What can you do with a German major or minor?

When people think about possible careers for German majors/minors, they often think about teaching and translating. Both of those are great careers, but they are far from the only opportunities that German skills make possible!

It can be helpful to think about two types of careers: language-based careers and language-related careers.

Language-based careers are dependent upon strong language skills. You will generally use your German every day, possibly in multiple ways (listening, speaking, reading, writing). Language-based careers include:

  • translating/interpreting
  • teaching
  • software/technology localization (adapting software/technology for a specific country)

Living in a German-speaking country also turns any career into a language-based career.

Language-related careers generally focus primarily on intercultural competence, with language being an important secondary skill. Your understanding of German culture, attitudes, and worldviews are central to these careers, and your language skills make you a more competitive candidate. Language-related careers include, but are not limited to:

  • International politics and policy
  • Development work
  • Tourism/Hospitality
  • International education
  • Working for any of the 3500 German majority-owned businesses in the US!

See more information about career opportunities.

There are many other occupations that benefit from knowledge of German, for example librarians, linguists, journalists, lawyers for international law, theologians, and anyone working in the publishing industry.

A German major/minor also says something about you as a person. It shows that you are dedicated, persistent, and curious about the world. Employers know that learning a foreign language can be challenging, and they value this dedication to a long-term goal.

Finally, Germany is a powerhouse for research, especially in the sciences. Graduate work in Germany is very affordable, but requires proof of languages skills. Why not already acquire them at college?