Being a linguist means that on a basic level, you understand the role that sound and meaning has. You understand that the same sentence can be said and very different meanings may be discerned. The American invention of sarcasm proves that the same sentence said a different way could mean two very different things. The sentences “Well that was awesome” may be said straight as a compliment or sarcastically as an insult, and the only thing that changes is the way it is said (not the words themselves).
That is not where it stops, a college student may say, “Tonight will be massive, people will be talking about it for years” and it may sound as if that student is arranging a party. Now, imagine it being said by an old bearded Muslim and it may be interpreted as meaning something else. A linguist may understand that the source and a sound of a sentence may affect its meaning dramatically.
It may seem obvious, but if you have a degree in linguistics then you are one step closer to being a language and linguistics teacher. Obviously, you will still need teaching qualifications, but you have taken your first step into the world of teaching. On the other hand, you can consider a job in one of the writing companies that help students in studying and passing exams (for example Bestessaytips.com).
Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
It is not a field that has a massive calling, but it is also a field that few people go into, plus your talents will be called upon around the world. It may also be one of the most interesting jobs out there for a linguist.
Language and the Law
Law is said to have its own language, which is true in the sense that lawyers have made it so convoluted that many people struggle to understand what is being communicated. Your job as a linguist may extend quite far within the law, as you should remember that the law feeds into all corners of a society and culture. There are also times when a lawyer will need the right set of questions in order to pull the truth from someone in court. A linguist may help a lawyer build word traps that force the witness to say one thing or another, both of which play into the lawyer’s hands.
Language in Advertising
If you have an interest in persuasion and influencing people then this may be the job for you. It is up to you to work on the language and words needed to attract and influence very specific target audiences. Your job is to get the message across with words in a way that the marketer is unable.
Codes and Code-Breaking
As a linguist you will know that there are patterns to speech and a certain amount of math is involved, so it is no surprise that some linguists are used to make and break codes.
Lie detection and interrogation
There are some linguists that eventually become lie detectors for corporations, security companies or police forces. There are some very obvious tells that a linguist may pick up on easier than other people may. For example, when a perpetrator is shown video evidence of their crime, the perpetrator may say, “Maybe it wasn’t me.” A linguist may pick up on that as an admission of guilt through the way it is said as well as the content of the sentence since an innocent person would instantly claim innocence as oppose to trying to blur the issue with “maybe.” A linguist may be used in interrogation too as many words and questions are subjective and it is very important how questions are asked if you want the truth out of a person.