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Jobs in tech for linguists

Posted by:
Bianca
on:
March 27, 2022
in: 
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3
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Whether you’ve studied Spanish philology or speak Japanese fluently, as a linguist you’ll have acquired valuable skills for the job market. And while that may mean translation and language training for some, other linguists use their unique skillset to start a career in an unrelated field.

The tech industry is a great place to look if you’re after a fast-paced, highly rewarding position and great career prospects. As you may already know, few job markets are as hot as tech right now. With the pandemic shifting consumer focus on digital products and services, tech vacancies are booming to meet the demand, and have increased by 40% compared to the pre-pandemic market. With 10% of all jobs advertised in the UK being in the tech sector, this is a great time for linguists to consider a career in tech.

Can a linguist work in tech?

Indeed they can. Tech workers are in high demand and the skills required vary greatly. Unlike non-digital jobs, a position at Meta or Google doesn’t require a traditional and rigid educational journey. 

A trained linguist can easily find work at companies the likes of Amazon because tech employers are often after skillsets rather than degrees. If some linguists will use their language skills on a daily basis, others will employ the soft skills they have mastered while becoming fluent in one or more foreign languages.

Language skills required in the tech industry

As many tech employers are global companies, language skills are in high demand for workers to be able to communicate with stakeholders worldwide and understand local markets and trends. From clients to colleagues, from new markets to relocation, polyglots continue to benefit from their language skills years after they’ve completed their language training. Even for non-linguists, a second language can help professionals earn up to 15% more.

But it’s not only about speaking a foreign language. Tech positions require excellent communication, problem-solving and adaptability as well as creativity. These are all skills that a mind that’s used to learning new languages and cultural codes has spent years developing.

Highest paying linguist jobs in tech

According to a recent Tech Nation report, the average tech salary advertised in the UK is £50,663 – 44% higher than non-digital. It’s only normal for linguists to want in.

Fortunately, there are plenty of positions that require or benefit from language training. Below are some examples of well-paid tech jobs for linguists.

  • Localisation Manager. Localisation experts adapt a product and its marketing strategy to local markets. From translation to cultural and regulatory requirements, it helps to be a polyglot. The average salary for a localisation manager is £42,280 per year in the London Area.
  • Computational Linguist. Computational linguists develop computer systems that deal with human language. They need strong language skills and a good understanding of programming. If you enjoy thinking deeply about patterns, speech, semantics, and syntax, this may be the career for you. The average salary for a Computational Linguist is £39,910 in London.
  • Technical Writer. Technical writers write manuals for software and other products. They need good research and communication skills and must be able to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand, concise manner. The average salary for a Technical Writer is £43,465 per year in London.
  • Data Scientist. Data scientists are in great demand right now. If you enjoy playing with data, finding patterns and anomalies, this could be your dream position. The average salary for a Data Analyst is £36,535 per year in London.
  • Project Manager. It may not seem as directly linked to linguistics as other roles on this list, but a Project Manager position combines big-picture thinking with a linguist’s attention to detail. You won’t need to know as much programming as other tech careers, although it may help. The average salary for a Digital Project Manager is £46,444 per year in London.

The source for all the above figures is Glassdor.co.uk

How to start a career in tech as a linguist

If you dream to work for Google but have never worked in the tech industry before, there are several ways to get your foot in the door.

Training and upskilling as you look for your next job is a great way to make your professional profile stronger and show passion for the digital world. Whether it’s basic programming or data science, there are plenty of courses you can take online in your spare time.

If you’re just entering the workforce or have more time to dedicate to your career transition, you’ll find apprenticeships and internships extremely useful to explore a career and make new connections. Not only you’ll have professional experience under your belt, but you’ll also get the chance to find out whether you really enjoy the field.

Finally, don’t rule out starting your own project. Whether it’s an e-commerce website or a series of online events, you’ll be able to show your entrepreneurial spirit and your project management skills as well as your ability to collaborate with tech professionals like web designers and developers.

Ready to start your language journey or freshen up your skills? Book a free assessment today.

FAQs

Is there a demand for linguists in tech?

Yes, tech companies seek out and hire linguists regularly. A language background can be part of the job requirements — this is the case, for example, with localisation specialists and managers, as well as computational linguists. In other cases, the soft skills acquired during language training (such as communication skills and adaptability) will make a linguist’s CV stand out.

What tech jobs are available to linguists?

The tech industry is an ever-evolving market where new jobs are created often. It’s not about your degree as much as it’s about your skills. From computational linguists and data scientists to project and localisation managers, there are plenty of tech jobs within a linguist’s reach. Just make sure to highlight how your experience and skill set make you a uniquely valuable candidate in your application.