- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Become a Linguist
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and it's a very broad field with many specialties. Some linguists work in academia, researching and teaching different areas of language, such as phonetics (sounds), syntax (word order) and semantics (meaning). Other researchers focus on specialties like computational linguistics, which seeks to better match human and computer language capacities, or applied linguistics, which is concerned with improving language education. Still others work as language experts for the government, advertising companies, dictionary publishers and various other private enterprises. Some might work from home as freelance linguists.
So, are you fascinated by the study of language? Do you want a job that will allow you to use your expertise in language? If the answer to these questions is yes, a career as a linguist might interest you. This profession encompasses many specialties, allowing you to work in the computer industry, as translator and interpreters or as a language advisor to the government or private firms. You may even engage in investigative work by working as a special agent linguist of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This job puts you at the forefront of the action as you use your language and investigative abilities to get evidence of espionage activities, go undercover, apprehend criminals, interview witnesses and provide testimony in court.
To gain entry into this profession, linguists typically hold a bachelor’s degree in linguistics, anthropology, English or a foreign language. Fluency in another language other than English is usually required, especially for those who wish to work as translators or interpreters. Those who wish to work in the computer industry will need to have knowledge of computers as well. No universal certification is available for those who wish to show proficiency in a particular language but states usually require translators to pass a court interpreting exam.