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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > French


Description of Major
The French discipline is designed to teach skills necessary for communicating with a variety of French-speaking peoples and to introduce their rich cultures, including their ideas, institutions, and writings, past and present. It invites student to look at the impact these cultures have had on Western civilization and to examine all of them critically.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM French faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying French are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- applying data
- taking risks
- initiating projects or ideas
- identifying alternative courses of action
- managing time, energy and resources
- understanding the feelings of others
- conceptualizing
- organizing
- analyzing
- making and keeping a schedule
- using tact, diplomacy, discretion
- identifying the critical issues and making
decisions quickly and accurately


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- persuading others to accept ideas
- speaking effectively to another individual
- speaking effectively to groups
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- translating written material
- using creative writing techniques
- expressing one's wants, needs, opinions
and preferences without violating the rights of others
- identifying and communication value
judgments effectively
- ability to articulate
- written linguistic skills in foreign
- ability to hear and answer questions
- writing effectively
- using argumentation techniques to
persuade others
- writing factual material clearly and
- critiquing, editing, proofreading
- expressing one's feeling appropriately
- verbal linguistic skills in foreign
- verbal linguistic skills in foreign
- briefing
- explaining
- advising
- informing
- instruction
- discussion group leadership
- group dynamics
- teaching a skill, concept or principle to


Research/Analytical Skills:
- sorting data and objects
- cataloging information
- understanding and using organizing
- developing new approaches to problems
- conducting surveys and interviews
- organizing and classifying
- breaking down principles into parts
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extracting essence
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- applying appropriate methods to test
the validity of data
- formulating questions to clarify a
particular problem or issue
- compiling and selecting information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- gathering information
- using a variety of sources of information
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- reading editing
- identifying information sources
appropriate to special needs or problems
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas from several perspectives


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- creative writing
- sensitivity of and appreciation of beauty
in the environment
-aware of the value of symbolism
- dealing creatively with symbols or
- skill in symbol formation


Jobs Obtained by UMM French Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. About 54% of the French graduates from 1964 -1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM French graduates:

Accounts Payable Clerk
Business Manager
Commercial/Residential Landlord
Customer Service Manager
Database Programmer
Early Childhood Family Educator
Facilities Planning and Management Director
Fundraising Administrator
Human Resource Director
Human Resource Specialist
Legal Editor
Marketing Staff
Math Teacher
Physician Assistant
Postal Clerk
Program Manager
Purchasing Agent
Registered Nurse
Tour Guide
Trainer and Administrative Manager


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one's general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Foreign Languages (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in French
Links to French Jobs
FSU Match Major Sheets