Linguistic Enterprises a nonprofit site that aims to help academically trained linguists find private sector employment. It offers down-to-earth advice, how-to information, and an opportunity to discuss prospects and problems with others who have found work or are seeking it. (updated 11JAN03)

One section of the site is designed to match those seeking linguistic jobs in the private sector with companies looking to hire professional linguists and language specialists.

The site is maintained by the Linguistics Program at the University of California, Berkeley, in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America.

>> BACKGROUND: The Linguistic Enterprises project is one wing of a broad initiative being undertaken by the Linguistic Society of America to strengthen employment prospects for linguists.

For linguists to be employed in corporate settings is good for the linguists and good for the corporations. And it makes a very important contribution to another goal of the LSA, which is to inform the non-linguistic public about what linguistics is and how it can contribute to industry, education, and people's daily lives.

The Enterprises part of the overall plan began with a pilot mini-conference on "How Linguists Pay the Rent" at CUNY Graduate Center in 1996. At the 1997 Annual Meeting of the LSA in Chicago we had a "Linguistic Enterprises" workshop with presentations by Amy Pierce Brand, Charlotte Linde, Dianne Taylor, and Dovie Wylie, all of whom are very successfully paying the rent as linguists. Their presentations can be read in the section Advice, which also has articles by other working linguists. Another workshop session was held at the 1998 LSA meeting in New York, and these meetings have continued in the years following.

>> AIMS: If you are looking for work, we hope you will find some encouragement here. The academic job market can be depressing, but the emphasis here is on solutions. The aim is to give some practical reality to the process of finding employment as a linguist. A lot of how-to-set-about-it information is contained in the real-life tales contributed here by people who have tried it -- at least some of whom have survived and thrived.

If you are employed as a linguist but not in a conventional academic setting, we would like to hear from you. Please stand up and be counted (by sending us your email address) so that we can get a sense of how broadly the "real world route" is succeeding for linguists. If there are more ways in which this site can serve your needs, let us know. And if you have the time, please do write in and tell other linguists how you found your way to your present position and what it's like to be there.

>>OTHER EFFORTS: The more general initiative for improving professional opportunities for linguists includes two other endeavors:

All academic programs in linguistics in the U.S. will be encouraged to make one "visiting faculty" or "research scholar" position available to a linguist not employed at an academic institution. The aim is to provide research facilities (library, computer, lab) and a companionable intellectual environment for unaffiliated linguists who can free up a day a week, or a month or two a year, to continue their studies.

The LSA has appointed a committee, the Undergraduate Programs Advisory Group, to advise on the expansion or foundation of B.A./B.S. programs and distributional course options in linguistics, at universities or colleges including those where there are linguists but no linguistics department. The aim is to foster the creation of additional academic positions for linguists, and at the same time to increase the proportion of the population who know what linguistics is and have an appreciation of the facts of human language.


To all,
This information is being sent to Cybalist, Nostratica, and Language Origins lists.  This is a call to all Independent Scholars who qualify as linguists only do not have an academic appointment.