Linguistics

Are you fascinated with language and how the complexities of speech shape human development, cultural interaction and our society in general? Do you want to study the principles underlying human languages and the relationship between language and thought? Majoring in Linguistics will expose you to various questions surrounding the study of language, how it is acquired and how it provides new perspectives into social scientific research.

Career Options in Linguistics

This list is not exhaustive but provides an idea of the options graduates have and what they have gone on to do. Some options are more directly associated with a Linguistics degree than others.

  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication Specialist
  • Artificial Intelligence Specialist
  • Assistive Living Worker
  • Audiologist
  • Author
  • Autism Behaviour Specialist
  • Child Development Specialist
  • Communication Disorders
  • Assistant
  • Computer Programmer
  • Editor
  • ESL Teacher
  • Interpreter
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Aid Worker
  • Linguist
  • Neurolinguist
  • Professor
  • Pronunciation Coach
  • Psychologist
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Publisher
  • Rehabilitation Counsellor
  • Researcher
  • Sign-language Interpreter
  • Social Worker
  • Speech and Audio Therapist
  • Speech Writer
  • Speech-language Pathologist
  • Teacher
  • Translator

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Linguistics Degree

A background in Linguistics ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • The ability to think critically and analytically in order to make insightful observations, formulate hypotheses and draw scientific conclusions
  • An understanding of linguistic development and how and to what means language is used in contemporary and past societies
  • Knowledge of the relationships, similarities and differences between different language groups and dialects
  • An appreciation for the complexity of language, how it is acquired and how it develops from childhood to adulthood

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The ability to learn new information and apply this to professional demands
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.