It is believed that philology is not a very practical study, and its graduates have problems finding a job. What is the reason? Probably because the philology diploma itself is less useful than in the case of technical, medical or law studies. Nevertheless, the competencies that students acquire are in demand in the modern, globalized market, so an interesting job after graduating from philology is possible. Let’s take a look at the career paths chosen by philologists and the demand for particular professions.
Work in philology – job and basic opportunities for graduates
To assess the market demand for philologists, we need to determine what professions they can perform. Two stereotypical career paths are becoming a language teacher or translator. Mostly, foreign language teachers in public and private schools have completed a master’s degree in philology or linguistics, as this is one of the requirements. There has always been a demand for foreign language teachers at schools. Currently, in many of them, students have a choice of three or even four foreign languages. To become a teacher at a language school, language studies are often not required, and only language skills confirmed by a certificate are enough. However, to get a job, a philology diploma is welcome. Learning languages is becoming a popular hobby, as proved by the emergence of new language schools, both stationary and online.
The work of a translator is usually divided into two different categories: interpreters and translators. The first ones are typically hired for business and political talks and events where the “live” translation is required. Written translations are more common and more varied in terms of subject. Due to the difficulty of the vocabulary and the specificity of the specialization, the need for translators is high. Apart from specialist translations, a large branch is a literary translation. The importance of literary translators can be explained by the fact that every foreign book, film or series that we know is the result of their work. Over time, we read and watch more foreign works, so the demand for translations is increasing.
An important part is sworn translations, i.e. with a stamp confirming the work was performed by the right person, accurately and fairly. Such translations are performed by the so-called sworn translators who, to be able to perform their work, must meet several conditions. A sworn translation usually covers diplomas and certificates, court documentation and contracts.
The teacher and the translator are just two options
In addition to the two previously mentioned professions, philology graduates have many other paths to choose from. Over time, more and more foreign companies began to establish cooperation abroad. Many of them are looking for people who know a given industry, such as accounting, IT or economics, and at the same time speak a foreign language at a high level. Due to the shortage of employees with such competencies, companies can pay significantly more. The need for people who speak foreign languages is also evidenced by the fact that some employers pay a bonus for each foreign language spoken by the employee.
The future of the translation industry
Although we use more and more English, the demand for translations is growing at a stunning pace. This is happening due to the extremely rapid development of many specializations and the expansion of the companies’ activities to other countries. The development of machine-operated translation is also not a serious threat to the translator’s work. What distinguishes a man from a machine is imagination and abstract thinking, which are extremely important in the work of a translator. A good example is a literary translation, in which the appropriate style is a must, and nuances of a foreign language should be translated into the target language accurately. It is difficult to say whether working with languages is the job of the future. However, it is certainly a good and interesting direction for those who are interested in it. A suitable job in philology is, above all, one that gives a lot of satisfaction.
The co-author of the text is Jakub Chańko, a WordPassion intern.