experience. SomeWorld Language and Literatures graduates choose to work in careers where their language skills are essential to completing the job's responsibilities. These jobs include interpreting, translating, and teaching a foreign language. Some World Language and Literatures majors may choose to work in careers where their foreign language skills are an asset but not integral to the job — social services case worker, import-export assistant, travel agent. Career-related internships or part-time jobs may be a prerequisite to finding professional-level employment after graduation in these and other fields.

Resources with Ideas for Careers and / or Places of Employment

List of Employers and Job Titles Posted in Handshake for World Languages and Literatures Majors

The following list of employers and job titles was derived from the University Career Center's jobs database where the employer specifically requested World Language and Literatures. This list does not reflect all potential places of employment or kinds of jobs for World Language and Literatures majors. This list does not reflect current openings.

  • American Red Cross — Territory Representative: "bilingual candidates (English/Spanish) encouraged to apply"
  • Asian Pacific American Consortium on Substance Abuse (APACSA) — Community Coordinator: bilingual English/Asian Language
  • Associated Services for International Adoption (ASIA) — International Adoption Coordinator: Mandarin Chinese
  • Berlitz Language Center — French or Italian Language Instructor
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metropolitan Portland — Match Support Specialist, Bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Cascadia Behavioral HealthCare — Child and Family Specialist (Spanish bilingual/ bicultural persons encouraged to apply.)
  • City of Salem — Housing Assistance Representative: "bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply"
  • Crowe Foreign Services — Office Manager: English/Spanish
  • Education Northwest — Senior Associate for Bilingual Assessment: bilingual English/Spanish
  • Farmers Insurance — Claims Representatives, Underwriters, Customer Services Representatives. Pay incentive for multilingual speakers.
  • FLIR Systems — Spanish Translator for 4-week training program.
  • Girl Scouts - Columbia River Council Inc. — Membership Manager-Field Staff (Bilingual candidates a plus (English/Spanish).
  • Human Solutions — Family Advocate: bilingual English/Spanish
  • LaCie Limited — Buyer: Chinese (Mandarin dialect)
  • Lutheran Community Services — Youth Specialist: English/Russian
  • Market Decisions Corporation — French Speaking Interviewer, Market Research Interviewer: Italian/German
  • Multnomah County Health Department — Medical Interpreter: Various Languages
  • Northwest Interpreters, Inc. — Interpreter Project Coordinator
  • Oregon Catholic Press — Bilingual Publishing Assistant
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) — Shizen Camp Instructor/Counselor: Japanese
  • Outside In — Career Counselor/Education Specialist: "bilingual Spanish/English valued"
  • Pacific Dreams — Proofreader
  • Pacific Interpreters — In-house scheduler/ Spanish Quality Assurance Specialist, Interpreters (any language)
  • Passport to Languages — Medical Interpreter/Legal Interpreter: Albanian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Hmong, Mandarin, Mein and Vietnamese
  • Portland Jewish Academy — ESL/Spanish Teacher
  • SAIF — Claims Adjuster Trainee: "Bilingual English-Spanish skills are preferred"
  • Siemens Building Technologies — Global Sales Communications
  • State Farm Insurance — Auto Claims Representative: "Knowledge and Skills Required: Bilingual - Spanish"
  • Teach Abroad — On-Campus Recruiter
  • Trexler Climate + Energy Services — Research Assistant/Junior Policy Analyst: Japanese Fluent
  • Upward Bound, Pacific University — Summer Spanish Teacher
  • Universal Forest Products — Production Manager Trainee
  • Vancouver Housing Authority — Mentor Program Coordinator: "Bilingual Russian or Spanish highly desired"
  • Vesta Corporation — Revenue Assurance Specialist: "Spanish bilingual...a plus"
  • YWCA of Portland — Energy Assistant Coordinator: "preference given to bilingual Russian or Spanish speaking candidates"
  • Ziba Design — International Project Coordinator: Japanese

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Careers Reported by World Languages and Literatures Majors (Recent Graduates) on College / University Surveys

This is a list of jobs World Language and Literatures majors reported having at (or shortly after) graduation. This list was built from survey data published by colleges and universities across the United States. The University Career Center provides this list as a tool for generating ideas for further exploration.

  • Administrative Assistant for a language translation company
  • Analyst for an investment banking firm
  • Assistant Director of Marketing for a hotel company
  • Assistant Language Teacher for JET Programme
  • Assistant Manager for a real estate investment company
  • Assistant Teacher for the French Ministry of Education
  • Bilingual Counselor for a county social services agency
  • Bilingual Executive Assistant for an electrical equipment manufacturer
  • Conference Planning Manager for a resort
  • Coordinator for International Relations for the JET Programme
  • Director of a youth center
  • ESL Instructor and a for-profit school
  • Expediter for an executive management and consulting firm
  • Export Assistant for a breakfast cereal manufacturer
  • Financial Analyst for an investment bank
  • Foreign Service Officer for US Department of State
  • GED Instructor for a social services agency
  • Human Resources Specialist for a commercial real estate firm
  • Intelligence Officer for US military
  • International Trade Analyst for a federal government agency
  • Junior Research Executive for a pharmaceutical market research firm
  • Language Analyst for the National Security Agency
  • Lead Counselor for a social services agency
  • Management Trainee for a healthcare communications company
  • Parent Liaison at a public high school
  • Patient Care Coordinator for a large multi-specialty group medical practice
  • Photographer for a university
  • Program Assistant for an educational foundation
  • Registered Representative for a financial services firm
  • Research Assistant for a manufacturer of in vitro diagnostic tests
  • Research Assistant for a market research firm
  • Sales Representative for a pharmaceutical company
  • Special Agent for US Secret Service
  • Teacher for Teach for America
  • Technical Assistant for a humanitarian aid organization
  • Technical Writer for a technology company
  • Technology Specialist for a law firm
  • Tour Consultant for an educational travel company
  • Transfer Pricing Associate for a public accounting firm
  • Translator for an automotive engineering firm
  • Volunteer for the Peace Corps

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Careers Reported by World Languages and Literatures Majors on the American Community Survey

The following list of job titles was generated from American Community Survey data. Every year, the federal government surveys 3,000,000 people. This list shows some of the most-often reported careers for people who majored in World Languages and Literatures majors. The University Career Center  provides this list as a tool for generating ideas for exploration. To find a brief description of the following occupations, go to the Standard Occupational Classification system.

  • Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Lawyers and Judges
  • Education Administrators
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Management Analysts
  • Registered Nurses
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Chief Executives and Legislators
  • Designers
  • Marketing and Sales Managers
  • Human Resources Workers
  • Librarians
  • Writers and Authors
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Editors
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians
  • Compliance Officers
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Computer Programmers
  • Software Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Training and Development Managers
  • Fundraisers
  • News Analysts, Reporters, and Correspondents
  • Directors, Religious Activities and Education
  • Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives
  • Advertising and Promotions Managers

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Professional Associations

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