Where are all the people studying languages? And why is everybody so obsessed with being doctors and lawyers?

Post date: Nov 24, 2015 8:14:51 AM

I am getting a little sick of explaining to people what my kids are reading at university (it isn't languages or science or engineering or maths, by the way), only to receive the response, "What is he going to do with that?", or, even worse, "That's alright, they can still be lawyers". Sure, my kids can be lawyers if they want, but studying a non-STEM subject doesn't mean that you have to grasp at one of the "professions" just to gain the approval of the confused society that we have become. And where, by the way, does that leave language students? Why are we, in ITI and the CIoL, promoting the cause of translators and interpreters, if deep down all we want for our kids is a solid career in law or accountancy or medicine? No wonder numbers studying pure languages at university appear to be plummeting in the face of such pressure from society and from political figures and the media. When even government ministers question the value of an "arts" degree, it makes me feel like giving up. But I'm not going to do that: I'm going to continue to champion the right of students to study what they bloomin' well like, I'm going to continue to work to boost the profile of language professionals, and I'm going to respect everybody's choice of career without belittling subjects that some people think, completely and utterly wrongly, are a waste of time.