School of Languages and Area Studies

Employability

The job market nowadays is an international one, so when you graduate, not only will you be competing with UK graduates, but also with highly qualified graduates from other countries. In this multicultural, multilingual world the ability to communicate in another language is highly desirable and demonstrating that you have lived, studied and worked in another environment enables you to compete more effectively.

Language graduates are very employable because they are flexible, adaptable, good at setting and meeting targets, and above all good communicators. This means that a wide range of jobs will be open to you when you graduate. Perhaps the most obvious job is teaching languages, but in fact this represents only a small proportion of the career pathways taken by language graduates. Areas where our graduates have typically found employment include administration and management, marketing and sales, banking, commerce and insurance, European and international organisations, tourism and leisure, journalism and the media.

Two women talking at a careers fair

Working as a Student: Preparing for the Workplace

Placement and Internship Centre

The Faculty provides you with support via the Placement and Internship Centre, or PiC for short. It is located in 1.16 Park Building, where there is a space for you to look at current opportunities, or undertake some job searching via the computers available for your use.

The Placement and Internship Centre is focused on providing a range of opportunities for you to get involved in activity which will help to progress career ideas and key skills essential for the working world.

Purple Door Careers and Recruitment

You can access a wide range of help with your research from Purple Door Careers and Recruitment including individual careers advice and access to extensive information resources. You may be particularly interested in the pages dealing with working outside the UK - these provide information for students and graduates interested in experience of work overseas, either during the vacation or after graduation.

Prospects

Prospects describes itself as the UK's official graduate careers website. Suggested starting points for your research there are:

  • Using your language skills – this information on the Prospects website provides details of your options, specific career areas, case studies, further studies and useful websites. It is available as a booklet from the centre or online on the prospects website.
  • Option Series - this series available through the Prospects website provides ideas of what you can do with your degree subject, including details of skills gained, related jobs, further study and other options.

Employer activities

Throughout the year Purple Door Careers and Recruitment and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) organise a wide range of employer and career planning events, covering a broad overview of career areas.

Volunteering, work experience and work placements

Spending time in work can help you develop the skills and experience that employers look for in the areas that interest you. Purple Door Careers and Recruitment and FHSS's Student Placement Manager can help you find relevant volunteering or paid opportunities in the local area. The Students Union also offer a wide range of community and other opportunities that will develop your skills.

Work may also be accredited through the University's Learning through Experience (LiFE) Unit.

After you graduate

After graduation you will be able to access the services of Purple Door Careers and Recruitment for five years.

After graduation, and having made the decision to look for jobs with French as a major requirement, I found a weak job market initially hampered my efforts. However, after a couple of months, and a four-stage interview process, I got a job in investment banking for Morgan Stanley, where my language skills were a definite plus in helping me to get the job.

Darren Davey, BA (Hons.) French Studies, Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley (London, UK)