Linguistics is the systematic study of language, its sounds, structure, meaning and
Linguists are concerned with variations in language according to social setting, which
is called sociolinguistics, geographical regions, called dialectology, and time periods
or historical linguistics. Psycholinguistics investigates the relationship between
language and the mind.
Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization
* See Training section
|Communication Disorders Specialist
|Foreign Service Officer *
Nature of the Work
The most common careers for Linguists are: teaching English as a second language;
writing textbooks, or planning and administering English-teaching programs.
Several government agencies, such as the Foreign Service Institute of the State Department,
hire linguists to supervise language training programs. Others, such as the Department
of the Interior, have linguists work in specialized areas like determining geographical
names for mapping purposes.
Lexicographers are involved with the publishing of dictionaries. They are concerned
with details such as pronunciation, the definition of grammatical terms, dialectal
variation, and etymology.
Linguists also are involved in publishing foreign language textbooks and developing
elementary and secondary programs in reading, writing and spelling.
Linguists are hired as technical writers, who put scientific and technical information
into readily understandable language in the preparation of manuals, catalogs, instructional
materials and engineering reports.
Places of Employment
|Elementary and secondary schools
|- Central Intelligence Agency
|- Department of Defense
|- Department of the Interior
|- Department of State
||Universities and colleges
|Immigration and Naturalization Service
Many of the jobs listed above may be obtained with a bachelor's degree depending on
the type of coursework you completed and experience you gained as an undergrad.
Job titles designated by an asterisk generally require specific education and/or experience
beyond the bachelor's degree.
A master's degree is sufficient for teaching positions if you want to specialize in
bilingual education or English as a Second Language. If you are considering a career
in teaching and research at a university, you should pursue a Ph.D.
For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951)
The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.