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What to Do With a French PhD

by Sara Rajan

French is part of the Indo-European family of languages and is currently spoken by almost 80 million people globally. People who hold a PhD in French will find that there are many career opportunities available to them in a wide variety of fields that can utilize the skills they spent so much effort and time in acquiring.

Teaching

Although teaching might be the obvious answer, having a PhD in French certainly opens the doors to faculty positions in universities. Individuals with a PhD in French may either choose to teach French as a second language or teach about the French culture, literature or history. If you do not wish to teach at the college level, you may also consider teaching French to children in a public or private institution.

FBI

A career in the FBI might not be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding what to do with a PhD in French; however, in order to become either a special agent or linguist in the FBI, one must be proficient in a second language. With a career in the FBI, you could play an important role in translation, transcription and reporting. You may also investigate crimes, such as terrorism, public corruption, kidnapping and drug trafficking in areas where your knowledge of a second language would be vital.

Travel/Hospitality

With a PhD in French, you are a valuable asset to the travel/hospitality industry. Companies may see you as a way of reaching out globally to new clients or customers; however, if being a travel agent does not sound like something that interests you, consider a career as an international flight attendant, a hotel manager or even a museum curator.

Writer/Editor

If you love to write, you might want to consider a job writing articles for international newspapers and magazines. Or, you could work as a translator of international texts. Some companies hire bilingual proofreaders to look for typographical and grammatical errors on food and medicine labels.