Applied Linguistics» open the printable degree» search for more Areas of Study
The Master of Applied Linguistics is concerned with the application of language-related research in areas such as education, computing, psychology, interpretation, and language testing. It focuses on language learning and development, and cross-linguistic and cross-cultural communication in education settings.
Graduates will find their employment opportunities enhanced in Teaching English as a Second Language-based (TESL) positions, as well as heightened opportunities in linguistics research positions.
The NSW Department of Education and Communities will recognise graduates of the awards with the TESL/TEFL specialisation as TESL teachers, where they have a teaching degree and have been registered as teachers with the NSW Institute of Teachers.
The University of Newcastle offers both a Master and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics. Those who undertake these programs do so for a variety of reasons, including:
- Career change – adding a new area of specialisation to an existing qualification or employment background
- Career mobility – promotion opportunities within existing or new employment situations
- Professional development
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates of an Applied Linguistics degree. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, and some may require further study.
- Diplomat / Foreign Affairs and Trade Officer
- English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL Teacher)
- Linguistic Analyst
- Migrant/Refugee Support Worker
- Multicultural Affairs Liaison
- Policy Officer/Analyst
- Program Manager / Project Coordinator
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
A variety of employment opportunities exist within education and non-education settings for Applied Linguistics graduates. Below are examples of organisations that recruit graduates in this area. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- Attorney General's Department (Australia)
- Australia Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Department of Human Services (Australia)
- Department Foreign Affairs and Trade (International)
- Department of Defence (Australia)
- Embassy of Japan - JET Program (International)
- Language Intelligence (Australia)
- Lonely Planet (Australia)
- Microsoft Australia (International)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
- National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (Australia)
- National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (Australia)
- Northern Settlement Services (Australia)
- NSW Department of Education (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Association for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Australia)
- The Association of Computational Linguistics (Australia)
- The Australian Linguistics Society (Australia)
- The Australian Speech Science and Technology Association (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs