In Modern Languages at Birmingham we prepare students for their future careers by ensuring that they develop a range of highly desirable, transferable skills, and become extremely employable graduates in an ever-changing, flexible job market. 

Recent graduates have pursued careers with BP, British Airways, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte and NATO as well as in the fields of journalism and the creative arts, law and teaching.

Every year, a range of events are organised with the support of the University Careers and Employability Centre, which include general careers talks, subject specific talks (e.g. talks on careers in translation and interpreting; talks on how language graduates can work towards a career in Law), and talks by University of Birmingham alumni. The University Careers and Employability Centre offers a range of services at every stage of your degree, from CV consultation to advice on how to make the most of the Year Abroad, as well as careers guidance for graduating students. 

The benefits of work and study abroad 

  • Residence abroad enhances employability
  • Residence abroad is a factor in landing first and subsequent jobs for over 70% of language graduates
  • Skills gained during residence abroad are useful in work contexts for nine out of ten graduates
  • Academic mobility is a good predictor for a satisfying international career

(adapted from ‘Protecting Work and Study Abroad…’ by Professor Jim Coleman, Chair of the University Council for Modern Languages , 2011)


Transferable skills

The set of skills that we develop in particular in LCAHM are as follows:

  • Oral communication use of speech to inform, persuade, summarise, adapting to a range of audiences in one or more foreign languages, and in English
  • Written communication expressing ideas effectively and conveying information appropriately and accurately in one or more foreign languages, and in English
  • Leadership taking responsibility to lead, motivate others, making a team work, vision, making decisions, persuading, influencing
  • Teamwork working effectively in a group to achieve objectives/goals; relationship building, empathy, giving/receiving feedback
  • Critical thinking willing to examine beliefs, assumptions and opinions and weigh them against relevant evidence; problem solving
  • Time management defining and managing tasks and workload effectively, setting goals, meeting deadlines—taking initiative, self-awareness, ability in decision-making
  • Cross-cultural awareness showing ability to understand, communicate with and interact with people across cultures
  • ICT showing understanding of and ability to use a range of computer programmes

Students can enrol on the Personal Skills Award, to develop or enhance their skills, and to gain credit for activities they are involved in, such as involvement in University societies.

Our students discuss the skills they are developing in regular individual meetings with their Personal Tutor, and are encouraged to compile an online dossier recording their skills and experiences.