Linguistics & Literature
Types of Degrees Linguistics & Literature Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many linguistics and comparative literature graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Linguistics & Literature Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to comparative literature and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Comparative Literature Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Skills for Comparative Literature Majors
When studying comparative literature, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Abilities for Comparative Literature Majors
As a comparative literature major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Linguistics & Literature Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with comparative literature:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|English Language and Literature Professors||9.8%||$66,590|
|Foreign Language and Literature Professors||11.7%||$67,640|
|Interpreters and Translators||17.7%||$49,930|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||7.5%||$60,320|
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Linguistics & Literature?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of comparative literature majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||31|
|Hispanic or Latino||153|
Comparative Literature appeals to people across the globe. About 32.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
How Much Do Linguistics & Literature Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in linguistics and comparative literature made a median starting salary of $49,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,700 (25th percentile) and $49,200 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to comparative literature so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $64,340 to $79,160 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to comparative literature. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Linguistics & Literature
Some degrees associated with comparative literature may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for comparative literature careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||2.4%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||0.2%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||0.2%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.7%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||4.2%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||2.8%|
Online Linguistics & Literature Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 522 schools offered some type of linguistics and comparative literature program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||72||10|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||22||3|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||3||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||127||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Linguistics & Literature Worth It?
The median salary for a comparative literature grad is $78,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 96% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $765,000 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Linguistics & Literature
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to comparative literature.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Pandit Rahul Sanskrutayan, Banshidhar Mohanty under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.