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Photo of Steve Ohlhaut.


While serving as head of world languages and as a French teacher at West Lafayette High School, Steve Ohlhaut helped his students make connections with foreign students by developing a writing and travel exchange with a high school in France. Read more here.

Majoring in Spanish

Purdue’s Spanish majors choose coursework from a variety of language, literature, and culture courses, including specialized courses such as Spanish for the Professions, Business Spanish, and Spanish for Engineering. With Spanish noted among the fastest growing skills in fields such as cloud computing and ecommerce, according to a recent Indeed report, studying Spanish opens the door to a wide variety of exciting international and domestic career opportunities.

Upon completion of the program, Language & Culture majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their field. Student experiences have included:

  • International Business and Communications
  • Translator / Interpreter
  • Editor or Proofreader
  • Non-Profit / NGO Employment
  • Government Agencies
  • Law Professional
  • Politics
  • Title I ESL Instructional Assistant
  • Study Abroad Liaison
  • ESL Teacher (domestic and abroad)
  • Foreign Service
  • Data Linguist
  • Social Worker
  • Spanish Teaching Professional (secondary and post-secondary)
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Research in recent years confirms the many cognitive benefits of learning a second language. In addition, Spanish majors develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to work in various cultural environments and cross-cultural knowledge/global awareness and intercultural communication.
  • A global/cultural awareness of the social and political relationships that shape the world.
  • Understanding of different cultures and countries, cultivated both by study abroad opportunities and on-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences.
  • Translating messages simultaneously into specified languages, maintaining message, content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Reading written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewriting material into specified languages.
  • Ability to communicate and work productively with diverse groups.

Languages and Cultures majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • Pepsico
  • Alliance
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • West Lafayette High School

Graduate School

  • University of Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Wisconsin
  • New York University
  • Southern Methodist University

CLA Career Center