Having trouble deciding on your major for college? If studying Spanish further interests you, you might be wondering, “What can I do with a Spanish degree?” Check out your options — and the benefits of a degree in Spanish — in this guest post by Carmichael, CA Spanish tutor Joan B...
Spanish is a field in bloom, as the number of Spanish speakers in the United States continues to grow. Getting a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish can open up a wide variety of career paths, and a Spanish minor is another valuable option to consider if you have other fields you wish to major in. As you continue reading, you will discover several in-demand fields for those with a degree in Spanish, as well as the benefits of obtaining a minor.
What Can You Do With a Spanish Degree?
Translation or Interpreting
Perhaps the most obvious job for someone majoring in Spanish is as a translator or interpreter. However, even this job contains numerous, varied opportunities. Joining the field of translation and/or interpretation means that you could act as a court interpreter, or a medical or legal translator, among other positions. These positions are in great demand and are satisfying since you are using Spanish to help others.
Another interesting career option for Spanish majors is teaching. The possibilities are endless. You could obtain your K-12 teaching credential and then teach in a bilingual school, or you could tutor Spanish privately. You could also teach the language to businesspeople in corporations. A variation on teaching would be to work as a tour guide with a travel company. By using your Spanish as a tour guide, you are educating, entertaining, and perhaps even visiting Spain or Latin America.
Other Career Opportunities
In addition to the above Spanish-focused careers, Spanish can also be used in many professions where being bilingual is either a plus or is required: international finance, non-profit organizations, international organizations, and nursing are all examples of this. If these types of careers interest you, you might consider double-majoring in Spanish and another discipline of your choice. Alternatively, you could also consider graduate work as a way to expand and supplement your knowledge.
Should You Major or Minor in Spanish?
Speaking of multidisciplinary study, if you love the Spanish language and culture, but also have other educational interests, you might consider a minor in Spanish. While some might wonder if minoring in Spanish is worth it, a minor can not only give you a good foundation of knowledge in Spanish, it can also be the nudge that pushes you to the top of an interview list or rounds out your resume.
A minor is also a great option if you want to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Once you have completed the initial prerequisite language classes, a minor can be accomplished quickly in an immersion setting as you take classes. Often, some classes can even go toward both major and minor requirements. For example, as a Spanish minor and an art history major, a class on Spanish art might serve both. A minor is also a smart option if you’re not certain how you want to incorporate Spanish into your career. In this case, the knowledge and the pleasure of learning the language will be there for you, but you will still have plenty of time to explore other interests during your time in college.
As you explore your options, don’t hesitate to speak with the graduate students and professors in your school’s Spanish department. In addition to your academic advisor, they can be valuable sources for advice and suggestions.
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. A lover of language, she’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian, and spent time living in Spain. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more about Joan here!
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