BYU Localization Fair

I attended a remarkable event last week. An event that, at least to me, marks a major shift in thinking about localization in my area of the world. Brigham Young University hosted a localization fair with the purpose of introducing humanities faculty and students to the idea of careers in localization.

Attendees

Students, faculty, and local professionals all attended the fair. I was pleased to meet the following and many more:
These great people, as well as myself and a few others, briefly presented overviews of careers and opportunities in localization to students and faculty. It was a good smattering of job descriptions, from translator to engineer to PM to program manager. Both localization providers and buyers were represented. 

Observations

Brigham Young University (my alma mater) seems remarkably well suited to introduce localization as an area of study. Its students hail from 110 countries, and over 70 percent of students speak a second language. 55 languages are taught at BYU regularly with an additional 30 languages available according to student interest. That interest is quite high--one third of the student body is enrolled in a language class. (Source: Y Facts)

It makes sense that with such a love of languages, the student body would be eager to learn how they might put their linguistic skills to use and make a living. And with a fantastic business school and a good computer science department, BYU has everything it needs to combine business, technology, and linguistics in a way that could produce students who are extremely well-equipped to enter the localization field. 

Based on the reactions I saw from students, I think there is a budding interest in the idea, and faculty had a lot of questions about opportunities to research and publish (naturally), which Allen Melby addressed quite nicely.

Hopes

To be honest, I'd love to see some kind of degree or certificate in localization available from BYU. I think it would compliment the skill set of the student body and be a great boon to the burgeoning tech industry in Utah.

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