As the Linguistic Society of America notes, students with training in linguistics "acquire valuable intellectual skills, including analytic reasoning and argumentation, and learn how to study language scientifically. This means making insightful observations, formulating and testing clear hypotheses, making arguments and drawing conclusions, and communicating findings to a wider community.” As a result, study in linguistics prepares students for a wide variety of career opportunities:
- Education: good teachers of English, ESL, and foreign languages need linguistics to better understand how their language works and to enable their students to learn as easily as possible. People with a background in linguistics develop curricula and materials, train teachers, and develop assessment materials for language arts and language learning.
- Health sciences: linguistic background is crucial for speech therapists and other medical professionals who deal with speech loss due to developmental difficulties, illness, and injury.
- Computer industry: linguists work with computer scientists to develop speech recognition software, artificial intelligence, and automatic translation.
- Publishing industry: people with linguistic backgrounds are particularly well equipped to work in editing, publishing, and writing, and to work in the development of dictionary and language reference resources.
- Business: companies rely on people with linguistic training to develop product names and catchy ad campaigns.
- The Law: linguists are increasingly in demand to analyze the language of legal documents, defendants, witnesses in government, law firms, and the courts.
- Working with indigenous cultures: field linguists work with speakers of undocumented languages to develop writing systems, to raise awareness of and pride in the language, and to provide written resources to the speakers.
Want to learn more? See what some Luther linguistics alumni have been doing since graduation.