January 5th, 2022 Revature

Jobs for Foreign Language Majors: Why Software Engineering is a Great Fit

Software engineering isn’t just for computer science graduates. Despite what you may have heard, a tech career is accessible to people of all academic backgrounds — including foreign language graduates.

Foreign language majors have the perfect set of transferrable skills for software engineering. They’re great problem-solvers, effective communicators, and highly logical thinkers.

After all, learning to code is just like learning a new language. If you’re looking for well-paid jobs for foreign language majors and you’re not afraid of venturing into new territories, software engineering may be the path for you.

Language Learners are Problem Solvers

Software engineering is all about problem-solving. Programs rarely work perfectly the first time, and the issue may be anywhere inside complex lines of code. An engineer’s job is to figure out what’s going on and what might get different results.

Language learners intuitively know how to do this. After all, when you learn a new language, you’re learning how to solve a complex problem.

You’ve learned how to explore the structure of a new language and how it’s put together. You’ve discovered how all the pieces work — nouns, verbs, conjugations, and so on. You’ve seen what one change in a word does to the rest of the sentence.

Altering code works the same way. You change one line, and the whole program has a different result. If it’s not the result you want, you put it back and change something else. Then you repeat it until you’ve fixed it, just like you’d put together a sentence in another language.

Problem-Solving Is Just the Beginning

Like all jobs for foreign language majors, software engineering draws on many other skills besides problem-solving. Examples include:

  • Cultural adaptability. Language majors know that different cultural groups have different norms, and you use that knowledge to make yourself understood.
  • Appreciation for diversity. You know that more perspectives mean more diverse ideas, and you actively welcome new ways of thinking.
  • Critical thinking and reasoning. You can apply grammar and usage rules to formulate your thoughts and explain how you did so.
  • Structuring and presenting ideas. You can communicate a message effectively based on the needs of your audience.
  • Advanced communication skills. You can get a message across using multiple frameworks and language structures.
  • Advanced cognitive skills. You can switch contexts quickly, understand complex rules of language construction, and derive meaning from context.

Software engineers use these skills every day.

Tech Skills Increase Income Potential

There’s no shortage of jobs for Spanish majors, just like there’s no shortage of opportunities for people who know Mandarin or French. But sometimes, the earnings from translating and interpreting don’t quite make ends meet.

Adding to your skillset automatically increases income potential, and tech skills are known for being particularly lucrative. If you add coding and software engineering skills to your portfolio, you can access a world of well-paying jobs.

Build Your New Career with Revature

Revature has helped more than 8,000 people from a variety of backgrounds to build tech careers. We provide pathways that build on your skills as a language major while giving you a platform to learn today’s most important technologies.

Check us out today. Who knows — you may have just discovered your dream career.