What can I do with a major in Japanese Language and Literature?
UGA Specific Information for Japanese Language and Literature
The Japanese Language and Literature program is a branch of the language arts that emphasizes the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Upon graduation, graduates should be able to read diverse Japanese texts as well as express ideas about complex social and literary issues using correct grammatical Japanese. Opportunities for graduates include graduate study, education, foreign service, and international business. Students majoring in Japanese Language and Literature study one of the major languages of the industrial world and prepare in literature, language, culture, and linguistics for professions in international business, banking, trade, travel, and other professions in the public and private sector. However, the development of language proficiency and an understanding of Japanese culture will make a student majoring in Japanese Language and Literature an asset to organizations around the world.
UGA Japanese Language and Literature Career Outcomes for the Class of 2016*
** Includes Self-Employed
- Japanese Language and Literature Program (Department of Comparative Literature)
- Center for International Trade and Security (CITS)
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Additional UGA Career Center Recommendations/Considerations
The study of languages develops a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.
- Cross-cultural communication
- Expressing & understanding multiple viewpoints
- Presenting information logically
- Reading critically
- Writing effectively
- Linguistic sophistication
- Understanding cultural differences
- Sensitivity to cultural issues
- Flexibility in thinking and learning
- Ability to adjust to new environments
- Appreciation of cultural history, literature, politics, music, and more
- Thinking collaboratively
- Analyzing information, cultures, and complex problems
- Comparing & contrasting interpretations
- Offering diverse perspectives
- Assessing cultural differences
- Synthesizing themes
- Research skills
- Assessing needs
- Defining problems
- Understanding alternative perspectives
- Gathering information from a variety of sources
- Weighing alternatives
- Generating creative solutions
SAMPLE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
- U.S. State Department
- Government agencies (e.g. National Security Agency)
- Embassy (U.S. & foreign)
- Museums (e.g. Smithsonian Institutions)
- Educational Programs (e.g. Summerbridge)
- Consulting firms (e.g. Social Technologies)
- Media (e.g. ABC Nightline, Dateline NBC)
- Choose an additional academic area of study to supplement the foreign language, preferably one that requires a high degree of technical skill. Most people with foreign language ability use those skills to assist them in a different career field such as business, education, journalism, law, etc.
- Related courses to study include geography, history, civilization, foreign relations, international law, and world economics.
- Plan to attend a private language institute to learn additional languages and cultures.
- Utilize a number of learning methods to develop language fluency. Combine listen and repeat drills, textbooks, audio lessons, and learning apps.
- Travel to a foreign country or study abroad in international exchange programs to develop your language skills and international/intercultural competency.
- Study and practice your foreign language skills by reading foreign newspapers, magazines, and books.
- Seek opportunities to interact with international students on your campus or members of your local community. Host international students, join relevant student organizations, and participate in international campus events.
- Watch foreign movies and listen to foreign broadcasts to maintain your fluency.
- Volunteer your language skills to churches, community organizations, and programs that work with people who speak your target language.
- Correspond with someone from a foreign country.
- Contact professional associations and read their publications to learn about job opportunities.
- Research job postings on the Internet to get an idea of jobs in which knowledge of a foreign language is useful.
- Participate in summer programs, co-ops, and internships to improve your skills.
- Network with others in the field to learn about job opportunities.
- In general, international positions are competitive and difficult to obtain. Be very proactive in developing the skills and experiences international employers seek.
- Get your foot in the door in domestic positions because many international employers promote current employees into international positions.
- Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your career interest. To search, select “groups” under the “interests” tab. Also, review the groups that professionals in your field of interest have joined and consider joining them as well.
Interested in graduate school? Find current information on getting into graduate school at UGA’s Career Center webpage.
Supplemental Career Research Dashboard
Additional Career Research Resources
- Bilingual Jobs
- Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta
- Japan External Trade Organization
- Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
- Overseas Jobs
- Alliance of the Association of Teachers of Japanese
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
- Japan American Society of Georgia
- National Association for Bilingual Education
- Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages
- American Association for Applied Linguistics
- American Translators Association
- College Language Association
- The American Association of Language Specialists