What Can I Do With a Major In Asian Languages & Literatures?

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Erica Tealey

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Major Information

You can do a lot with this major! Asian Languages and Literatures majors go on to successful careers in international business, academics, advocacy, education, politics, research, government, publishing, the arts, and much more. Students in this major study literature and culture, or can focus on these languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Hindi and Urdu.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and Asian Languages & Literatures majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Adeptness with different languages and cultures
  • Critical thinking and analysis skills
  • Strong cross-cultural knowledge and understanding
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups
 

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Graduate Programs in Asian Languages and Related Fields

  • MA, East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics - UCLA
  • MA, East Asian Languages - Princeton University
  • PhD, Linguistics - Leiden University
  • MS, Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • MEd, Early Adolescent English Education
  • MEd, Second Languages and Cultures
  • MA, Regional Studies East Asia - Harvard University
  • PhD, East Asian Languages and Literature - Harvard University
  • MA, History - University of Minnesota
  • Advanced Certificate, Urdu Language - Berkeley Urdu Language Program in Pakistan

Career Options 

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although, keep in mind that there are Asian Languages and Literatures alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for Asian Languages and Literatures majors, utilize these additional resources:
  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Business, Consulting, Marketing, & Sales

Internships

  • Marketing and Sales Intern - GE

Entry-Level

  • Assistant Sales Manager - Fuji Xerox Global Services
  • Supervisor - Delights of India Restaurant
  • Inside Sales - Bix Produce
  • Workflow Coordinator (Office Team Staffing) - Portico Benefit Services
  • Account Manager - Blu Dot
  • Life Product Specialist - Prudential Financial

Experienced

  • Project Manager - Holition
  • Business Development Director - Automotive Logistics
  • Contract Assistant - The BFactor
  • Human Resources Liaison - U of M Bookstores
  • Director of Asian Operations - Blu Dot*
  • Vice President, Asian Operations - Blu Dot*

Graduate Programs

  • MIM, Master of International Management and Marketing - University of St. Thomas
Nonprofit, Human Services, & Social Justice

Internships

  • Intern - Special Envoy for Climate Change Office
  • Youth Development Intern - Project for Pride in Living

Entry-Level

  • Senior Regional Resettlement Officer
  • Community Outreach/Diversity & Inclusion Intern - League of Women Voters
  • Saturday Overnight Advocate (On Call) - Asian Women United of Minnesota
  • Canvass Manager - Clean Water Action

Experienced

  • Co-Owner - Sensational Lives
  • Direct Support Professional - Pathways to Community
  • Consultant - Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women

Graduate Programs

  • MA, Counseling Psychology - University of Minnesota
  • MSW, Social Work - University of Minnesota
Education

Internships

  • Teacher Intern, LearningWorks
  • Student Engagement Intern - International Student and Scholar Services, University of Minnesota
  • Education Intern - International Wolf Center
  • Community Education Intern - Minneapolis Public Schools

Entry-Level

  • Editor/ Translator - The Government Information Office at Executive Yuan, Taiwan ROC
  • English Immersion Teacher - Kang Chiao Bilingual School
  • Translator - American Mitsuba
  • Language Teaching Assistant - Minnesota English Literacy Program
  • Assistant Language Teacher - Hiroshima Board of Education

Experienced

  • 5th Grade Grammar and Mathematics Teacher - Three Rivers Waldorf School*
  • Mandarin Teacher - Breck High School*
  • Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature - University of Washington*
  • Curriculum Developer - Westgate Corporation*
  • Secondary English Teacher - Abu Dhabi English Council
  • Graduate Japanese Teaching Assistant - UCLA*
  • Mandarin Teacher - District 196*
  • Professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture - University of Wisconsin-Madison*
Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, & Communications

Internships

  • Quality Control Intern - Nelson Global Products
  • Temporary Office Assistant - EVINE Live Inc.

Entry-Level

  • Marketing and Promotions - Sound in Motion
  • Communications Specialist - Department of Institutional Advancement, University of Minnesota
  • Marketing Coordinator - Duffy Pearce Strategic Content & Copy Developer
  • Customer Solutions Team - Quality Bicycle Products
  • Social Media - Quality Bicycle Products
  • Associate Editor - Game Informer Magazine

Experienced

  • Freelance Chinese Translation and Consultancy
  • Interim Marketing Manager - Toque Holístico
  • Quality Assurance Editor - BestMark, Inc.
  • Senior Media Planner/Buyer - Regis Corporation
  • Associate Marketing Manager - Renewal by Andersen, Andersen Corporation
  • Senior Associate Editor - Game Informer Magazine
  • Radio Host - Ivy League Analytical English

Graduate Programs

  • MFA, Interdisciplinary Arts
Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs

Internships

  • Student Intern - Universe Construction
  • Intern - AFS Intercultural Programs

Entry-Level

  • Officer - US Army
  • Commerce and Energy - Office of Senator Al Franken
  • MNsure Navigator - Chinese Social Service Center

Experienced

  • FACCC - US Army
  • Army ROTC Cadet - US Army
  • Geospatial Engineer - Army National Guard

Graduate Programs

  • JD - University of Denver
Technology, Data, & Analytics

Internships

  • Archives and Special Collections Metadata Intern - University of Minnesota

Entry-Level

  • Materials Management Specialist - University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview
  • Commercial Insurance Analyst III - NorthMarq
  • Commercial Insurance Associate Supervisor - NorthMarq Capital
  • Data Analyst - Sedgwick

Experienced

  • System Analyst - GfK
  • Senior Front-End Software Engineer - SportsEngine
  • Senior Software Developer - Open Access Tech Intl Inc
  • Investment Analyst & Insurance Specialist - The Capital Advisory Group
  • Software Developer - Red Wing Shoes
  • Graduate Programs
  • Certificates in MCSE (Windows 200) and Project Management
  • MS, Library and Information Science - Drexel University