Job Opportunities

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Job Opportunities with an M.A. in Italian Studies from Florida State University (document created by Dr. Silvia Valisa)

Preliminary remark: For those aiming towards an academic career in Italian Studies, the path after a Master's Degree is to continue with a PhD in Italian Studies. This can be discussed with the Italian Studies Graduate advisor and/or with the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics.

Below you will find information on possible career paths to be pursued with a Master's in Italian, i.e. for students not interested in pursuing a PhD in Italian Studies.

If one is willing to continue to study but not towards a PhD in Italian, interesting choices where the language can be a strong asset are, among many others, International Studies, Business, or a specific doctoral formation in secondary teaching and education (see for example http://www.coe.fsu.edu/gradinforequest.htm in the FSU College of Education, which has highly ranked programs, or the NYU School of Culture, Education and Human Development, http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/portal/future_grad_students
to get an idea of the different paths you could take in a doctoral setting in education).
Common career and study paths include:

Architecture, History of Architecture, Art History
Art Curator and Museum Management
Business
Diplomacy
European History
Film Studies
History of Music and Music Professions
(in all its forms - FSU has a very prestigious school of music)
Hotel and Restaurant Management
International Studies
Interpreter, Translation
Secondary Teaching
Travel Agent
Tourism professions

Business choices:

One of the more "evident" options here, in terms of transition, is to look for jobs in University Administration. You can apply to that just as you would apply to any other job. See for instance this Chronicle of Higher Education article: http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2006/02/2006020901c.htm
on positions as research faculty, and on administration jobs.
b. another option is to look for work at an Italian company based (or with offices) in the US. A good directory of names can be found through the Italian Trade Commission/ Institute for Foreign Trade: http://www.italtrade.com/countries/americas/usa/presence.htm

This is a long (yet not exhaustive!) list of Italian companies with offices in the USA.
Browse through this resource; you can look for companies that most appeal to your aspirations and expertise, and then you can send application letters and resumes to a selection of companies (or simply call them -or check their websites- to know if they have any openings). As American citizens, you will have one big advantage compared to Italian citizens: you have a work permit.
Another, and possibly most direct option, is to look into secondary teaching right after your master's degree. For this, you might also consider doing a second master's in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language), and to explore the option of a combined master's offered by FSU Modern Languages and Linguistics (in your language of choice) and the College of Education. Contact person: Rebecca Galeano, Assistant Instructor, G110 STB, (850) 644-2129, rgaleano@fsu.edu.
Here is what two people I spoke with, both involved with education in New York state, have to say about there being jobs for teachers of Italian in secondary schools:

1) "The one question I can best respond to is that there is a need for teachers of Italian at the secondary level, so if students do not want to pursue a PhD, there is certainly a professional place for them in the secondary schools. It would be to their advantage to pursue a Masters Degree. You university Department of Education can advise them about required education courses, which may vary from state to state. The state I am most familiar with is New York, where Italian is the third most popular language, following Spanish and French. I would advise students to also pursue another foreign language, as teachers who can offer courses in two different languages are the most valuable to any school district."

Certification:

"The first step is to find out what the requirements for certification are in different states. Ask the College of Education for this information, and also check regularly the halls of our department, MLL, for updated info posted on the boards devoted to each language. [As above, at FSU one person of reference is Rebecca Galeano, assistant instructor in the Department of Education, rgaleano@fsu.edu.]

Otherwise, you can visit web sites of the various State Education Departments. For example, you can go to the NY State Education Department's web site for information: http://www.nysed.gov
You can google the state and department, for example: New Jersey State Education Department, Florida Education Department. In this way you can visit any state you are interested in.
2) Here is what another person (a coordinator of a graduate program in education who works with partnership schools in her region (NY) to place her graduate students suggests:

"What I usually suggest to both undergraduates and Graduate students aiming for a career in Teaching is to do a Dual certification, a double major in a language of choice and EFL, for example, or in two foreign languages; it makes them more marketable."
In terms of certification, the Department of Education should be able to help FSU students figure out what they need to know to get their certification. Florida Certification has reciprocity with New York, and other states: students still have to apply for the reciprocity, but it is an easy process.
New York city still has a lot of schools, especially private schools, in which Italian is taught - but lots of the people interested in Italian are migrating to Worchester, Long Island, New Jersey, so that's where most of the jobs are right now.
Most schools will preferably hire teachers who can teach two languages. In any case, there ARE positions for secondary teachers in foreign languages.

Other possible contacts:
Consolato - direttore didattico a Miami: education.miami@esteri.it

Careers in Translation
You can find easily jobs as technical translators and interpreters (medical, business, legal), especially in big cities with lots of businesses. Literary translation, by contrast, is much harder, and it is something that is built little by little. If you are interested in literary translation, start building a small portfolio by proposing translations to magazines and journals, for example Italian Poetry Review, edited by Paolo Valesio, Columbia U, or any other journal, in every field, that publishes translations. (The MLA review has a section that publishes previously unpublished short literary works having archival or historical relevance, for example). Look around for similar opportunities. Once you have a portfolio, you can try submitting it to small publishing houses, then bigger ones, etc.

There are also several Translation programs, in particular one at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
http://services.lang.uiuc.edu/Translation/CenterForTranslationStudies.htm

Publishing Houses: Sales Representatives and Language Textbook Authors.
It is possible to work as sales representatives for publishing houses, especially those specialized in foreign language textbooks (Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, to name a few; if interested, I can put you in touch with a couple of sales representatives: svalisa@fsu.edu).

If you have ambitions as textbook authors, you will have to have experience as a language instructor at the secondary or post-secondary level to start build your teaching credentials. While you are teaching, you can apply to become a reviewer of current editions of textbooks, and/or propose new textbook ideas to your sales representative.

These are some examples of possible career paths with a Master's of Italian.
If you want to contribute information and/or your personal experience,
send a message to Silvia Valisa,
svalisa@fsu.edu

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