username5378250
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Hi guys,

Thank you for any time given to replying to this thread.

I'm currently in Year 11 trying to choose my A level options, and I'm finding it quite difficult. I've been passionate about languages for a number of years now and absolutely love them, planning on taking at least French to A level.

The problem is now that I have 2 choices of A level paths that I could go down, both distinctly different, but one focuses more on pursuing languages as a degree at University and a career, whilst the other focuses more on other sectors I could work in but it still includes French.

I've considered studying languages at University for a while now, and to be honest it's probably my dream. I love Literature, which is what language courses at Uni involve and languages excite me . However, some people have mentioned on TSR that languages at degree level are useless, and that lots of people cannot find jobs afterwards. I wouldn't even know where to begin when thinking about jobs involved with languages, unless it's in translation or teaching.

The one thing I would like to mention though is that I am willing and prepared to work my heart away for languages, I will try to achieve the highest grades that I possibly can to aim for a good university that will allow me to explore my passion.

The other A level option pathway I could take is 2 sciences and a language. I like science, but not as much as I love languages. I know it provides a more stable career choice, but it could go either way- I may or may not enjoy it. The first A level choice for languages would be Maths, English Literature and French with a potential for Spanish.

The only other thing I would like to add, is that in a career I would love to help people, and not just sit at a desk all day.

Any advice is appreciated
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username5378250
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Anybody?
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username5420160
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You could always take language modules at University!
You don't necessarily have to do a degree in it! Plus you could always learn languages at home or go to that country!
Just take the other route if you'd like to then you could study French or you could study it while doing the other A-levels!
Hope this helped💓
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username5378250
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(Original post by Imhere2help)
You could always take language modules at University!
You don't necessarily have to do a degree in it! Plus you could always learn languages at home or go to that country!
Hope this helped💓
Thank you! Yes I was thinking about that, it's definitely a consideration :yep:
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username5398218
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(Original post by Roses & Dreams)
Hi guys,

Thank you for any time given to replying to this thread.

I'm currently in Year 11 trying to choose my A level options, and I'm finding it quite difficult. I've been passionate about languages for a number of years now and absolutely love them, planning on taking at least French to A level.

The problem is now that I have 2 choices of A level paths that I could go down, both distinctly different, but one focuses more on pursuing languages as a degree at University and a career, whilst the other focuses more on other sectors I could work in but it still includes French.

I've considered studying languages at University for a while now, and to be honest it's probably my dream. I love Literature, which is what language courses at Uni involve and languages excite me . However, some people have mentioned on TSR that languages at degree level are useless, and that lots of people cannot find jobs afterwards. I wouldn't even know where to begin when thinking about jobs involved with languages, unless it's in translation or teaching.

The one thing I would like to mention though is that I am willing and prepared to work my heart away for languages, I will try to achieve the highest grades that I possibly can to aim for a good university that will allow me to explore my passion.

The other A level option pathway I could take is 2 sciences and a language. I like science, but not as much as I love languages. I know it provides a more stable career choice, but it could go either way- I may or may not enjoy it. The first A level choice for languages would be Maths, English Literature and French with a potential for Spanish.

The only other thing I would like to add, is that in a career I would love to help people, and not just sit at a desk all day.

Any advice is appreciated
ok my advice is worthless just so you know goes im skipping education for work so what do i now


Anyway i think you should do what you FEEL is right and thats the only thing i think that matters



until you do it your never gonna know and if you think that languages is your thing then go for it cos if you dont you my end up in 5-6 years time thinking back and regretting it


As for jobs again nobody can tell you you won't get a job doing languages you might get one you might not thats life I mean i have no qualifications and ive been lucky that from next year i am gonna be doing full time time a job that I really love its just been lucky that way and thats kinda how life is its a series of moments some turn out great others dont

However if you pick something you really dont like for uni it could end up you either not liking it and dropping out of just being miserable so pick what you wanna do





anyway thats my terrible advice good luck roses
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username5378250
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(Original post by Golderz Is Great)
ok my advice is worthless just so you know goes im skipping education for work so what do i now


Anyway i think you should do what you FEEL is right and thats the only thing i think that matters



until you do it your never gonna know and if you think that languages is your thing then go for it cos if you dont you my end up in 5-6 years time thinking back and regretting it


