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Languages skills and careers

Many employers actively recruit applicants with language skills which are seen as particularly important in sectors such as manufacturing, banking, finance and insurance due to the globalisation of organisations.

Skills you can develop

As well as the specific knowledge gained from studying for an OU degree, you'll develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers and which will increase your employability.

For students of languages, the employability skills you will develop include the ability to:

  • draw together, analyse and critically evaluate information
  • use your knowledge about how language works in a range of settings
  • communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others
  • put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
  • manage time and work independently
  • use information and communications technology (ICT) effectively
  • analyse data and undertake research using a range of methods
  • understand contemporary global issues and appreciate cultural diversity.

To see specific learning outcomes related to the degrees in this area have a look at the OU language courses.

The Student Employability Profiles on the Advance HE website details many skills that employers value. You will also find information about employability skills developed through study of specific degree subjects at What can I do with my degree? on Prospects website.

The OU Careers and Employability Services define student employability as: "A set of capabilities and achievements that support students in developing their careers, raising their aspirations and enhancing their contribution to society".

Whatever your motivations for study, your goals and career aspirations, you are entitled to supported personal development planning either as an intrinsic part of your programme of study or through signposted optional activities. You can view our full Student Employability Policy Statement on our website.

Destination statistics

All UK graduates are invited to complete the Destinations of Leavers Survey six months after they graduate. Of the OU Modern Language Studies graduates that responded to the latest survey:

  • 69% were in work or combining work and study.
  • 14% were doing further study, including those both working and studying.
  • The most popular career sectors were Education, Wholesale and retail trade and Public administration and defence.

OU qualifications

Find out more about undergraduate study in Languages.

Currently only undergraduate study is available in this subject at the OU. However, there is a Masters degree in Education (Applied Linguistics) and other options can be explored elsewhere.

Find out about all undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications at OU Courses.

Last updated 1 year ago