Spanish Literature

Studies in Spanish literature familiarize students with the oral and written texts from many Spanish-speaking nations, including Mexico and Spain. Continue reading to learn more about degree programs in Spanish literature, as well as possible career options and salaries for graduates.

Is Spanish Literature for Me?

Career Overview

If you're interested in the liberal arts and foreign languages, then an undergraduate or graduate degree program in Spanish literature may be right for you. A high level of Spanish language fluency is usually necessary before you can fully appreciate the literature of Spain, Latin America and Mexico. Although this is a highly specialized field of study, it can open the door to a rewarding career in interpretation and translation, academia or travel services, as well as provide opportunities for personal enrichment and enjoyment.

Career Options and Salary Potential

Graduates of a Spanish language or literature program can pursue careers in education, journalism, international business and translation services. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that between 2012 and 2022, employment may decrease by 12% nationwide for travel agents, while increasing by just 6%, or slower than average, for high school teachers.

During the same 10-year period, opportunities for adult literacy or English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers will grow by an average rate of 9%. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of openings for translators and interpreters will grow by a dramatic 46% across the country.

As of May 2013, ESL teachers earned a median of $51,110 per year, and high school teachers in general earned median annual salaries $55,360 . In May 2012, the BLS also reported a median annual salary of $42,420 for interpreters and translators; travel agents made $34,530 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Find a Job in Spanish Literature?

Undergraduate Programs

In general, a bachelor's degree in a Spanish-related major is the minimum educational requirement for obtaining an entry-level job, and programs can be found both on campus and online. Core coursework will include topics in Spanish language, grammar, vocabulary and culture. In Latin American and Spanish literature courses, you'll also research poems, short stories, novels, plays and other pieces of literature. You might even have the opportunity to read works in original Spanish and analyze translations, often for comparison purposes. Proficiency in reading comprehension is required; critiquing written works is encouraged.

As a Spanish major, you may be qualified for a number of entry-level positions. Some jobs may have additional requirements. For example, if you're interested in teaching high school Spanish in a public school, you'll also need a state-issued license. Travel agents and travel guides often need formal training, particularly people who are working with, or planning on visiting, Spanish-speaking individuals or countries.

Graduate Programs

Master's degree programs in Spanish literature, available on campus and online, can provide you with more in-depth studies of Spanish and Latin American works, including those written by medieval, colonial and contemporary authors. You'll also have the chance to develop your linguistic skills and learn about historical periods and literary genres. Similar courses of study may be found in doctoral degree programs in Hispanic literature and Spanish, which may include topics in literary theory and analysis.

A graduate degree in Spanish, Spanish literature or a related field, such as education or translation, can provide you with additional opportunities. For instance, you may be able to find a job in a school or local facility as an ESL teacher, helping Spanish-speaking children and adults learn to speak fluent English. A master's or doctoral degree can also lead to a career teaching Spanish or Spanish literature at the community college or university level.

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