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Translation Major: An Unexplored Career Niche


Students — have you ever considered a translation degree?

translation majorAs the number of people who speak languages other than English increases, the need for translators and interpreters grows. From court proceedings requiring interpreting to businesses needing promotional materials translated into another (or several other) language(s), it’s a growing industry, both in the US and abroad. But where do you go for training as a translator or interpreter?

As it turns out, you go to Iowa. Starting in the fall, students at Northwestern College in Orange City will be able to earn a Spanish translation degree, making them only the fourth school in the country to offer translation as an undergraduate major.

A Higher Degree of Linguistic Expertise

Northwestern’s Spanish translation major comes as an attempt to address the shortage of translators in the Iowa court system. Currently, there are only eleven class-A-certified interpreters in the entire state (including one of the professors at Northwestern), so there’s plenty of room for a few good experts.

The Spanish translation major doesn’t focus exclusively on legal translation, however. It’s a liberal arts degree, so it will expose students to a broad range of specializations, while at the same time paying close attention to the unique challenges faced by translators and interpreters.

If you wanted to apply your translation and interpreting degree to something other than the legal field, you have plenty of career options available. Skilled linguists are vital to many industries, so a Spanish translation major would open many doors as you begin your post-college job search.

Translating Education into Professional Success

At present, Northwestern plans to offer translation degrees only in the Spanish language. However, if the program is a success, it may encourage the addition of degrees in other languages as well, which would present many more job opportunities for those looking for a foreign language career.

The global marketplace is continually expanding, and the need for skilled translators and interpreters grows with it. More and more companies need experts to translate important documents or facilitate multi-lingual meetings, so a translation degree might  just might translate into a rewarding career.



2 Responses to “Translation Major: An Unexplored Career Niche”

  1. Spanish Teacher Says:

    What level of Spanish language proficiency is required for someone to be eligible to enter this program, and how is it measured?

  2. Polina at University Language Says:

    Spanish Teacher,

    I know that the program is designed specifically for bilingual students, so I assume that the proficiency level is relatively high. If you’re interested, shoot an email to the person in charge of the program at Northwestern (Piet Koene)to find out the exact requirements.

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