Elizabeth Lowe heads the new Center for Translation Studies at the U of I. The increase in demand for qualified linguists to fill the roles of translators and interpreters in security, non-governmental organizations (like language service providers), courts, health care, international publishing and the software industry makes this new center a very timely addition to the university.
According to Lowe, the US federal government has more than 10,000 jobs for linguists that they cannot fill and the US department of labor predicts an increase of 22% in corporate translation jobs over the next eight years. This increase can be attributed to international legislation like the creation of the European Union and increased government requirements that require federal agencies to provide localized content to their constituents.
Students in the program at U of I must be proficient in at least one foreign language. They may remain in their major while earning a certificate in translation studies that qualifies them for additional specialized programs. For now the program is relatively small with roughly 50 students enrolled in the program at one time.
It is great to see another major university with a program geared to training linguists.
UPDATE: Argo now employs three graduates from the program!