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What Can I do With an Arabic Studies Degree?


This article contains information on what you can do with an Arabic studies degree.

Arabic studies might not be one of the commonest degrees of study but it remains among the top degrees that provide a well-paid career and vast opportunities for its holders.

A degree in Arabic will avail to you the knowledge of speaking and reading Arabic language and wholesome Arabic culture knowledge that will prepare you for a wide range of in-demand positions that require knowledge of Arabic.

What Can I do With an Arabic Studies Degree?

Benefits of Studying Arabic Studies

Below are the benefits of studying Arabic studies:

1. Arabic is Extensively Used

A bachelor’s degree or certificate in Arabic avail you the skill and ability to communicate in one of the world’s most widely used languages. over 422 million people speak Arabic and it s among the six most widely spoken languages around the globe. Arabic is recognised to be the mother tongue and the official language of 22 countries. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union.

2. Arabic is a Critical Language

U.S. government declared Arabic as one of the languages that are critical to national security, economic competitiveness and human capital development. When a government recognised a language as important, we can deduce that there are many government opportunities for speakers of such language, like scholarships, employment etc.

3. Arabic is in High Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for bilingual Arabic-speaking professionals in the United States exceeds the supply, and the job growth for Arabic interpreters and translators is estimated at a whopping 29% between 2014 and 2024.

4. Travel Opportunities

Being able to speak, write and read Arabic makes travelling to Arab countries much easier. As the official language in 20 countries, you will be better position for jobs in these countries with your Arabic degree. Gaining easy access to countries like Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and many more throughout the Middle East and Africa where you can connect with like minds that will propel your career forward with rich cultural experiences.

 5. Access to a Growing Economy

With the growing population that boasts a GDP of over $600 billion annually. Arabic speaking countries are opening up many new business opportunities in areas such as construction, finance, telecommunications and tourism. The skills you have gained n Arabic studies provide you with the opportunity to be part of this booming economic growth. You would have learnt and understood Arabic culture and language which are essential to doing business, building relationships and creating mutual trusts.

6. Insight into Arabic Culture

Arabic studies will drive you into the geography, religion, cuisine and multiculturalism and the total way of life of Arab nations. This well holistic knowledge will keep you well-informed and well-rounded professional who has the cultural sensitivity and global mindset to thrive in today’s interconnected world. Increase your fluency in Arabic within various social and written contexts. Build your Arabic-to-English translation skills. Help you articulate the defining traits of key societal institutions in Arabic communities. Gives you insights into the behavior of individuals and communities within Arabic culture.

7. Arabic Is a Bridge to Other Languages

Did you know the Arabic language is related to other world languages and knowing Arabic will make you learn languages such as Farsi or Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and Hebrew easily? A majority of the lexicon for these languages are similar or from the same root as Arabic words. The grammatical constructions and the semantics between these languages are similar. About 50% of the vocabulary in Persian is made up of Arabic words, and Arabic can come in handy if you want to learn Urdu or Turkish.

8. It’s essential to understanding the world’s second-largest religion, Islam

Language, culture, and religion are closely connected. The knowledge of one makes the others easier and it’s almost like one cannot be understood without the other. “Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and the first largest religion in the Arab world. Although, Islam is not only a religion to many Arabs but also a lifestyle. When studying Arabic, you are not only learning a language but you also gain insight about Islamic beliefs and traditions,”

9. Arabic speakers make good salaries

Finally, as an Arabic studies graduate, it is satisfying to know that your degree will attract good salaries, a salary above the average. According to the Daily Telegraph in 2016, approximately 20 per cent of employers said Arabic was a useful language to them, which rose to 26 per cent in 2017. Today, Arabic remains a high-demand language skill that can earn a high annual salary. Judging from Indeed.com reports, an Arabic foreign language instructor can start at between $69,000 and $112,000 per year.

Career Opportunities for Arabic Degree Holders.

Learning Arabic language skills will open career opportunities in translation, interpretation, public policy, economic development, international relations, journalism, social work, human rights, immigrant advocacy, business and education.

1. Communications Careers for Arabic Speakers

Reporter or foreign correspondent: Being fluent in Arabic and having holistic knowledge of Arab culture makes you a perfect correspondent in Arabic speaking countries. You will cast news stories and following key developments in Arabic-speaking countries and communities.

