Careers and employability

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Through your East Asian studies degree you'll gain the skills, experience and a breadth of understanding which a wide range of employers increasingly find both interesting and valuable.

Leeds graduates have an excellent reputation and Leeds is the 6th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2023).

What do East Asian studies graduates do?

Graduates from our asia pacific studies, chinese, japanese and thai studies courses have gone onto a wide range of careers including:

  • interpreting
  • translating
  • journalism
  • tourism
  • administration
  • international banking
  • marketing
  • business
  • logistics
  • law
  • academic research
  • media
  • civil and diplomatic services
  • The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme — the Japanese government's scheme for recruiting graduates for teaching and international relations positions.

Others have pursued language-based careers such as translating or interpreting, or pursued further training in this area through a postgraduate course. Some have chosen to further their knowledge and expertise in a language or culture by studying an MA by Research, as preparation for a PhD or a chosen career.

Study abroad

By studying abroad you'll gain valuable experiences and skills to help you in the graduate job market. The pages below will give you more information about our language specific residence abroad years:

Work experience

Some of our courses allow you to choose a work placement year as part of your degree so that you can gain first-hand experience in the workplace.

Other opportunities include summer internships, part-time work and volunteering with charities and student societies to gain valuable experience. 

What careers support will I have?

You’ll benefit from bespoke support and opportunities in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and have access to the activities and expertise of the award-winning University Careers Centre.

School support

Workshops and events are organised for you by the School throughout the year and focus on networking, understanding the value of your language skills, hearing from alumni about their career experiences and hosting graduate recruiters who want to hire you.

We’ll also keep you informed of work and voluntary opportunities that you can fit around your studies.

University support

Our experts in the University’s Careers Centre will support you to make informed decisions about your career path, help you to understand the opportunities available and take you through the steps you need to take to pursue your choices. You’ll be encouraged to attend on-campus events including graduate recruitment fairs, employer networking and information sessions, and meetings with our alumni.  

The University of Leeds has an excellent reputation with employers both in the UK and abroad. It is currently ranked in the top 10 in the UK for targeting by the largest number of top employers (The Graduate Market in 2020).

There's also a wealth of careers and employability support available across the wider University, including:

Work experience as you study

You can work during the University holidays or part-time during the year to gain valuable experience. The University offers a range of exclusive short-term internships with a range of employers and there are often opportunities on campus too. 

Volunteering is another way to develop valuable skills alongside your language degree. At Leeds there are plenty of chances to get involved, such as being on the comittee for your halls of residence, working on a Leeds University Union community project and volunteering for a charity in the Leeds vicinity.