Why Study Languages?
The study of languages at university has many benefits. Developing linguistic skills equips students with the kind of problem-solving abilities valued so highly by employers. At Warwick, the opportunity to study abroad is often the most popular part of the course, as it gives the student the ability to immerse themself in a different culture, make new friends and feel more at ease interacting with native speakers. To read some of our students' year abroad stories, click here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/undergraduate/yearabroad/yastories
Ultimately, studying a foreign language at university is a great way to develop skills for the world of work and to stand out from the crowd. Contrary to the popular misconception, the career oppurtunities for a language graduate are extremely diverse.The Confederation for British Industry (CBI) recently found that 7 out of 10 employers actively want their employees to have a foregin laguage, whilst the European commission has found that the study of languages is 'positively related with employment chances'.
Take a look at some of the things our Alumni have gone on to do below:
Ryan Fish, German and Business Studies:
Ryan is currently working for the technical insulation company Kaimann UK as the U.K. and Ireland Technical Manager, as well as the U.K. and Ireland Marketing Manager.
Studying German at Warwick was pivotal to getting where I am today. When studying a language, you develop a very broad portfolio of transferable skills and you do not just learn the language in question. In my role, on a daily basis I am using my language skills to translate German marketing materials into English to make them suitable for the U.K and Irish markets. I am also one of two main points of contact between us and our parent German company, dealing with intra-company issues in marketing, logistics and the overall sales process. The quality tuition I received at Warwick has enabled me to be so adaptable in my languages. Furthermore, the non-language skills I developed within the SMLC, such as researching, communication and confidence, have allowed me to progress up the career ladder quickly from an Internal Accounts Manager to the Technical and Marketing manager here at Kaimann."
Natasha Draycott, Hispanic Studies and French:
Natasha graduated from Warwick in 2017 and has gone on to join the civil service as part of the 'fast track stream' for promising young graduates.
In my experience, interviewers are really impressed by people with language skills, and I always felt that talking about languages allowed me to show my passion and commitment to the subject – another thing interviewers look for.
I had three job offers at the end of my final year, and my success at assessments and interviews can definitely be attributed to the skills I learned whilst completing my degree, and also the support I received from Warwick careers. I chose to join the Civil Service as part of the Fast Stream (an accelerated leadership development programme to the Senior Civil Service) which so far has seen me work on a cross-government security initiative, and in a contract management role in the UK’s largest prison. The Fast Stream is allowing me to develop the skills I learned during my time at Warwick and abroad, and I am hoping to progress my career in the future by choosing International-facing roles within the UK government."
Des Wilkins, a Warwick graduate in French Studies, has been working for Deloitte for almost ten years. Click on the video to hear his opinion on why languages are so valuable to an employer.