Italian Culture

An education in Italian culture explores the facets of historical and modern Italy, including language, art and politics. Find out more about what you'd learn in an undergraduate or graduate degree program related to Italian culture. Read about your job opportunities with an education in this field.

Is Italian Culture For Me?

Field Overview

Through studies in Italian culture and language, you can explore the values, attitudes, behaviors and literature of the Italian people. Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in this field analyze modern Italy and the former nation-states of the Italian Peninsula. You could learn the grammar, structure and pronunciation of the language. You can expect to take civilization courses and study history, philosophy, politics, sciences, art, music, film, food and fashion. Some colleges offer classes in Italy through study abroad programs in cities such as Rome and Milan.

Associate's degree programs could be available as a general program with a focus in Italian, which includes beginning and intermediate language and grammar courses. A bachelor's degree program typically incorporates multiple disciplines, so Italian language classes are combined with studies in communications, history, cinema, literature and the Renaissance. Master's degree programs commonly provide the opportunity for more in-depth studies of the Italian culture, with opportunities for specialization in language pedagogy, contemporary culture, medieval culture and the Italian language. If you want to pursue a doctoral degree program in Italian culture, you'll need to speak at least one language in addition to Italian and English and select from specializations in a specific area of Italian history, such as the medieval or modern eras. With an education in Italian culture, you may be able to pursue a career as a translator or interpreter, as well as work in travel and tourism or teach the Italian language.

Employment and Salary Info

The employment outlook and median pay for careers relevant to an education in Italian culture vary by occupation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that from 2012-2022, jobs for travel agents will decline by 12%; meanwhile, the employment rate is expected to increase for other jobs - 6% for high school teachers, 46% for translators and interpreters and 13% for curators. Postsecondary teaching jobs in foreign language and literature may increase 15%, and those in area, ethnic and cultural studies may increase 16% from 2012-2022.

Travel agents earned median annual pay of $34,600 in 2012, per the BLS. High school teachers earned median pay of $55,050 that year. Translators' and interpreters' median pay was $45,430 in 2012. Curators earned median annual pay of $49,590 that same year. And the median annual salary for postsecondary teaching jobs in foreign language and literature was $58,670 in 2012; for those in area, ethnic and cultural studies postsecondary teaching jobs, it was $67,360.

How Can I Work in Italian Culture?

Undergraduate Education

A degree in Italian culture can lead to career opportunities in business, language, literature and the hospitality industry. For some careers, such as a position in a travel agency or as a flight attendant, your employer might prefer that you have an undergraduate degree, experience with a foreign language, good communication skills and computer skills, according to the BLS. Other positions require significantly more training, both in the language and in other areas.

To become a teacher, you must typically complete a teaching program that includes student teaching experience to earn a teaching license. Some of these programs are available in conjunction with a degree in Italian. Although only a bachelor's degree is required to work in translation and interpretation, most bachelor's degree programs in Italian culture don't include sufficient training in interpretation and translation, but graduate degree programs and other training programs in Italian translation or interpretation are available. If you're interested in going into business, you can work for businesses in the United States or in Italy. You may be responsible for public relations, interpreting negotiations or translating contracts.

Graduate Studies

With a master's degree or a doctorate, you can also teach Italian and Italian culture at the university level. You may also pursue a career translating Italian literature into English or other languages. You might also become a museum curator or archivist, collecting pieces representing certain aspects of Italian history or art from Italian artists since many programs emphasize Italian art and history. However, some employers require additional graduate-level training in art, history, museum studies or archival studies, according to the BLS. Depending on your interests, research opportunities may be available, allowing you to explore a historic era or a certain aspect of the Italian culture.

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