Like other language programs, proficiency in both written and spoken Spanish is a requirement for a degree. And, like Italian and French, the Spanish language is considered a major rather than a general degree and is often a choice within the context of liberal arts degrees. Still, Spanish as a major has more benefits than meets the eye and it opens many opportunities for employment.
The second largest population of Spanish speakers is in the U.S., the reason why a degree in Spanish as a major would be a practical choice. Additionally, the program includes other disciplines that complement the Spanish language such as Spanish literature, culture, history, politics, anthropology, and economy. Further studies in the language can improve the individual’s chances to transition into several careers.
Careers for Holders of a Spanish Studies Degree
A common career choice is teaching Spanish as a second language but this is not exclusive by any means. School districts with large Hispanic populations will often hire the services of liaison officers, translators, and interpreters to work for them to translate documents, communicate with the Spanish speaking parents of students, and other services such as tutorials and counseling.
Business is another option. There is a plethora of businesses that require persons who are fluent in the language to plan and implement events, create marketing brochures, and do sales pitches with Hispanic communities as target audiences or markets. With a Spanish degree holder on board, the company can avoid cultural misunderstanding or translation gaffes in getting their messages across.
Many newspapers and magazines in the U.S. are targeted towards Spanish-speaking audiences. The Spanish language degree holder can edit such publications for translation veracity or rewrite it altogether. As someone who is proficient in the language, you can also write subtitles for films or interpret in court for cases involving Hispanic defendants or complainants.
US Government organizations are in need of people who are fluent in Spanish and have a thorough understanding of Hispanic culture to interpret for them when dealing with Spanish-speaking residents of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban or South American ethnicity. You can also work for the U.S. embassy in Spanish-speaking countries or render services as an agent for the FBI.
You can also work for nonprofit agencies that cater to members of Hispanic communities as an interpreter and translator. The knowledge of Hispanic culture which you would have learned while studying for your degree will come into play here. You can teach ESL classes, conduct summer camps, organize events, and do other activities that appeal to Hispanic communities.
Yet another option for you is to work overseas in international hotel chains in Spanish-speaking countries. While the bulk of the work in these places is proficiency in the language, it becomes a matter of trust for Americans and other English speakers to have someone translate and interpret what they want to convey.
Which Schools Offer Spanish as a Major?
In most cases, Spanish is required in Latin American Studies or Latino Studies. Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), Bennington College (Vermont), Marquette University (Milwaukee), Oberlin College (Ohio), the Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), Texas Wesleyan University (Fort Worth), Princeton University, and Duquesne University (Pittsburgh) offer Spanish as a major.