Careers for Asian Studies and Asian Language Majors

A major in either Asian Studies or Asian Languages open doors to a range of career opportunities that may not immediately spring to mind. 

Both majors make you a perfect candidate for a career in international trade and industry, careers in the diplomatic foreign service, or immigration and social services. A career in teaching, academic research, or intercultural development could also be on the cards. One thing’s for sure, with either of these majors on your CV, you will be sure that some international travel will be on the cards. Secondly, you won’t be starved of choice.

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Employees who can speak Asian languages are highly valued by international employers, due to the rise of Asian economies globally. You could work as an interpreter in international trade and business or as a translator in the diplomatic Foreign Service, court systems, immigration services , or an employee of a large corporation. The base salary is around $43,000/year but this will obviously depend on the company you work for, or you may decide to go freelance.

Foreign Correspondent

Ever thought of a career in journalism? Then a job as a foreign correspondent in an Asian country could be ideal. This job involves a lot of international travel covering news stories around the globe where you would need your language skills. You can either apply to work for a company or to go freelance. Either way, you are looking at around $65,000/year.

Foreign Affairs Analyst/Consultant

Foreign consultants usually work in international politics and are employed by government agencies, embassies ,and consulates ,or international organisations. Your major in either Asian studies or Asian languages will make you a valuable advisor for diplomats and ambassadors trying to resolve issues within the international community or their own countries. Your knowledge of the country’s history or your language proficiency is key to success in this career. The average annual salary is around $64,000/year.

Financial Advisor

If your Asian Studies degree focuses on finance, you could become a financial advisor for the Asian markets. Your job will involve consulting with clients on things like outbound investment, private equity, stock exchange and insurance. You will need to understand the international financial markets and develop strategies for your clients based on risk analysis and intuition. It is no secret that the financial markets pay well. Expect a starting salary of around $80,000/year. 

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International Marketing Specialist

Marketing specialists need to understand the way people think and why they buy certain products. With the knowledge, you have gained of Asian countries, cultures ,and people, you will be in a much better position to know how to sell certain products to them. Companies internationally are constantly looking for employees who can help them understand their customers better and avoid embarrassing themselves. Cultural etiquette, cliches, sensitive subjects, goals, and dreams of the target population are what you will help companies understand. The starting salary for this type of job is around $65,800/year.

Teacher or Lecturer

Are you passionate about passing on knowledge to others and helping them achieve their dreams? Then a career as a teacher or lecturer could be for you. You could work in one of the Asian countries or stay in your home country. The average salary is surprisingly high in the US at around $65,000/year. This will, of course, depend on your employer and country of employment. There is also a wealth of online educational organisations teaching Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Working online can provide you with increased freedom and flexibility.

Happy job hunting!

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