Department of English and Modern Languages


What can I do with my degree?

Because of a strong liberal arts foundation in the English, Foreign Language and Journalism programs, the list of career opportunities for someone with a degree in these fields is long and varied.

Graduates in English or journalism may become writers or editors for a variety of publications, market researchers, analysts, labor relations specialists, managers, publishers, curators, playwrights, teachers, radio commentators and more.

Graduates with foreign language degrees have pursued careers in communications, business, education, government service, information services, social services and the travel industry. Some career possibilities include interpreters/translators, technical writers, foreign news correspondents, museum curators, information security analysts, public relations experts, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization agents, research librarians, teachers, and import-export agents.

Students in all of the department’s degree areas often continue their education to earn advanced degrees in a variety of fields. French and Spanish majors are encouraged to complete a second major in another discipline.

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Is there a demand for someone with an English or a foreign language degree?

Employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020. Opportunities should be best for technical writers and those with training in a specialized field. Employment of technical writers is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. (Excerpted from Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010.)

According to a 2012 report by the Council on Foreign Relations, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. economy is now wrapped up in international trade, and half of U.S. growth since the official end of the recession in 2009 has come from exports. The fastest-growing economies in the world are not English speaking, thus the most promising export sector for the United States is business services, which often require face-to-face interactions with foreign customers. “[F]uture U.S. growth will increasingly depend on selling U.S. goods and services to foreign consumers who do not necessarily speak English.”

How does your program prepare graduates for successful careers?

Students in our programs learn how to think and how to do, which is essential to success. A strong liberal arts foundation is enhanced by major courses that are small, intense and focused on knowledge and skills students need in their careers or in graduate school. The professors who teach most of the major classes have been at Missouri Western for an average of 15 years, have doctoral degrees and experience in the field. Several have published books in their fields.

Hands-on learning is a key component for our degrees, from the classroom or computer lab, to on-campus publication experiences or off-campus internships, and short- or long-term study abroad. Professors work very closely with their students, advising them on courses and careers.

You can expect to be prepared for a wide range of careers that suit your interests and the ever-changing job market.