As for jobs again nobody can tell you you won't get a job doing languages you might get one you might not thats life I mean i have no qualifications and ive been lucky that from next year i am gonna be doing full time time a job that I really love its just been lucky that way and thats kinda how life is its a series of moments some turn out great others dont

However if you pick something you really dont like for uni it could end up you either not liking it and dropping out of just being miserable so pick what you wanna do





anyway thats my terrible advice good luck roses
All I want to do is hug you rn (but Covid and idk if you like hugs haha) :hugs:, this made me emotional in some odd way.
In every aspect you are right, I'm never going to know unless I try and I'm never going to love a career that is based off something I probably don't want to do. If I work hard and I'm lucky then maybe I will find my dream job :dontknow:.

I think I'm going to wait for a while and go for the languages option. Thank you Golderz, and your advice is not worthless at all :nah:
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username5398218
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(Original post by Roses & Dreams)
All I want to do is hug you rn (but Covid and idk if you like hugs haha) :hugs:, this made me emotional in some odd way.
In every aspect you are right, I'm never going to know unless I try and I'm never going to love a career that is based off something I probably don't want to do. If I work hard and I'm lucky then maybe I will find my dream job :dontknow:.

I think I'm going to wait for a while and go for the languages option. Thank you Golderz, and your advice is not worthless at all :nah:
you see when i try I can do good posts roses glad i helped

Also whos to say you wont be working as a teacher and voluntary helping out at a animals sanctuary at weekends when your 30 loving life
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username5378250
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(Original post by Golderz Is Great)
you see when i try I can do good posts roses glad i helped

Also whos to say you wont be working as a teacher and voluntary helping out at a animals sanctuary at weekends when your 30 loving life
Yes you can make some incredible posts

That's actually not a bad idea. I have wanted to be a teacher before lmao idk if I've told you this
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(Original post by Roses & Dreams)
Yes you can make some incredible posts

That's actually not a bad idea. I have wanted to be a teacher before lmao idk if I've told you this
yes you have thats why i said it.......i think you like ella and lucy will be a great teacher all 3 of you
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Quick-use
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I think you should go with languages. They're some of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and challenging degrees (not that I'm biased...). If you're worried about getting a job afterwards, don't be because as long as you do any of the following, you'll be fine:

  • Look for universities that offer industry work experience / study abroad (where you can pick up experience doing certain things).
  • Look for volunteering opportunities; join university societies and try to be elected into the committee; apply for internships or do some part-time work.
  • Learn some useful skills like basic coding or video editing etc.

Alternatively, if you're truly worried you could also do a degree where you do 1 or 2 languages + something like Economics, (International) Business Management etc.

What degree would you do if you studied something science-y? What would you then do afterwards? Will you be able to motivate yourself through 3 or 4 years of a degree you don't enjoy at all, and then spend your entire life doing a career in it?
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(Original post by Quick-use)
I think you should go with languages. They're some of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and challenging degrees (not that I'm biased...). If you're worried about getting a job afterwards, don't be because as long as you do any of the following, you'll be fine:

  • Look for universities that offer industry work experience / study abroad (where you can pick up experience doing certain things).
  • Look for volunteering opportunities; join university societies and try to be elected into the committee; apply for internships or do some part-time work.
  • Learn some useful skills like basic coding or video editing etc.

Alternatively, if you're truly worried you could also do a degree where you do 1 or 2 languages + something like Economics, (International) Business Management etc.

What degree would you do if you studied something science-y? What would you then do afterwards? Will you be able to motivate yourself through 3 or 4 years of a degree you don't enjoy at all, and then spend your entire life doing a career in it?
Thank you for your reply.

The part where you talked about jobs was actually quite reassuring :lol: could you perhaps give me an idea of which careers a language degree could take me down, if I get relevant work experience and/or skills? And, apologies for so many questions , but what is a language degree like?

I'm not sure what degree I would go down with a science route, potentially Biology but I haven't really thought it through:dontknow:. To be completely honest, although I said I do enjoy science, I can't particularly imagine myself in a career with it for the rest of my life.

I'm just slightly apprenhensive that at some point I may regret choosing languages or that for some odd reason I'll no longer want to take them.
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(Original post by Roses & Dreams)
Thank you for your reply.

The part where you talked about jobs was actually quite reassuring :lol: could you perhaps give me an idea of which careers a language degree could take me down, if I get relevant work experience and/or skills? And, apologies for so many questions , but what is a language degree like?

