The decision to select Spanish as a college major can open unlimited career doors. There are approximately 500 million native Spanish speakers worldwide and that number continues to grow. With such a population, picking Spanish as a major course of study can be a great decision that gives you a global focus. Whether working within the United States or abroad, several professional options exist if you have a Spanish degree.
According to the United States Department of Education, there has long been a shortage of Spanish teachers. Courses such as grammar, composition and literature in Spanish degree programs at colleges can help prepare you for employment as a Spanish language teacher in a public or private school. While certification is required to be a teacher in most cases, if you hold a bachelor's degree in Spanish, you have the option of teaching while obtaining a professional license via an alternative certification program based at a local university.
In today's multicultural society, the ability for professionals and organizations to be able to communicate with clients and major stakeholders is becoming vital. Organizations such as the United Nations rely heavily on interpreter services to ensure that major issues affecting the globe are comfortably and precisely presented to the necessary decision-makers in their native languages. The federal court system employs Spanish interpreters to ensure that Spanish-speaking defendants are treated justly during trial. Having a Spanish degree along with polished fluency in the language is a great way to become competitive for these positions.
Bilingual in Business
The buying power of the Hispanic population is projected to climb to $1.5 trillion by 2017. Due to the rise in Latino consumerism, many business professionals view bilingualism as an attractive asset when prospecting potential employees. Being able to write and read Spanish in addition to speaking the language can increase this appeal in careers such as marketing or sales, which require multiple streams of communication with consumers. Graduates of Spanish bachelor's degree programs enter the workforce armed with the knowledge gained from course requirements like Spanish stylistics and composition. These bilingual professionals can establish themselves as employees who are able to generate print marketing geared toward the Spanish-speaking population.
Foreign Service Officer
If you hold a bachelor's degree in Spanish and have international interests, a career as a foreign service officer is an option. Working in one of ﬁve different career tracks within The United States Department of State -- consular, economic, management, political and public diplomacy -- a foreign service officer has the task of promoting international diplomacy worldwide. Foreign service officers can serve in consulates or embassies within Spanish-speaking countries like Argentina, Honduras and Mexico. Due to the variety of professional pathways for the foreign service officer ranging from facilitating international adoptions to real estate management, a bachelor's degree in Spanish can create avenues for professional advancement.
- St. Lawrence University: Spanish
- University of Maryland: Spanish Majors
- University of Houston Downtown: Alternative Certification Programs
- United Nations: Department of General Assembly and Conference Management: Interpretation Service
- United States Courts: Interpreter Categories
- National Journal: Buying Power of Hispanics Worth $1 Trillion, Report Says
- Hanover University: Spanish Courses
- U.S. Department of State: Foreign Service Officer
Based in Houston, C.P. Brown is a writer with experience in children's fiction, poetry, the arts and education. Her work has appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and various poetry publications. Brown is the founder of a nonprofit organization that promotes fine arts and a former charter school administrator. She holds a Master of Education from Harvard University.