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Careers – University of Reading

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  • 94% graduates in work or studying after 6 months

    Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2017


Graduate with a greater sense of confidence and self-reliance, a whole world of life-changing experiences, and fluency in another language.

Well-qualified linguists are in short supply in the UK, so there has never been a better time to study a modern language.  By the time you graduate, you can expect to be able to write and speak fluently in your chosen language/s.

Not only will your knowledge of a foreign language be highly valued by employers, but so too will your cultural awareness and general communication skills. Language skills are in high demand in many different career sectors, especially if you want to work for a business which operates internationally.

During your degree course, you will also build relevant, desirable and transferable skills and knowledge ensuring you are well placed to pursue a career in a variety of sectors.

"Seven out of ten firms believe that future executives will need (foreign) language skills and international experience"

The British Academy's SME Omnibus Survey, 2014

Employability built in

Alongside your academic studies, you will receive careers advice and CV workshops to enhance your career prospects. Whilst preparing for the Year Abroad you will also benefit from support and guidance, including compiling your CV in a second language.

"The department organised an event for us with the Careers Service. You don't have to become a teacher or translator. There's so much more you can do."

James Dowds, BA French & Italian (2013-17), now studying MSc International Business at Henley Business School

The Professional Track

A flexible and professional development scheme, Professional Track, offers you a wide variety of courses, masterclasses and placements to help you realise your career goals. The scheme runs alongside your degree course and all the activities you take part in will contribute towards your final degree transcript. Past students have benefited from placements with  Penguin Publications, the BBC, Disney and even a wolf sanctuary.

 Academic Placements

Academic placements are an exciting opportunity for students on part one Persuasive Writing, and for all students in parts two and three. They facilitate the opportunity to link the learning on a module to jobs and careers away from the classroom.


Highly valued by employers

A language degree is highly valued by employers as it demonstrates a wide range of desirable skills, including critical thinking,  independence, and research and language skills.

The Confederation of British Industry's 2013 Education and Skills Survey reports that 70% of responding businesses value language skills among their employees, particularly in helping to build relationships with clients, customers and suppliers.  French, German and Spanish were rated the three most important languages.

"I think of myself as a citizen of the world rather than just a citizen of the UK, and that open-mindedness is something that companies inevitably will look for."

James Dowds, BA French & Italian (2013-17), now studying MSc International Business at Henley Business School

Alongside your academic skills, your Year Abroad will provide evidence of self-reliance, adaptability, and enterprise, making you highly attractive to employers. This is demonstrated in the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 2016-2017, where 94% of our graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone into a wide range of careers, both in the UK and abroad, from translating, teaching and research to financial services, telecommunications and education. They have worked at EU institutions, in marketing, tourism, with NGOs,  the fashion industry, the international art business and regional development.  Recent roles and employers include:

Communications Specialist Airbus DS Optronics GmbH
Customer Service Arvato Bertelsmann
Commercial Financial Analyst
Communications Trainee BBC
Retailer Marketing Manager Bentley Motors
English Language Instructor Berlitz
Specialist (Old Master paintings) Christie's
Executive Assistant The Civil Service
PR Coordinator Club Med
Customer Service Executive Dow Jones
Analyst Ernst and Young
Senior Sales Manager EPK
Researcher ITV
Inside Sales Specialist Microsoft
Country Editor The Oil and Gas Year
Lecteur d'anglais Universite de Poitiers
Lecturer in Modern History University of Huddersfield
Operations Partner Waitrose
Expedition Planning Manager World Challenge Expeditions

Many of our students choose to continue their studies at postgraduate level, recent graduates have completed PhDs at Oxford, Queen Mary and Siena.

"After studying French at Reading, I was determined to use my language skills in my future career. I moved back to France and completed a distance learning master's degree in translation, while working part-time for a translation agency in Bordeaux. I set up my own translation company, gaining further experience in all fields of translation. Now, I work for a pharmaceutical company translating medical documents from French to English. I love my job: it's flexible and constantly challenging me."

Jessica Scott, French: professional translator, working in France.

​Come to an Open Day

Interested in studying a language degree? Get a feel for the University, meet our staff and students, join a subject taster session and explore our beautiful award-winning campus.

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