Reply To: I don’t know what to do with my life

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June 2, 2023 at 12:41 pm #1120645

Studying a subject and working in that subject, or in a related field which benefits from your field of study, are very different things. Fields of study are very broad; when you are in the work world, you take a smallish slice of that field which appeals to you and build upon it yourself. I suggest that you seek summer jobs in your own field or in an area which needs your language skills. That will give you a taste of what languages majors do for a living. It is hard to gain this knowledge at university, because school is its own universe — it teaches the breadth of what has traditionally been taught in a subject, and if you follow to the Ph. D. end point, you are following a route tailored to becoming a professor in that field (not that the doctorate won’t open many doors for you, but the content of the program is aimed at creating knew would-be professors, despite the lack of such jobs in many fields).

My field was engineering. The languages majors I met were employed as translators (for meetings and for texts). Most I encountered were engaged in international finance and business. The skill with many languages was essential, but business/finance/economics course/degree or ad hoc practical international business experience was also mandatory. You would need a second major to go this route. You would also need to enjoy interacting with a wide variety of people from many societies.