Are you curious about our most crucially human attribute, language? Does a subject which straddles the divide between arts and sciences appeal to you? Then the course in linguistics may be for you.
The main requirement for studying linguistics is a lively curiosity about the nature of language. It may be that you've been struck by a language that puts its verbs in a different position in the sentence; or wondered why languages change (making Chaucer hard to understand, for instance); or been puzzled that automatic speech recognition software gets a perfectly clear word wrong; or realised that an utterance such as 'It's cold in here' may mean more than the words (understood: 'Do close the window!'); or been excited to learn that languages as diverse as Welsh and Hindi have a common ancestor. Basically, if you've found yourself asking 'Why?' or 'How?' in relation to language, linguistics is for you.
Linguistics graduates, like other humanities graduates, find employment in a wide range of professions. The fact that linguistics provides a broad interdisciplinary training, developing the ability to analyse quantitative data, construct abstract (grammatical) models, and test alternative hypotheses, means that linguistics graduates emerge with the kind of transferable intellectual skills that are highly sought after by employers.
Careers for which linguistics provides a particularly good specific preparation for vocational training include speech therapy, teaching (especially of languages), speech and language technology (developing and improving computer-based applications such as speech recognition and translation software), and even forensic linguistics (in cases where authorship or voice identity may be at issue). Familiarity with the range and essence of human languages is a huge advantage in careers where rapid learning of unfamiliar languages may be involved, such as the Diplomatic Service.