You might think that becoming a translator, an interpreter or teaching are the most likely career options if you study languages and culture. In fact, these specialist linguist roles account for only a small proportion (only 6%) of jobs that need languages.  (Languages: State of the Nation, 2013)

Having language skills can open so many other doors to a wide
range of jobs in so many other industries. Language skills can make you more mobile within Europe and the world, opening opportunities to study or work abroad.

Learning a modern foreign language gives you those communication skills that all employers want.
It will also allow you to learn about different cultures in your own country and others.

Wales and the UK do business with over 200 countries in the world. Globally, the demand for languages is growing for all job levels. At the same time, less young people are taking languages at GCSE and A level. (Languages: State of the Nation, 2013)

75%of the world's population do not
speak English

(Routes into Languages Cymru,2015)

Over half (54%)
of the UK employers
are not satisfied with graduates' foreign language skills 


French, German
and Spanish continue to be the languages
in demand by most
UK employers 


7 out of 10 
UK companies believe their future executives will need foreign language skills and international experience  (British Academy: Born Global,2014)


Having language skills can take you into so many jobs in so many industries:

Travel and Tourism
Civil Service
Science and Research
Hospitality and Catering
Patent Work
Airport Work

Intelligence Service
Journalism & Broadcasting
Sales and Exports
Marketing and Public Relations
Banking and Accountancy
Diplomatic Service
International Law
Aid Work

Interpreters, translators and language teachers account for only 6% of all jobs that need languages.
(Languages State of the Nation, 2013)


Having a second or third language clearly makes you a good communicator; both written and spoken. Studying a language will also give you additional skills, or employability skills, that employers value, such as:

  • Cultural awareness
  • Self-management and ability to meet deadlines
  • Adaptability and Flexibility
  • Research and presentation skills
  • Being able to lead discussions, as well as work in teams
  • Having opinions and being able to suggest ideas

"Now more than ever, young people need to develop linguistic and intercultural skills that will help to develop them professionally and personally, and compete on the global stage"
(Professor Claire Garrara, MFL Project, 2016)

What languages do employers want?

French, German and Spanish continue to be the European languages that employers want the most. 50% of
UK employers rate French as the most useful and 49% rate German the most useful.

Top 4 foreign languages rated most useful by UK employers

% of employers

Source: CBI, Education and Skills Survey 2016

Must learn Languages for Engineers










(, 2016)


There are so many ways to learn a language; full-time or part-time. You might choose to study a second language at GCSE or A Level, at school or at college. You could also study an NVQ or maybe attend evening classes.

CAP - Search for full-time school and college courses

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Higher Education

At a higher level there are a wide range of language, linguistic and cultural studies courses to choose from.
You can study a single language or choose from a huge range of courses that combine more than one language or a language with another subject.

The number of Welsh pupils studying a foreign language at GCSE has fallen by 44% between 2002 and 2015
(British Council Wales, 2016)

Just a few examples:

  • Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting BA (Hons)
  • Linguistics BA (Hons)
  • Translation BA (Hons)
  • French and Linguistics BA (Hons)
  • German and Politics BA (Hons)
  • Accounting and Finance with French BSc (Hons)
  • Educational Degree leading to QTS or post graduate following relevant degree leading to QTS
  • English and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) BA (Hons)
Search for Higher Education courses


Why not volunteer, work, study or travel abroad to practise your language skills

Volunteering, working, studying or traveling abroad are great ways to improve your language skills. You could get involved in foreign exchange programmes at your school, college or university, work as an au pair or resort guide, volunteer or travel.

Search for opportunities







Or talk to us for more help and ideas. 

Broaden your horizons - Bethan

Broaden your horizons - Samual

Modern Foreign Language Student Mentoring Project 2016

You may be able to get involved. Ask in your school.

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