What Can I Do with a Major in English:Linguistics?


Linguistics is the study of the nature and structure of language. Rather than learning to speak and write specific languages, linguists address more general and theoretical questions about how language works, how languages arise, develop, and change over time, and how children learn to speak their native languages. Linguists also want to know how language functions in society.

Linguistics majors*:

  • write translations
  • describe formal/informal languages
  • are familiar with syntax and semantics
  • understand social factors in language

Linguistics graduates have excellent analytic skills and are therefore qualified for many careers that require in-depth understanding of how language works, and how it can best be utilized. Linguists work in many different occupations including software development, medicine, international relations, bilingual and foreign language education, TESOL, marketing, translation, law, politics, communications, journalism, and publishing. In fact, Miami graduates work in literacy programs, advertising, machine translation, on the mission field, and in lexicography, and computer programming. Others are employed by the government in cross-cultural centers, such as the Peace Corps, the U.S. Information Agency, and those who also obtained teacher certification are working in schools both in the United States and abroad. Still others have enrolled in graduate schools to continue their linguistics studies or work toward degrees in business or law.

Career options for Linguistics majors include**:

  • teacher of English as a second language
  • librarian or archivist
  • cross-cultural communication specialist
  • public relations material writer
  • speech recognition specialist
  • U.S. information agency program specialist

Additional Resources

*This is a sample of specific skills (competencies) that Linguistics majors acquire; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that these are in addition to the general skills that are common to all CAS majors.

**This is a sample of career options available to Linguistics majors; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that some of the listed career options may require additional education and/or training beyond the bachelor's degree.