Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Linguistics & Literature Major

Find Schools Near

Linguistics & Literature

5,694 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,317 Master's Degrees Annually
#73 in Popularity
$78,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Linguistics & Literature Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many linguistics and comparative literature graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 5,695
Master’s Degree 1,317
Basic Certificate 586
Associate’s Degree 454
Doctor’s Degree 442
Graduate Certificate 94
Undergraduate Certificate 53

What Linguistics & Literature Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, comparative literature majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Comparative Literature Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

undefined
  • 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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to comparative literature:

undefined
  • 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

A major in comparative literature will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

undefined
  • 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
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics & Literature?

5,695 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
69% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 5,694 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and comparative literature in 2018, making it rank #73 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 69% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of comparative literature majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Comparative Literature Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 422
Black or African American 280
Hispanic or Latino 1,171
White 3,096
International Students 260
Other Races/Ethnicities 466

Geographic Diversity

Comparative Literature appeals to people across the globe. About 4.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Spain

How Much Do Linguistics & Literature Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that linguistics and comparative literature students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $25,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $20,700 (25th percentile) and $29,200 (75th percentile).

undefined

It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to comparative literature.

Salaries According to BLS

Comparative Literature majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $64,340 to $79,160 (25th to 75th percentile). 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.

Median Salary for a Linguistics & Literature Major  ( 64340 to 79160 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with comparative literature require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.

undefined
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%
Bachelor’s Degree 37.2%
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%
Master’s Degree 25.4%
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%
Doctoral Degree 27.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online Linguistics & Literature Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 508 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) 68 6
Certificate (1-2 years) 18 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 77 8
Bachelor’s Degree 33 1
Post-Baccalaureate 68 6
Master’s Degree 207 7
Post-Master’s 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 125 1
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!

undefined

You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to comparative literature.

Major Number of Grads
Romance Languages 16,242
American Sign Language 2,660
East Asian Languages 2,323
Classical Languages & Literature 1,633
Germanic Languages 1,563
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 640
Middle Eastern Semitic Languages 568
Foreign Language, Literature & Linguistics (Other) 504
Native American Languages 45
Southeast Asian & Pacific Languages 26
African Languages 10
South Asian Languages 8
Celtic Language & Literature 6
Greek Language & Literature 6
Iranian & Persian Languages 6
Turkic & Central Asian Languages 2

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Foreign Language Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.