Linguistics is the study of the nature of language and how people communicate using language. It can be applied to specific languages, but also to ideas that a commonly found in many languages, and involves many different subsections including syntax, semantics, and phonetics to name a few. This is just a small overview of the subject that is linguistics, but as you can see there is a lot to the subject, and it is still a growing field that is very interesting to study.
So why should you study linguistics in college?
It is a little unfamiliar to the general public, but it is a very worthwhile field of study for a number of reasons. Studying the subject of linguistics can be helpful in almost every other field of study you will encounter in college. Language is essentially part of everything that we do so having an in-depth knowledge of the subject will be very beneficial in lots of ways – it can offer interesting insights in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, politics, English and foreign languages. Not only that, but as part of the subject, you will also be expected to conduct research, handle data that you have collected, use analytical skills, and present the results you have found, which will be great practice for those involved in STEM fields of study.
You are also opening yourself up to many potential career opportunities in the future. Beyond the obvious options like teaching and writing, those with experience of linguistics can find themselves with relevant experience to join fields such as translators and interpreters, computer science, the legal profession, psychology, and cognitive science. Obviously, some of these will need further specific study and training, but linguistics will be an important and helpful part of that journey.
The joy of extending your knowledge
For some people, studying linguistics has less to do with long-term plans. It can simply be a great opportunity to learn about a new subject that you are likely not to have had any experience of before getting to college. It is a very varied subject so as a result, you will be learning lots of new and interesting things that will help to expand your knowledge, simply for the joy of learning something new. It can bring lots of variety to your educational experience. Sometimes when people get caught up in how their education will affect their future, they forget that sometimes it’s good to just learn about things for fun!
Overall, linguistics is a subject that you might not have heard of but is actually a big part of life in ways you didn’t imagine. So if you’re a little stuck on what you want to take classes in as part of college, consider linguistics. It may be the start of an amazing new path for you it may help you achieve greater success in your other areas of study or it may just be a fun new subject for you to enjoy learning about!