We aim to expand the range of our students’ intellect and their cultural competency while fostering an environment of inclusive academic excellence and preparing them for their career goals.

Brightly lit buildings in Japan

Typically, our students combine a Major in French or Spanish, or a Minor in Chinese, French,  Japanese or Spanish, with a Bachelor of Arts in another field.

Career opportunities involving modern languages are ever expanding. Openings exist in the following areas:

  • engineering
  • foreign trade
  • foreign service
  • international business
  • media
  • translation and interpretation
  • international law
  • nonprofit organizations
  • librarianship
  • military
  • social work
  • immigration law
  • psychology
  • teaching
  • tourism industry

Additionally, mastery of a modern language is a requirement for many graduate programs across various disciplines.



Hear From Our Alumni

Photo of Elena Pendleton in front of greenery

Elena Pendleton

" I am currently a teacher in Hawai'i. Studying Chinese taught me valuable life skills. I originally took Mandarin because it is my mother’s first language, and I wanted to learn more so that I could speak it with her and my relatives in Taiwan. The courses taught me important skills in Mandarin such as listening, speaking, reading and writing and I learned useful vocabulary I can use in the real world. Studying a language taught me better study skills, organization tactics and time management."

BA English/Creative Writing, minor Chinese '19

Career Readiness

Being “career-ready” means that you’ve developed a range of skills that you can transfer to different settings once you graduate.

At Seattle University, we take your career readiness seriously, so we’ve created an inventory and program-level map for you to help you see what skills you’re likely to practice in your major or, as in this case, as you study your first year of a language.

The Career Readiness Map or Skills Inventory is a tool that was developed by Holly Slay Ferraro and David A. Green, Associate Director and Director of the Center for Faculty Development. After extensive research they designed this instrument to help students see the range of skills they will acquire and develop over the course of their studies. In the Modern Languages and Cultures Department, your faculty went through the process of rating this skills’ inventory so that you can appreciate, at the end of the 1350 level in your chosen language, all your growth over the course of just the first year.

All of the language in terms of how the tool works and the definitions used, were kindly provided by Professors Ferraro and Green.

The transferable skills we’re listing here come from three main sources: the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2019 graduate competencies list, World Economic Forum’s "The Future of Jobs 2018" report, and Seattle University’s own outcomes and mission, which we know can give you additional strings to your bow that employers really appreciate.

The various transferable skills are grouped into five clusters:

  • Intellectual
  • Interpersonal/Social
  • Personal/Internal
  • Creative
  • Technical

For each of those clusters, we list multiple components along with definitions to help you see what each of the skills means to employers and organizations. Those are listed below.

Your faculty have examined the first-year courses of your chosen language and have rated the extent to which you are likely to practice and be able to demonstrate your abilities after taking those three courses. This gives you a sense of the kinds of skills you’re likely to develop in your first year studying a modern language.

Faculty rated their courses for each of the skills using this scale:
2 = You’ll receive a grade related to this skill in this course.
1 = You’ll practice this skill, but are not graded on it in this course.
0 = You’re unlikely to practice this skill in this course.

If the score is a 2, then that means you’re likely to have some sort of artifact that you can use to be able to demonstrate your skill development to potential employers. This might be a written assignment, a policy briefing paper, a presentation, and so on.
If the score is 1, then you’ll be practicing the skill, but won’t necessarily have an artifact to show for it. You will, though, still have experiences from the class to draw on in interviews.

If the score is 0, then don’t worry: even if you don’t have chance to practice that skill as part of your degree, there are still plenty of co-curricular opportunities at SU where you can round out your skills development.

You can also use the career readiness inventory to build your résumé and reflect on the skills you have developed.

Career Engagement Office

Your go-to resource for career exploration, discovery of experiential learning opportunities, job search, interview preparation, and more.

Skills Inventory

Your career readiness skills and what they mean.

  • Critical thinking: Identify the assumptions that frame thinking and analyze them for accuracy and validity.
  • Analysis: Analyze and monitor/assess your own performance, or that of other individuals or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Problem-solving: Use logic and reasoning to evaluate alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches.
  • Quantitative abilities: Apply mathematical and quantitative reasoning to propose or evaluate solutions.
  • Systems analysis: Determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems evaluation: Identify measures or indicators of system effectiveness and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Judgment and decision-making: Consider the relative virtues and drawbacks of potential actions to choose and justify a contextually appropriate decision.
  • Writing: Communicate effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking: Present to or talk with others to convey information as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Teamwork: Work within a team structure and negotiate and manage conflict.
  • Collaboration: Build mutually rewarding relationships with colleagues and partners.
  • Boundary-spanning: Reach across silos to gather and share information, especially with people who are different from us (e.g., demographically, politically, functionally, disciplinarily).
  • Anti-racist advocacy: Acknowledge the harm of systemic and personal racism, affirm the experiences of people of color, and act to dismantle racist systems and practices.
  • Curiosity: Value and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and other human differences.
  • Openness: Demonstrate openness and humility in interacting across cultural, demographic, and positional differences.
  • Leadership: Inspire others toward a common goal or vision, offering direction and opinions as needed.
  • Social influence: Advocate for and encourage value-driven change.
  • Negotiation: Facilitate dialogue to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion: Present evidence and argumentation to encourage others to consider alternative positions.
  • Concern for others: Exercise sensitivity to others' needs and feelings.
  • Cooperation: Present your most constructive, open-minded self in group settings in order to reach a common goal.
  • Social perceptiveness: Attend to others' reactions and adapt your behavior in response.
  • Service orientation: Engage with community members in the shared responsibility for social change.
    Dependability: Fulfill obligations by being reliable, responsible, and dependable.
  • Integrity: Act responsibly and consistently with the interests of the larger community in mind.
  • Attention to Detail: Review, revise, and complete tasks thoroughly and carefully.
  • Adaptability/flexibility: Adapt to differing contexts, personalities, and tasks.
  • Self-control: Be aware of and express emotions in ways that invite yourself and others to entertain alternative perspectives.
  • Resilience: Adapt to experience of difficulty or critical feedback by reflecting carefully and making appropriate behavioral adjustments.
  • Prioritization: Manage your own time to align with priorities.
  • Coordination: Adjust actions in relation to others' actions and respect their time.
  • Transfer of learning: Integrate new information with prior knowledge and experience and transfer it to new realms.
  • Learning strategies: Select and use learning methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Active listening: Fully attend to what others say, reflect on points or on critical feedback, and ask questions as appropriate.
  • Reflection: Make meaning out of experiences, ideas, and contexts through thoughtful consideration, self-exploration, and discernment.
  • Creativity: Generate unique ideas and interpretations or adapt them to new settings.
  • Originality: Devise unusual or imaginative ideas about a topic or situation.
  • Initiative: Show willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Autonomy: Take responsibility for your own learning with little supervision.
  • Technology design: Generate or adapt equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • Programming: Write computer programs for various purposes.

Current Students

Your career-readiness maps can be found on the Modern Languages and Cultures intranet.