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Online Master’s Degree in Spanish

More than 328 million people in the world speak Spanish, according to Ethnologue, making it No. 2 in the world in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. In addition to a wealth of speakers, the language also has a long tradition as a written word, with a literary history spanning centuries and countries, from Cervantes’ Don Quixote to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Programs at the graduate level can allow for advanced study of the nuances of the language, how to effectively teach it, or a critical examination of Spanish-language literature. Given the advanced nature of the degree, these programs are not geared toward Spanish beginners but toward those who have advanced proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing the language. How long an online masters degree in Spanish takes to complete will depend on the exact nature of the program and whether it’s part time or full time.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Spanish

Not all online masters degree programs in Spanish are the same. One track may be tailored toward teaching, another literature, or even both. The exact classes you take will be based on that track. Generally, though, a masters degree in Spanish will study the language, culture, linguistics, translation, and interpretation of Spanish; they are immersed in the language to enhance academic fluency, as well as to fully know the language and its historical and geographical contexts. Students may also learn tools in teaching Spanish or achieving literary scholarship in areas such as Latin American literature or 19th century Spanish literature. Classes you may take during a masters degree in Spanish include:

  • Teaching Spanish
  • Don Quixote
  • Contemporary Spanish Culture and Civilization
  • Hispanic Culture through Film and Media
  • Studies in Hispanic Linguistics

An online masters degree program in Spanish may also a study aboard experience in a Spanish-speaking country. Some tracks may also require a thesis, though this option is more likely for students working toward a Ph.D. and would require a comprehensive examination and a written thesis in a highly specific research area. Non-thesis master’s degree tracks are often the terminal degree for those pursuing careers in secondary schools or non-academic employment.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Spanish

Given the prevalence of the language, a master’s degree in Spanish can be applied towards a variety of positions, including such areas as business, government, translation, tourism, and public health. A common area, as evidenced by the focus of most Spanish programs, is education or academia. A master’s in Spanish would not only provide the necessary teaching skills and language immersion necessary to effectively teach, it may be required to gain teaching positions. Education requirements vary by state, though a master’s degree may be necessary for positions in secondary schools. At the postsecondary level, the doctorate is often the terminal degree, so a master’s in Spanish would be a necessary stepping stone toward that degree.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of high school and postsecondary teachers is expected to grow through 2020. Job prospects are more encouraging for postsecondary teachers, with employment expected to grow by 17% as enrollment at postsecondary institutions at all levels continues to rise and a number of teachers are expected to retire. Employment at the high school level, meanwhile, is only expected to go by 7%, which is slower than the average for all occupations. This growth is influenced by the decline in student-to-teacher ratios, increases in enrollment, and the anticipated retirement of older teachers, which would create job openings for new teachers.

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