Modern Languages at UTA
Faculty Highlights
Christopher Conway

Mark A. Cichock

Director, Charles T. McDowell Center

Mentis Profile
Lonny Harrison

Lonny Harrison

Section Head of CLIS Russian Coordinator
Assistant Professor

Mentis Profile

Why Study Critical



Why Study Critical Languages and International Studies?
  1. Both outside of and within the U.S., it has become increasingly clear that economic and political developments across the globe are dependent on solutions to problems that can only emerge through global communications and collaboration.

  2. In a broader sense, it is crucial too that all citizens of today and tomorrow must better understand their chosen vocation in an international context, as they carry out their career, personal, social, and political endeavors. Contemporary communications and collaboration necessitate understanding people whose language, background, life experiences, cultures or subcultures, and "ways of meaning" may differ radically from our own.

  3. Texas is a leader in the global marketplace, as a state leading the nation in export revenue for nine consecutive years (2002 - 2010) with a total of $206.6 billion in 2010. Continuing to foster a superior climate for job growth, opportunity and prosperity for the people of Texas is one of the top priorities of the state. Additionally, products from the State of Texas are shipped around the globe each year. And among the state's top exporting partners were three regions which will be supported by the proposed degree: China ($10.2 billion in exports in 2010), Brazil ($7.1 billion) and Korea ($6.4 billion), according to

  4. Moreover, the international constitution of our world does not merely extend beyond our country's borders, but occurs as well within our borders--within our cities, classrooms, courtrooms, hospitals, and churches, and on a daily basis. Statistics show that 47 million of 262.4 million people age five or older speak a language other than English in the home (according to Census 2000 data), and 60 languages are spoken in the home by Dallas ISD students.

  5. There is a growing demand for people with foreign language skills across the federal government. Since 9/11 the FBI has hired close to 1,000 linguists. The National Security Agency (NSA) is aggressively recruiting and plans to hire 1,500 people a year, many of them language analysts. Due to the high demand of qualified linguists, the Pentagon is temporarily recruiting foreigners on work or student visas. Other job opportunities related to the critical languages exist in the Departments of Defense, State, Commerce, and throughout the federal government, according to the federal job information resource site

  6. Many federal agencies offer attractive signing bonuses to individuals with exceptional language skills, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. New employees who are hired for a language specific occupation in the CIA are compensated according to tested proficiency, language difficulty and level of critical need as determined by the CIA. And students who graduate with a proficiency in a foreign language or professional linguists may qualify for work at the NSA, where new employees receive competitive salaries and are eligible for critical language signing bonuses of $7,500.

  7. Critical languages students and practitioners are in high demand in other areas of the employment sector as well, including the legal, business, health care, education, travel and tourism, media/journalism and philanthropic industries.

  8. Additionally, students who complete UTA's Certificate in Localization and Translation (link here to the certificate) as an integral part of their Critical Languages and International Studies curriculum will look forward to employment in the Localization Industry, a $30 billion worldwide industry which includes a wide variety of translation and localization jobs to support international corporations and organizations which develop products and services for international markets. For example, more than 50% of revenues of major companies come from abroad, and this translates into real, increased demand for salespeople, account managers, project managers, compliance managers, and operations directors as Such companies internationalize their software and system products, translate and localize their contracts, documentation, and Web presences, and become increasingly multilingual and multicultural with customer support and communications.

    Increasingly, large companies and organizations turn to Language Service Providers (LSPs) to meet this broad range of language and culture needs, and according to Common Sense Advisory, the international market for outsourced language services and technologies will have reached $31 billion in 2011. Common Sense Advisory notes that in Q2 2011, more than a third of LSPs (36.4%) said they added jobs in the previous three-month period, and an even greater number (38.8%) planned to add jobs in Q3 2011. But a global shortage of qualified linguistic talent is presenting recruiting challenges, which is marked up at least in part to declining educational program opportunities to train students to fill language-related positions in the Localization Industry (Common Sense Advisory, 2011).