2. Translator and Interpreter Careers

This is one of the highly demanded jobs Arabic studies can offer a holder of Arabic studies degree. Media companies, international corporations and government parastatals are always in the lookout for Arabic Translator or interpreter for their contents that are required to be translated or interpreted for Arabic speaking audiences.

Arabic translators work with written documents, while Arabic interpreters provide interpretations of spoken language. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 29% job growth for interpreters and translators between 2014 and 2024.

3. International Finance Careers for Arabic Speakers

With Arabic language skills and cultural acumen, you’ll be well-positioned to start a career in international banking. Many banks and bank clients who do business internationally require Arabic speakers to help manage and execute their initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. Arabic speakers go-ahead to be the mouthpieces of these international banks. They work as customer service executives, public relations officers, communication executive, contract consultant or corporate consultant, helping international companies make deals with Arabic businesses.

Moreso, they are also highly preferred as political risk analysts, gathering information about Arab countries to determine investment risks in various regions and many other communication-inclined jobs. With the rapid growth of these regions, more jobs are sprouting up for Arabic studies graduates.

4. Legal Jobs

A bachelor degree in Arabic Studies can be a pathway to a law career. Having an Arabic degree can prepare you for an associate or further degree in Islamic law and you can easily get a legal-related job such as a/an arbitrator, legal assistant, contract consultant, Corporate consultant, corporate lawyer and many other legal jobs in law firms where you will work with Arabic companies or clients.

5. Education Jobs

Also, bachelor degree is enough to teach Arabic studies in high school although a master’s degree with a concentration in the Arabic language is a prerequisite if you want to teach the Arabic language or culture at the college or university level. You will also need a teaching certificate depending on the education policy of the country you wish to offer teaching services. You can as well give specialized teaching services to special kind of people like armed forces, corporate education, veterans as wells as adult education students.

One of the goodness of Arabic teaching career is that you can start working immediately as a private tutor.

Another profitable and underrated area in teaching is research. As an Arabic studies graduate, you can add to the knowledge of Arabic Studies by being a researcher, you might work alone or with other Arabic scholars to research specialized topics that will give a new insight to the knowledge of Arabic studies. However, to be a prominent researcher in a field of study, a doctorate in that particular field is required. Your works will be used to throw light or challenge a concept in Arabic studies. Most researchers often retire as a college professor.

6. Government Jobs for Arabic Speakers

It is no news that Arabic has been regarded as a critical language by the U.S., which means bilingual Arabic speakers are in high demand, particularly in national security, economic and humanitarian initiatives. An Arabic degree can help you you get gainful employment such as:

  • Government relations specialist.
  • Foreign-service officer.
  • Government translator.
  • Government interpreter.
  • Development program officer.
  • Intelligence analyst.
  • Public relations officer
7. Government translator:

The skills you’ve gained studying Arabic and its cultural insights are needed to translate written documents from Arabic to English at the local, state or federal levels of government.

8. Government interpreter:

To become a government interpreter of Arabic, you are obligated to be fluent in spoken Arabic and you will most likely be expected to have a master’s degree or related graduate degree with an Arabic concentration. Understanding regional dialect and Arabic Cultures positions you better for an interpreter job. The role of the translator is to interpret speeches and conversations in real-time, either from a sound booth at an event, over the telephone or in face-to-face meetings. In this compelling job, no two days are the same. You’ll have the opportunity to travel the world, and you’ll meet many affluent people along the way as well as exposing you to the diverse culture.

9. Development program officer:

An Arabic degree will prepare you for a worthwhile career as a program officer in a federal agency, foundation or nonprofit organization. Fluency in a second language is usually a standard qualification for these roles, and knowledge of Arabic will make you an excellent candidate for teams working on initiatives focused on Arabic culture, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Program officer job responsibilities include:

  • Building and maintaining partnerships with other organizations home and abroad.
  • Educating the public and performing community outreach.
  • Seeking grants and overseeing budgets.
  • Managing projects.
  • Ensuring program activities align with set missions and goals.
  • Managing development projects
10. Diplomacy Jobs

A diplomat is a person appointed by a state or an intergovernmental institution such as the United Nations or the European Union to conduct diplomacy with one or more other States or international organizations.

