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Languages and culture: career FAQs

Your questions answered about graduate careers in languages and culture, including getting a job, applications, working life and salaries.

How can I get a job in languages and culture?

If you want to pursue a career in teaching languages you will generally need to complete a Higher Diploma in Education or a PGCE.

If you are interested in translation and interpreting, the UN employs professionals who are based mostly in New York and Geneva and recruitment is by means of competitive examinations. The EU Commission also recruits translators through open competitive examinations which are generally held every three years for each language. Traineeships exist in Luxembourg to work with the European Parliament.

Routes into careers in the cultural sector vary widely. Many people start in quite junior roles and some begin by working on a voluntary basis. A number of universities offer postgraduate programmes in arts policy and practice, cultural policy and art management, which may be an advantage.

What are the different areas of work?

Careers using languages vary widely and include translating, interpreting, teaching (teaching languages or TEFL) and working within international call centre and shared services centres. Specialist roles include software localisation and working as a bilingual secretary/administrator.

Jobs available within the culture sector include curators, conservators, education officers, and arts officers. There are also opportunities in museums and art galleries.

What's involved in the application process?

This depends on the field you are applying for. The EU Commission recruits translators through open competitive examinations which are generally held every three years for each language.

Other related career sectors

Media and publishing
Public sector and civil service