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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 11, 11 - 17 JUNE 2022


Career Opportunities In Language Studies

Chandan Sharma

When asked “what best defines your personality?”, we may be tempted to say that our fashion style, our face, knowledge as well as communication skill, all go into making who we are. But the fact is, it is our knowledge that is elaborated through our communication skills during interactions, negotiations, interviews and other occasions, that define our actual personality. This is certainly not an external attribute and does not develop in a few days. In fact it is earned through the study, learning and experience of several years. This skill not only opens new vistas of opportunities but also provides several other benefits in the society and amongst peer groups and colleagues, even in the classrooms.

But how can it be earned? This is a million dollar question. There are several ways to earn this skill but study of languages is the key in this concern. The present article will talk about the benefits of language studies. There are hundreds of languages in the world, and India is home to several of them. Many of them are listed as the official language of the country. The Constitution of India includes Articles 344(1) and 351 which deal with languages. These are included in the eighth schedule which recognizes 22 languages viz. Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

Apart from these languages, there are over 7000 dialects that are spoken in various parts of the country. But there is a big difference between dialect and languages. While a dialect is unstructured and usually does not follow a grammar, a language is well structured and must have a rule book or grammar without any exception. This may be in the case of any language whether Indian or foreign.

Language and communication skill starts from first year of learning i.e. from kindergarten or nursery to higher studies. However, for specialized studies in Languages, you need to learn an advance set of grammar and vocabulary as compared to those used in common communication. There are several components associated with language studies. According to experts, language is nothing but a symbol of communication that is elaborated or represented through alphabets, sentences or various other forms of communication.

As we all know, knowledge cannot be transmitted or communicated without a language, so acquiring language skills is the first aim of education in any society. Even the hearing and speech impaired used special set of language tools in the process of learning and studying. Almost all major universities in India teach languages from undergraduate level to post graduate level with some having research level facilities too. In the last few years, the demand for linguists has witnessed a deep surge in the job market with the advent of the new media and information platforms and expansion of teaching and education.

Higher studies in language not only increases the chances of getting jobs, but also opens avenues of direct employment in the various domains that require expertise in language. In such a situation, it is not a surprise that some of the best institutions and colleges known for language studies demand astronomical marks in the qualifying examination for admission. But with the introduction of the CUET (Common University Entrance Test), aspirants who have scored lesser marks in qualifying examination will also be able to get admission in language courses if they score well in the CUET.

Career Opportunities in Languages

Teaching: Teaching of language is the best available opportunity for those pursuing language studies. According to an estimate, of about 20 lakh teachers in the government as well as private sector institutions in India, at least 20 percent are language teachers, mostly teaching English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu and other vernacular languages. A good number of students pursuing higher studies in Linguists are selected for research fellowships. In addition to gaining a degree/diploma in the concerned language, a candidate needs to complete teacher training or Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) if they want to pursue teaching career at school level. For teaching at the college or university level, one has to acquire Junior Research Fellowship or clear the National Eligibility Test (NET).

Institutions like IITs, IIMs as well as other institutions of technical studies also appoint teachers of Humanities, primarily in English, for teaching of communication skills, including technical communication and business communications. Some institutions also appoint experts of Hindi, Sanskrit and foreign languages for the enhancement of the communication skill of their students.

Translation and Interpretation: Translation is an important career option for the students of language. Several institutions including central and state governments' ministries and PSUs as well as various departments require the service of translators every now and then. Other bodies like the UPSC, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats too appoint translators. The UPSC conducts Junior Translators examination every year to fill vacancies of translators in various departments and ministries.

Rajbhasha Adhikari: This is a post that is found in most ministries, government departments, banks, PSUs. Rajbhasha Adhikari, as the name of indicates, requires expertise in Hindi. But at the same time, it also requires expertise in English too as a large number of their duties are related to translation from English to Hindi and vice versa.

Media: Media is another important field that has vast opportunities for students of language studies. Although, qualification in journalism or mass communication is a prerequisite for this field, language skill is an equally important aspect and requirement for becoming a media person. The media, be it print, electronic, or digital, convey information through the medium of language. Majority of positions held within a media house including that of content writer, sub-editor, assistant editor, editor as well as content manager, reporter, producer and correspondent, all need to have impeccable knowledge of the concerned language.

 Publications: Book and publishing industry is another important domain for language professionals. Authors are not less than celebrities. But book and publishing industry have much more to offer to a language student. These include jobs like proof reader, editor, translator and much more. The publishing industry is a great place for part-time job seekers wishing to utilize their language skills.

Creative Writing: This is an important genre for the students of language. There are several opportunities for creative writers in the entertainment industry including films, advertising, theatre, digital platforms, websites, blogs, and other fields requiring content.

Public Relations: This is another domain where a language expert's services are required. Traditional PR skills, such as compelling writing and media relations, are always valuable. But due to advances in technology, additional skill like social media content creation has also gained traction. Public relations specialists work for a variety of organizations, including government, corporations, colleges and universities, schools, media buyers, and professional associations.

There are several institutions provides various courses in languages and allied studies. Here is the list of some prominent institutions:

·         University of Delhi, New Delhi

·         Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi

·         Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi

·         Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha, Maharashtra

·         Indira Gandhi Open University

·         Kendriya Anuvaad Sansthan, Agra

·         Makhanlal Chaturvedi Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal

·         Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi  

·         NCERT (For B.Ed.) 

·         Patna University, Patna

·         TM Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur 

·         Allahabad University, Prayagraj

·         Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

·         Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra

·         Madras University

(The author is a visiting faculty of Delhi University. He can be reached at chandansharma2@gmail.com)


Views expressed are personal.