I was hired for a Humanitarian Grants Coordinator position for the Central/South America division so I guess it actually IS possible to use a Spanish degree in a real job!”
- Jenna, UIUC Spanish Graduate

Spanish Majors are prepared for a wide variety of careers in education, politics, foreign service, the helping professions, travel and tourism, and communication.


Spanish can be a very important asset in international business relations. Proficiency in more than one language opens up many opportunities for doing business with international companies. Many business jobs require traveling to different areas or countries where it is crucial to be able to speak more than one language. Starting salaries of bilingual applicants usually are greater than those who just speak English. Spanish can bring added success for any future business man or woman.

To add business to your Spanish degree at UIUC, there are two basic approaches:

•  Apply for the official business minor through the College of Business

•  Work with the Spanish advisor to create a business cognate—15 hours of business-related courses.

•  Consider the Global Business Culture Certificate offered by CIBER. Often when you complete business coursework and study abroad for the Spanish major, you are well on your way to completing this certificate.

Websites for additional Information:

**Note on Translation Jobs

Spanish translators are bilingual linguists who intimately know the two languages. They are also skilled writers who have studied years in college learning the extreme details of the English and the Spanish language.

Health Care

All health care professionals benefit from being able to speak Spanish. In the event of emergencies, it can be a matter of life or death if a Spanish speaking person is injured and no translators are present. When a nurse or doctor can assist the patients immediately without a language barrier, Spanish can truly save lives.

Websites for additional information:

Government/Law and Law enforcement

Many job opportunities are available on both the local and national levels. Law officials who are bilingual can communicate better with the Spanish-speaking population. The Commerce Department, as well as any department working in international relations, requires Spanish speakers to work as translators, linguists, diplomats, or ambassadors. Many opportunities await prospective government employees.

A sample job opportunity could be:

Job Title: Translator

Employer: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Requirements: Fluency in Spanish or other foreign languages.

Description: Work involves document translation and oral communication translation. Travel is required.

Websites for additional information:

Other Opportunities

Spanish is an important asset that can benefit any future professional. Bilingual teachers are in great demand with the large increase of Hispanic students in the United States . Attorneys, writers, journalists, counselors, and more can all benefit by being able to speak Spanish.

Sample Career:

Job Title: Bilingual Flight Attendant

Employer: United Airlines

Requirements: Fluency in both English and second language. At least 19 years old with at least a high school diploma. Must possess valid passport and be willing to relocate.

Description: Attendants enjoy generous travel benefits, flexible scheduling and the chance to work with world class customers.


Websites for Further Information:

Other useful sites for career information:

Volunteering and Internships

Volunteering is the first step in gaining work experience in a field of interest.  Students can promote their volunteer experiences in pursuit internships both domestic and abroad. 


Several web pages are dedicated to volunteer programs in the Champaign-Urbana area. Two Spanish courses offer volunteer or community-based learning experiences in the classroom:  Span 202 and Span 232.  Outside of the classroom, students can sign up for a variety of different charitable agencies.


Internships provide students with work experience within their field of interest and are valuable when applying for positions after graduation.  Here are a few resources when looking for internships:

The Career Center

The Career Center web site has links to tips on getting an internship.  Use the services at the Career Center to write your resumé and to hone your interviewing skills.

I Connect

This site is managed by UIUC.  Companies looking for interns and employees post information about job opportunities on I Connect. Students can then search through the posts and apply for jobs online.   In order to use the service, students must set up a student profile.


Here students can look for internships, jobs and careers.


Not all companies post internships online. Another way to look for an internship is to find a company where you would enjoy working and call the company's human resources department to see how an internship might be created for you.

International Opportunities

Volunteering Abroad

There are many opportunities for students who would like to volunteer abroad. Here are a few links to help get you started on your search.

International Internships

These sites offer listings of internships abroad: