What Can You Do With A Spanish Degree?

spanish degree

College education is very important in today’s global job market. In addition to a degree, a second language can also put you on top of the competition. Why not pursue both in one go?

Twenty-one countries use Spanish as their primary language. There are roughly 440 million Spanish speakers worldwide. Your business and networking opportunities will be limitless if you can communicate well in Spanish. 

Some would say that a language major is useless. We say otherwise. Spanish degree graduates acquire a solid reading, writing, researching, and critical thinking foundation. These abilities are transferable to various fields.  

Featured Programs

What is a Spanish Degree?

Spanish has become the country’s second language, with over 50 million Spanish-speaking residents. Many colleges and universities are offering Spanish majors to meet the growing demand for proficiency in the language. 

The specific curriculum of Spanish degrees varies from program to program. But in general, they focus on the grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and pronunciation of the language. As a student, you’ll also immerse yourself in Spanish literature, culture, history, and politics. 

Associate in Spanish

Associate degrees in Spanish are offered as Associate of Arts (AA) and are designed as transfer programs. You won’t gain as much proficiency in Spanish as you would with higher-level programs. However, you can save money by completing your general education courses at a community college rather than a four-year university.

An AA in Spanish degree provides an overview of the Spanish language and culture. Students also gain interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills. These programs typically last two years, less if you enroll in accelerated course formats.  

Bachelor in Spanish

Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish are also in the form of arts. BA Spanish graduates have more job opportunities than associate degree graduates. Undergraduates have broader and more in-depth knowledge of Spanish language, literature, and culture education. 

A bachelor’s degree in Spanish typically lasts four years. However, with transfer credits, students can graduate in two years. One hundred twenty credit hours is usually required to graduate. It typically includes a thesis, a final project, and an oral exam. Study-abroad opportunities are also popular. 

This is where you’ll learn how to converse in Spanish. Bachelor’s degree in Spanish programs focuses on improving your conversation, vocabulary, and reading and writing skills in Spanish. You’ll encounter courses that study cultural differences within Spanish-speaking countries.

Master in Spanish 

After completing a Spanish bachelors degree, many students pursue a master’s degree. Graduate degrees focus on more specialized areas within the field, unlike the bachelor degree in Spanish, where the focus is on building a broad foundation of the language. 

These programs typically require 36 credit hours and can be completed in two years of full-time study. Some programs are accelerated, allowing undergraduate students to study graduate-level courses.

Among the most common concentrations include: 

  • Spanish or Latin American dialects
  • Spanish Cultural Linguistics
  • Spanish Literature 

Doctor in Spanish (PhD)

The PhD in Spanish is the highest degree graduates can earn. It usually requires 54 credits beyond a bachelors degree in Spanish Language and 24 credits beyond the master’s. 

These programs are geared toward graduates with academic and research interests. The curriculum typically combines language and literature with individual research. It also offers several concentrations similar to master’s degrees. 

You’ll take courses that study notable literary works from the Spanish world. You’ll also investigate the ties between the Spanish language, history, culture, and politics. 

The typical coursework includes:

  • required courses
  • electives
  • Graduate Language Examination (GLE)
  • comprehensive exam and research
  • written dissertation
  • oral defense

Coursework completion typically takes six years. Students sometimes take up to eight to nine years to graduate. 

Why Pursue a Spanish Degree?

Thanks to technological advancements, the world has become more globalized. This makes the need to learn another language more critical for these purposes: 

  • expanding career opportunities
  • fostering cross-cultural understanding
  • enhancing cognitive abilities
  • facilitating international travel

Earning a Spanish degree gives you cultural competence. This ability allows you to create genuine bonds and relationships with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, language skills will further foster smoother interactions in various professional settings.

Career Opportunities with a Spanish Degree

A Spanish bachelors degree grants you access to various career prospects. Yet, earning a master’s or doctorate will open to better, more high-paying roles. 

Your abilities are in demand in sectors with a strong global presence. Among the industries that incorporate diverse language groups into their workforce include: 

  • International Business
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Multinational Corporations 
  • Language Teaching
  • Global NGOs

Language Skills and Cultural Competence

Societies are now becoming globalized as technology facilitates global interactions. Promoting international collaboration and preparing for diverse workplaces is a priority. 

College degrees are required to teach students the importance of acknowledging diversity. However, only a few will focus on actually instilling the capacity to honor and celebrate it. Spanish degrees are made to instill lifelong self-awareness for advocating for diversity. 

Proficient language skills and cultural competence allow you to break down communication barriers. This will significantly help you in building relationships that transcend geographical boundaries. As a result, this will help you expand your options for personal and professional growth. 

Job Market Demand for Spanish Speakers

As a Spanish degree graduate, you have several career opportunities. As discussed, your skills are in demand in sectors with a strong global presence.  

Learning a second language helps boost your career prospects by up to 35%. Spanish, one of the most spoken languages globally, is a good second language. Moreover, there’s a 56% increase in businesses seeking the expertise of bilingual and multilingual employees for development and expansion. 

Among the most common job roles for Spanish degree holders include:

Translation and Interpretation 

This is perhaps the most obvious field where Spanish language skills are essential. Your skills are helpful in conferences, legal proceedings, medical appointments, and business meetings.

International Business

Many companies seek employees who speak Spanish to facilitate business dealings in Spanish-speaking countries. This includes sales, marketing, customer service, and international relations roles.

Hospitality and Tourism

The tourism industry often requires employees who can communicate with Spanish-speaking visitors. This includes hotel staff, tour guides, travel agents, and customer service representatives.


Your skills are important in several government agencies, such as immigration, law enforcement, and intelligence. In fact, a degree in Spanish is one of the top majors pursued by students who want to work in these agencies. 

Tuition Paying Tips and Financial Aid Opportunities

The average annual tuition for a Spanish undergraduate degree is $7,170. This amount excludes other costs like campus fees, textbooks, insurance, and personal expenses. On average, bachelor’s degree students spend $36,436.

College education is expensive. Yet, there are several ways to make it more manageable. 

  1. Choose in-state tuition. In-state tuition is cheaper than out-of-state schools. 
  2. Consider state reciprocity programs. If your in-state college doesn’t offer a Spanish major, consider this option. These programs typically apply to neighboring states or states within a specific region. It allows you to pay in-state tuition. Check with the NASFAA.
  3. Pursue online programs. This option offers a more affordable and flexible educational journey. You won’t have to worry about relocation, transportation, housing, and meal plans. 
  4. File the FAFSA early. Early applicants often qualify for more financial aid aid. 
  5. Research external aid. Several private organizations offer scholarships, grants, and other aid. Some are merit-based, and others are need-based. Some scholarships select winners through raffle draws. 
  6. Seek employer tuition assistance or reimbursement. This applies if you’re currently employed in an organization or business with a globalized target market. Many employers provide financial support for their employees’ educational pursuits. 
  7. Negotiate with colleges for tuition discounts. If you’ve been accepted into several reputable organizations, you can actually negotiate with the college. Some colleges may be willing to offer you a better financial aid package to incentivize your enrollment.
  8. Consider Work-Study Program. Some schools offer part-time, on-campus employment for students in financial need. This option provides income to cover educational expenses and practical work experience to enhance resumes.

Advantages of Pursuing a Spanish Degree

Having a Spanish degree is about more than just learning another language. It’s also about learning to embrace new cultures and understanding diverse perspectives. Proficiency in the world’s third-most spoken language significantly broadens your career and network opportunities.

You’ll have access to job opportunities others might not even consider. You will be in demand in various globalized industries, including tourism, international trade, and government agencies. You have double the opportunity of other graduates because you can actually apply to other Spanish-speaking countries.


A Spanish degree offers significant advantages over learning Spanish in individual online courses. A degree offers a comprehensive and structured approach to language learning. In addition to vocabulary and grammar, you’ll develop invaluable cultural competence. 

The cost of a college education might be holding you back. However, with proper financial planning, higher education can be easily accessible. Consider the financial tips we’ve offered, or speak with a financial aid counselor to have a tailored plan that suits your financial situation.