I'm not sure what degree I would go down with a science route, potentially Biology but I haven't really thought it through:dontknow:. To be completely honest, although I said I do enjoy science, I can't particularly imagine myself in a career with it for the rest of my life.

I'm just slightly apprenhensive that at some point I may regret choosing languages or that for some odd reason I'll no longer want to take them.
Please ask as much as you'd like. If I forget to reply or if I forget to answer anything, just remind me. :hat2:

If it's OK, I'll copy/paste what I've said on other threads regarding jobs from language degrees:

My friends who did a Japanese degree have gone onto the following jobs: working in immigration offices in Japan, working in local Japanese governments such as Fukushima, Beppu and Kyoto (one such example: https://rediscoverfukushima.com/), working at the consulate general (embassy) in Edinburgh, working for the NHK (Japan's version of BBC) in both Tokyo and London, working as a QA engineer (friend learned basic coding within 2 weeks), investment banking, working in Japanese translation (environmental and video games), practicing Law in Japan, working at a local sake brewery in Okayama (https://www.originsake.com/?fbclid=I...0neClapyuUuqyY), lecturing at universities in Japan and the UK and so on and so forth.

My university friends who studied French and Spanish have gone onto working at the European Parliament, investment banking, tourism and so on.

I'm personally thinking of going into the civil service (diplomatic scheme, human resources or commercial) or into secondary teaching.

Studying languages at university is basically like doing a literature, history, sociology or politics degree but in the foreign language and focusing on specific civilisations. The degree itself is usually split 50% language and 50% literature/history/politics/linguistics/philosophy depending on the department. Edinburgh's French department was mostly 18th century literature and post-World War II literature, film, politics and philosophy. Spanish was mostly Golden Age literature and contemporary Latin literature. I was so, so pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Latin literature. I didn't expect it because I didn't enjoy the Hispanic literature we did at school, but the stuff I did during university I still remember even now - they're some of the best books I've ever read. Same with French. :rambo: Japanese department focused on mostly modern and post-modern sociology and politics as well as some medieval literature and philosophy.

For language, it was assumed that everyone was pretty advanced in either French or Spanish in 1st year. This wasn't great news for me because my spoken French was definitely not at the level of my Spanish, even if I did well at school and had studied it much longer than I had Spanish... :lol: Good thing was that I was able to drastically improve due to some wonderful language tutors and I actually discovered a love for French. I have to admit that I was hesitant doing French because I never felt confident in my language abilities at school, but lovely language tutors + studying awesome literature made French really grow on me.

I had a grammar and oral tutorial for both languages once a week where we went through complicated translations, presentations/debates on politics and contemporary issues, rewriting chapters from novels into drama form... This was really tough. First year was pretty general and doable because at Edinburgh it helps bridge the gap of students who did the Scottish curriculum and students who did the A level or IB curriculum. Second year, however, is a completely different beast on all levels. Extremely, extremely demanding and challenging classes all around.

If you're really worried about jobs, you could do 1 language + a science/computer science/business/economics. Or, 2 languages + business. Just remember to pick up practical experience in your own time - volunteering, internships, part-time work, coding etc.

Language degrees are great fun and in all sincerity, I don't think I'll ever forget my experience. I'm sure everyone could say that about their degrees, but I just did so much in my degree: fluency in languages; reading medieval French, Spanish and Japanese literature; studying abroad; studying French philosophers; studying Japanese and Chinese modern history + international relations; taking a module on 20th century communism in Japan...

If I could do another undergraduate degree now, I'd probably do Chinese Mandarin + Economics. The reason is because as I've gotten older, they're two subjects that I've become interested in and could apply to my career. However, when I was in your shoes, I definitely wasn't interested in either and could not imagine doing a degree in them. It's only through my experiences that I was able to branch out.

If you can find a language degree with something else that you're genuinely interested in, go for that. However, if that doesn't exist, then please - just go for what you love. You can always do a postgraduate degree after or pick up skills. My friend did Japanese with me and now works as a junior QA engineer for a software company in Edinburgh. She literally spent a weekend learning basic coding for the job which was all they required. Starting salary is £24k and then 3 years later it's £30k. 5-7 years later it can go up to £40k. You don't even need a Computer Science degree for this.
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