The main functions of diplomats are representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending State; initiation and facilitation of strategic agreements; treaties and conventions; promotion of information; trade and commerce; technology; and friendly relations. Diplomats are members of foreign services and diplomatic corps of various nations of the world. Arabic is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is spoken in 26 nations across the Middle East and North Africa. Earning a master’s degree with a concentration in Arabic can be a great way to gain entry into many diplomacy roles around the globe. Diplomats are representatives of their country who work with governments and companies to further peace and reach mutual goals in many areas, including climate change, human rights, the eradication of poverty and more. Two popular diplomatic job titles that you can pursue by earning an Arabic degree are:

  • CIA language officer: Provide translation, interpretation, language support and in-depth cultural insights for the Central Intelligence Agency. Arabic speakers with master’s degrees are currently on the top of the CIA’s list for in-demand professionals for this role.
  • Diplomatic courier: Carry classified and sensitive government materials across international borders for the U.S. Department of State. A degree from a graduate program in Arabic can make you stand out from the competition when applying for this job.
11. Foreign-service officer:

The main job of a diplomat is promoting the nation’s interests and promoting peace abroad. As a foreign-service officer with an Arabic degree or certificate, you could be employed and stationed at one of the many embassies, consulates or diplomatic missions throughout the Middle East and Africa, including such Arabic-speaking countries as:

  • Iraq
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • Yemen.
  • Israel.
  • Tunisia

This will give you the luxury of travelling to different countries, being exposed to different cultures as you pick profitable knowledge along the way. This job gives come with its priceless satisfaction. the feel of accomplishment being an agent of peace is invaluable.

12. Policy Analyst Careers

The Arabic language skills and cultural understanding you gain with a master’s degree in social science will help you create policy agendas both inside and outside of governments making you an efficient policymaker. Many international businesses and governments are looking for policy analysts who are fluent in both English and Arabic to:

  • Research and develop public policy positions and campaigns.
  • Work with policymakers, industry bodies and third parties to advance corporate or government policy agendas.
  • Organize events and initiatives in Arabic speaking countries or communities.
13. Intelligence Jobs

An intelligence analyst gathers information from a broad range of sources for the government to prevent attacks, assess threats, and learn about the activities of various persons and groups of interest. Considering the complex and ever-changing dynamics of nations relations with the Arab world, fluency in Arabic is deemed a key asset for many intelligence analyst roles. The Department of Defense is always looking for Arabic speakers to help advance ground operations, and intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI need Arabic speakers and interpreters. Many international nonprofit organizations and businesses also need bilingual Arabic speakers to help them steer relationships with foreign governments and develop programs in Arab countries.

These preferred people must have knowledge of Arabic as well as a degree in Arabic studies, so they can use their language skills and cultural insights to gather data and help ensure the safety of the inhabitants of the nation. Your responsibilities as a bilingual Arabic intelligence analyst will cover a diverse range of activities, including:

  • Identifying potential agents and targets.
  • Validating Arabic intelligence and evaluating the credibility of Arab sources.
  • Delivering formal intelligence reports or giving briefings to government agencies and task forces on Arabic-related information.
  • Collaborating with other intelligence analysts and government agencies to gather information and piece together comprehensive big-picture intelligence insights.
14. Humanitarian Positions

Leverage your Arabic graduate degree to make the world a better place. Bilingual Arabic speakers with knowledge of Arabic culture are needed in many humanitarian organizations around the globe. Depending on your interests, you could work on initiatives in the Middle East, North Africa, and in Arabic communities elsewhere on humanitarian projects revolving around:

  • Water and habitat.
  • Economic and food security.
  • Protection and detention.
  • Human resources.
  • Forensic science.
15. Immigration and Naturalization Services Careers

According to migrationpolicy.org, there are more than 23.9 million immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa worldwide. A graduate degree from an Arabic master’s program, li position you for a role where you can help these immigrants. Advanced Arabic language skills and cultural insights are desperately needed for positions including:

  • Immigration counsellor.
  • Immigration paralegal.
  • Immigration clinic manager.
  • Immigration court translator.
  • Refugee resettlement officer.
  • Civil Service fast streamer
  • Government social research officer
  • Politician’s assistant
  • Public affairs consultant
  • Public relations account executive
  • Social researcher
  • Charity officer
  • Social Worker
  • Diplomatic Service officer
  • Human resources officer
  • Local government officer
  • Market researcher
  • Newspaper journalist
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