Chartered Institute
of Linguists

CIOL launches revealing report on routes to becoming a language professional


At its annual Conference on 6/7 March, the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) launched the results of their recent survey which captures information on how people enter the languages industry and become professional linguists, as well as the career aspirations of language students. The report is entitled ‘CIOL Insights – Careers & Qualifications’.

CIOL is the only Chartered body representing linguists both in the UK and around the world and seeks to fulfil its commitment to the languages community by producing research which allows its members, as well as the wider industry, to understand the future challenges faced by the profession.

A key question addressed in the report is how and when people become professional linguists, and some concerning statistics have been revealed – for instance, the impact of fewer public sector interpreters taking up UK public sector contracts is already being felt. This is a downward trend which is unlikely to be reversed unless becoming a professional interpreter or translator is seen as a more attractive career choice.

This survey report is the second in a series of four which together are designed to form a body of knowledge on the experiences of language professionals and the changes taking place within the sector. The first report was published in December and examined the working environment of practising language professionals across the sector. The aim of the surveys is to contribute to CIOL’s strategic aim of raising the profile of linguists and increasing public recognition of the value of language skills.

“CIOL is continually supporting its membership and the profession,” said Judith Gabler, Chair of CIOL Council. “We are also looking to monitor changes within the profession, one which is, like many others, profoundly affected by the introduction of technologies, government prioritisation around education, and the predominance of freelancing.”

“It is important to understand the competition for talented, diligent, creative people from other sectors, and the priority for all those invested with languages is to make the profession as attractive as possible,” said CIOL Chief Executive Ann Carlisle. “The need to encourage people to enter the profession has never been more urgent.”

Read both reports here:

CIOL Insights: Careers & Qualifications

CIOL Insights: The Languages Professions

Further information:
+44 (0)20 7940 3100