I've been studying German throughout high-school and college. I am about to hit the workforce and am open to living almost anywhere in the US. I am interested in hearing about possible means of turning a skill in German (or, in general, a language) into employment. For instance, how feasible is it to be a teacher with only a college diploma? Is there a demand for translators?

  • What do you mean with "how feasible is it to be a teacher with only a college diploma?"? Do you need a PhD to teach in high school? – Formagella Dec 30 '14 at 18:41
  • By that I mean: in the current job market, what is the degree of saturation of more qualified candidates against whom I will be competing? Moreover, how can I compete with candidates of a higher qualification? What are the entry level positions? While not necessary, it may be a pragmatic reality of the day that teaching high school without competitive credentials decreases likelihood of employment. – Fred Concklin Dec 30 '14 at 18:44
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    Voting to close. We are not a research service. You'll have to do your own research. Having said that, if I got myself a German spouse as a result of years spent studying German, I'd think the years I spent studying German were worth it :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 30 '14 at 21:34
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    I spent years studying Spanish at Columbia and I couldn't figure out what the hell studying Spanish was doing for me. But on one sunny day, I spent 30 minutes talking in Spanish to a distraught older mother and her very sick adult daughter, persuading them to stay on that subway platform and not move until the medics came and I walked, totally convinced that if I were to spend years studying Spanish again, it would be totally worth it to me :) – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 30 '14 at 21:35

That depends a bit on how good your German is. For a teacher it's typically a good idea to be a native speaker or close to the native level. Our German-born kids took German in a US high school but we quickly pulled them out since the teacher's German was really quite bad and the classes did more damage than good.

You can also specialize in business German, German literature, technical German, bio-tech German, etc. Specialization can really help you get a job: as a negotiator, technical writer, translator, pharma rep, etc.

The best way to learn the language to an advanced level is to immerse yourself in it. You can consider doing an internship in Germany where you speak German 24/7 and where you can also do specializations on the job. It's actually not that hard for an US citizen to get an internship in Germany (the other way around is a different story).

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