Our profession and education are two intertwined pillars that will define many things in our lives which is why we have to consider both when we're making career or educational decisions.
If you're a student and you're considering getting (or you're already enrolled) a French major or minor you should know all the opportunities and professional aspirations you can have with this degree.
The number of options we have can be overwhelming at times, especially when we're young students trying to make it in this world.
However, if you take your time to do the appropriate amount of research before you make a decision instead of hastily choosing something, then you're more likely to succeed with your choice.
Options can range from the arts, history, English, science, math, literature, psychology, foreign languages, to many others. The possibilities are endless, that's why you need to take your time to make this decision.
Keep in mind that the studies that will suit you best will be a combination between your passions and skills.
In this article, we will tell you about the jobs and career options you'd have with a Bachelor's Degree in French (and it can be applied to others in your school's Foreign Language Faculty). Keep in mind that these are not the only options, just the most viable!
Working as an interpreter or translator
Being bilingual or trilingual has a massive advantage in the job market. Offering translator and interpreter services can make you some good money because not everyone knows a second language but our globalized world makes communications with foreigners important.
You could set up a company to offer translation or interpretation services or you can go to a corporation or organization that is hiring people with your talent.
This can also be an online job —especially now during the pandemic— many companies are hosting online international events and they need online interpreters.
Or you could go live abroad, anywhere in France or places where French is the official language, and help French companies communicate and do business with American companies.
If you choose to go live in France having a French degree will not only help you with the language. It will also help you adapt to the new cultural scene because during your French major or minor you're also going to be taught about the cultural aspects of the country and the language.
You can use all the resources and skills you learn during your degree to position yourself in the professional translating business. You can start out as an assistant and climb all the way until you become the boss or a business owner.
Opportunities in communications
Communication jobs are on the rise.
Companies need professional assistance to manage all the different areas that encompass communication, like social media management, marketing, copywriting, content strategy, production, web design, and so on.
But many people don't consider that there are some skills that are invaluable in a communications job, and one of those is having language skills or knowing a second language.
The majority of people (and of job applicants) can learn to perform the basic skills of the job by doing the job but not everyone can bring an added value to the table because learning a second language can take years of dedication and studies.
If you study French in college or university you'll be able to use the language in any job that requires translations, content creation in French, and so on.
You could also set up a company of your own and offer communication services to French or bilingual companies. You could become a consultant, copywriter, or social media manager for an American company that needs to speak to a French audience.
And, as we mentioned, you would have both the knowledge of the language and the culture, which you can use to create effective communicational campaigns that will speak on a cultural level to the French people.
But, if communication isn't something you're passionate about, don't worry! Continue reading to discover what other fields you could enter with a Bachelors's Degree in French.
Diplomacy and International Relations
Learning French can open a lot of doors for you in the world of International Relations and Diplomacy. You could apply for jobs in embassies of countries where the official language is French, you can work with ambassadors directly, or be hired as an interpreter for diplomatic events, and so on.
French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations (UN) with Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish. This means that if you learn French and you already know English, you know two of the official languages of the UN. You could apply for an internship, program, or job at the UN headquarters in New York or travel around the world with the UN.
The same goes for jobs and programs in big organizations like UNICEF, WHO, UN Women, UN Commission on Human Rights/UN Human Rights Council, and many more. These jobs are perfect for people passionate about humanitarian causes and cooperating with others to find solutions to the world's problems.
But, to get a job in these entities you'll need more than just your language knowledge so you might want to consider majoring in diplomacy or getting a minor in International Relations and do a program in French, either as a major or minor. This way you have other degrees to back up your job application.
If you love the idea of doing a major in French and you're not so keen about doing a minor you can always go to graduate school to study diplomacy and then apply for jobs in the UN.
If an office job (like the ones mentioned above) is not your style, don't worry, we have the perfect job for you! You could use your degree in French to travel the world.
You could apply to any travel agency in your home country and work for tourist tours or events for French people. Or you could go abroad, maybe to France, learn about the country's or city's history, and work as an American tour guide.
These gigs are usually reserved for students or young people. So, if you're a student getting a degree in French, this can be a great opportunity for an internship or a level-entry job.
If you don't find the idea of working as a tour guide very nice, don't worry, there are still many other job opportunities in this field.
You could set up your own travel agency, work as a language assistant, associate, or administrator in an existing agency, focus on specific projects that involve promoting the agency's travel packets and programs, and so on.
You can also travel to countries where French is the first language and work on getting material and resources to create content and arts for social media and web pages.
You can freelance for travel agencies and offer to create content for them with the knowledge you have of the language, culture, and history.
Become an educator
Last, but not least, we are going to tell you about the opportunities you'd have with your degree as a teacher. Teaching has been defined as one of the most gratifying jobs in the world because educators can see how they are helping young minds grow and develop.
You can study French and education at the same time and find a job in the academic world. Or you can get a Bachelor's Degree in French and go to graduate school and get a degree in education. However you choose to do it, if your goal is to teach French courses, you must get both degrees or majors.
If you like teaching other subjects, like literature, history, or science, then you'll have to study those subjects too. But if you only want to teach French, then you can learn the language and learn how to teach it.
French courses are taught in school, college, university, and language institutes and you could apply to any institution you'd like to work for!
If you like working with projects, you can work to develop a language program in a college or university that doesn't have one and become a pioneer by creating courses and an academic curriculum from scratch.
Find information on what USA universities are best for French majors right here.
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