Dutch Literature and Language

In a Dutch literature and language degree program, you can expect to take courses in linguistics, art and European history. Read about undergraduate and graduate degree options in this field. Explore some careers you could pursue with an education in Dutch literature and language.

Is Dutch Literature and Language for Me?

Career Overview

The study of Dutch literature and language incorporates history, linguistics and cultural studies. Schooling can prepare you for careers in diplomacy, corporate communications and education. Career opportunities for those holding a bachelor's degree in Dutch literature and language include interpretation and international commerce. With a teaching certificate, you could also seek a position as an educator at the secondary level. Completion of a graduate program might lead to employment as a college-level professor or government bureaucrat.

If you choose to pursue a career as a postsecondary professor, you'll have the best job prospects with a doctoral degree. As a professor, your duties would include preparing lesson plans, conducting lectures, evaluating student performances and publishing research findings. A benefit of this job is that you could enjoy a flexible work schedule.

You might endeavor to become an interpreter and translator of the Dutch language. These jobs would require you to not only convert words but also concepts and ideas from Dutch to another language. An interpreter works with spoken Dutch, whereas a translator works with written language. You could work in various fields including the medical, courtroom, conference and literary fields. Furthermore, you might work as a localization translator in a variety of work environments. Most interpreters and translators work on a freelance basis with varying schedules. You would be required to be fluent in Dutch as well as an additional language. Employers often require you to have a bachelor's degree, and some specialties require a master's degree. There is not a specific certification required for this profession, but you'll need to demonstrate your abilities in some manner.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers of foreign language and literature was $58,620 in May 2013; those who earned salaries in the 10th-90th percentile range took home $32,790-$112,830 (www.bls.gov). Employment of postsecondary teachers in general was predicted to grow 19% between 2012 and 2022, according to the BLS. Interpreters and translators earned a median annual wage of $42,420 in May 2013; the 10th-90th percentile range was $22,180-$77,140. Jobs in this field are predicted to increase 46% from 2012-2022.

How Can I Work in Dutch Literature and Language?


An education in Dutch literature and language allows students to explore Germanic culture and the history of the Netherlands. A bachelor's degree program would introduce you to language research, sociolinguistics and linguistic theory. Courses in Dutch culture, the modern Netherlands, the Dutch golden age, art history and Dutch literature may be included in the curriculum. It is recommended that you study abroad in order to practice your language skills and gain a better understanding of Dutch culture and society. Some universities offer Dutch certification examinations, which verify your language skills.

In a master's or doctoral degree program, you may study computational linguistics, Dutch sign language or syntactic theory. As part of the study of Dutch literature, history and culture you can expect to analyze texts in their original language. You can earn a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Germanic Studies with a focus on Dutch. You may choose to focus on a specific area of Dutch studies and minor in a field such as comparative literature, cultural studies or linguistics.

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