With a bachelor of arts in Spanish, you’ll be prepared for a career as a translator, interpreter, and educator, and you’ll learn to speak the Spanish language fluently enough to work or live in Spanish-speaking areas. Spanish majors go on to teach Spanish classes in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, to translate Spanish to English, and to act as interpreters for Spanish-speakers.
What is a Degree in Spanish?
A bachelor of arts in Spanish focuses on teaching you to speak and write Spanish fluently and with correct grammar, but the major covers much more than just the study of language. Spanish majors engage in a comprehensive study of Spanish-speaking countries: their history, culture, eating habits, literature, traditions, and much more. Graduates of bachelor of arts in Spanish degree programs have the skills and knowledge necessary to integrate into Spanish-speaking communities in both language and behavior.
By learning to read and write Spanish fluently, you will be qualified for a number of careers. You can work as a translator, translating written texts from Spanish to English and vice versa. You can also work as an interpreter, translating conversations between English and Spanish speakers. Additionally, many Spanish majors continue their educations to earn the credentials needed to teach in elementary, middle, and high schools or colleges. With a teaching license or master’s degree, you can work as a Spanish teacher.
What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Spanish?
- Beginning Spanish
- Intermediate Spanish
- Advanced Spanish
- Spanish Literature
- Spanish Conversation
- Spanish Culture
- Semester Abroad
- Latin American Studied
What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Spanish?
While historically a primarily English-speaking country, Spanish has become a major language in the U.S. in recent decades. As such, dual-language speakers are in increasing demand to assist with teaching native-Spanish-speaking children in schools, to translate legal and medical documents from English to Spanish, and to provide interpretation services in schools, courtrooms, and hospitals. With a master’s degree or Ph.D., Spanish majors can also find roles as instructors and professors in colleges and universities.
How Long does it take?
A bachelors in Spanish will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.
Online Spanish Degree
Studying languages in general and Spanish in particularly is a popular choice for college students. It is also particularly favored for part time students working in a country with large number of people speaking Spanish as the United States. The programs can vary significantly and may require completing 40 – 120 credit hours to earn the degree. Practical training and projects is commonly included as part of the program where students participate in variety of activities related to the language. Projects can be a translation of important books or studying literature of a prominent author for example. Graduate degree programs are also available but they are generally less common than undergraduate programs.
*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Spanish Interpreter
What Can You Do With a Spanish Degree?
Spanish is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula which is currently divided between Spain and Portugal. Spanish is the second most-spoken native language in the world and the fourth most spoken language after English, Mandarin and Hindu. It is spoken by around half a billion people in Spain and the Americas. There are more than 40 million Spanish speakers in the US making it the second most commonly spoken language in the country. Studying Spanish certainly improves your job opportunities and helps a lot during travel.
What does a Spanish Language student learn?
Studying language as a college degree includes building strong language skills including reading, writing and speaking as a foundation for the program. This is followed by studying the advanced use of the language including business or academic language in addition to studying the Spanish culture and literature. The following list shows the courses commonly studied in Spanish degree programs:
- Language foundations: advanced grammar, composition, speaking and comprehension courses
- Introduction to Spanish literature
- Latin American and Spanish culture
- Conversation circle: this is a practical training on speaking where students talk to each other about various topics in Spanish.
- Latin American and Spanish short story
- Selected Topics in Hispanic Literatures
- Professional Spanish: this course introduces the use of Spanish language in professional settings as business and academic language.
Now I have the Spanish Language degree…where can I work after graduating?
Developing the language skills in Spanish to a professional level improves your chances in the job market. The language is the main tool for communication and companies seek Spanish speakers to expand their market to other countries. Learning Spanish is a great advantage if you already have a college degree in another field. However, there are still many career options that you may consider:
- Teacher: Spanish is among the most common courses offered in schools and universities after English.
- Translator: if you are multilingual then you have a great opportunity to work as a translator between these languages. You can work on the translation of documents, books, online content or other writings or you can work as an interpreter in business meetings, conferences or other settings.
- Customer service representative: mastering a language is important for companies to offer appealing services to clients in their own language.
- Writer: language degree programs provides you with the skills needed to write blogs, books or articles but you need to have the passion and creativity for this field. Writers can work as freelancers, publish their own books or write for a company or organization.
- Tour guide: language degree programs will introduce you to the Spanish language, culture and literature. You will be qualified to work as a tour guide for Spanish tourists provided that you have good knowledge about the places or events that you introduce.
Should I choose a Spanish Language degree?
Learning new language is always a good choice which can make a significant change in your future career. People who study multiple languages have improved memory, critical thinking skills and enhanced concentration. Additionally, your study will help you develop a number of personal skills that will be an added value for your career and your life in general:
- Communication skills: this is the main advantage of learning a new language as you will have the ability to communicate effectively with a large number of Spanish speakers around the world.
- Public speaking: a common part of many of the Spanish degree programs is the presentation and public speaking training. Gaining these skills will not be limited to Spanish but will also be reflected on other languages.
- Creativity: studying culture and literature promotes creativity and will help you become an author and write your own content either as books, articles, online content or stories.
- Tolerance and adaptability: studying different cultures will make appreciate the differences between people and it will also help adapt to different environments.
Best Jobs for Spanish Degrees
With a degree in Spanish, you’ll have the language skills necessary to work as a translator, interpreter, and educator. Dual-language speakers are needed to translate English medical and court documents to Spanish, to help teach students in school who have not yet mastered English, to teach the Spanish language to native English speakers, and to interpret conversations between English and Spanish speakers.
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