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Facts & figures

Our rankings

  • #1 in NSW, top 30 in the world for Modern Languages*
  • #1 in Australia, #4 in the world for graduate employability*
  • #2 in Australia in Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2021

How languages help you stand out from the crowd

11 November 2020
Get a competitive edge for a wide range of careers
From law to tech, public health to environmental policy, meet some of our language graduates who are making an impact across various fields in Australia and beyond.

Join Australia's most employable graduates* with cross-cultural and language skills. You can study languages across various degrees through our shared pool of majors and minors or focused study in a course below:

Our graduates go on to have a variety of successful careers:

Supporting human rights, global development and justice

Tallulah Bur stands next to a sign displaying 'Courtroom 7'

Tallulah Bur, Tipstaff, Supreme Court of New South Wales
BA/LLB 2018
Spanish and Latin American Studies and Japanese Studies

Studying languages at Sydney led to one of my greatest career highlights for my future: I won a United Nations international language essay competition and presented at the General Assembly in New York.

At the UN, I worked on the Sustainable Development Goals through cross-cultural and global citizenship metrics. I later worked as a language intern, translating French and Spanish documents to English.

Marry language studies with your ambitions – whatever they may be. Learning languages expands your knowledge and skillsets, and stimulates your intellect in unique ways that help you understand the world around us.

In my legal profession, having an intimate knowledge of grammatical intricacies is crucial for proofing judgments. Cross-cultural competency allows me to understand how courtroom interpreting works with sensitivity, particularly for self-represented litigants whose first language is not English.

Making waves in tech and computing

Headshot of Nicky Ringland

Nicky Ringland, Google Product Manager, Grok Learning founder, 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence in STEM
BA (Lang) 2008, GradDipComp 2009, PhD 2016
Germanic Studies, Linguistics and Digital Cultures

My role involves communicating and collaborating with teams globally. Having a good understanding of how language shapes our thoughts, interactions and influence helps me to be a better mediator and leader. My work focuses on problem-solving for our users. I translate ideas among different areas of the organisation to champion the product.

Communication will always be critical in our world. Intercultural competence and language skills are integral to our interconnected future.

I also founded Grok Learning, a startup teaching students around the world to code. The interpersonal and communication skills I developed from studying languages have been useful throughout my career, and I'm excited to see where they will take me. Language is also pretty fun to learn!

Advancing cancer research in public health

Headshot of Amelia Smit

Amelia Smit, Research Fellow, Sydney Medical School
BA (Hons) 2015, MPH 2017, PhD (Epidemiology) 2020
Germanic Studies, Philosophy and Medicine

I research melanoma and novel strategies for improving cancer prevention and early detection in Australia. I’ve also presented at international conferences in Europe and the US which led to new collaborations.

Knowing another language supports me immensely in my role with skills like clear communication, diplomacy, problem-solving and thinking quickly on my feet. If you can do these in a different language, it’s easy to do in English!

Languages can bring life-changing experiences filled with travel. As an Arts student, I interned with the German Embassy in Canberra where I launched their social media platform. It exposed me to the world of international affairs and developed my professional skills.

Engineering construction futures abroad

Headshot of Michael Graney

Michael Graney, Project Manager, NERCO Ingénierie, France
BCom/BEHons(Civil) and DipLangStud 2012
French and Francophone Studies and Finance

I’m currently based in Lyon where my work is mostly French-oriented. I manage complex construction projects for our clients from initial project feasibility to design development, project approval, tender award and delivery. I’ve also worked in Papua New Guinea and on a $50 billion INPEX oil and gas project near Darwin.

Knowing two languages allows me to work internationally with exciting multidisciplinary and multilingual teams.

Learning French at Sydney gave me the best experience of my studies. It made my exchange to HEC Paris so much more rewarding and enjoyable. My language acquisition accelerated, and I landed an internship at the OECD Headquarters.

The support network from the School of Languages and Cultures is outstanding. The open discussion, tailored participation-style learning and application to real-life scenarios can give you an invaluable skillset that creates global opportunities.

Planning state policy for environmental sustainability

In a highly competitive graduate market, employers value cultural insights and experiences which language graduates can offer.
Headshot of Ben Grace

Ben Grace, Policy Officer, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
BIGS(Hons) 2019
Japanese Studies and Government and International Relations

I work in the Circular Economy Markets team. We develop policy to keep materials in use for as long as possible. This involves keeping waste out of landfill, tackling climate change and creating economic value from end-of-life products.

I secured this role through the NSW Government Graduate program. My experience in learning Japanese, studying overseas and acting as Student Representative for my language department was crucial to landing the role.

Championing brands and global change

Indonesian Studies grad, Anastasia Pavlovic, speaking on stage at a conference

Anastasia Pavlovic, Account Manager, Facebook
BA 2017
Indonesian Studies and Sociology

Studying a language major and society in-depth allows me to contribute new insights and skills in analysis, research and critical thinking. It's enabled me to understand the nuances of different markets. In my job at Facebook in Singapore, I work with people from all around the world and on projects for small businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.  

In 2019, I won a national language award in the Executive category where I spoke on the theme of the environment. I also volunteer with a non-profit tech initiative for minority women, and was selected as the 2019 Global Changemaker Australian delegate in Zurich to empower youth to catalyse positive social change.

*QS World University Rankings 2020

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