Localisation – a growth area and a career opportunity

localisation graphicAt a time when it is critical to know where the jobs are, there has been a lot of advice about the benefits of languages and IT skills. But have you thought about combining the two?

‘Localisation’ is a career area that may not be that well known at present. The Centre for Next Generation Localisation, an academia-industry research consortium based at Dublin City University, aims to change that. They have just launched a localisation careers guide aimed at getting students to consider this career path.

Localisation is the process of adapting digital products, services and content for foreign markets, and is increasingly needed in many industries, including software, games, financial services and medical devices. And it needs people with both technical and linguistic knowledge.
At the launch this week, it was pointed out that localisation is a growth area for Ireland. Many of the world’s largest software and web companies co-ordinate their localisation activities here, and the industry already employs 16,000 people.

It’s an intriguing sounding career: games localisation, for example, can cover everything from changing the footballer on the packaging to checking a dance game for moves that might be offensive in some cultures.

The people interviewed for the careers guide have a range of academic backgrounds, including translation and software development – which you might expect – and physics and literature – which you might not.

Because localisation jobs involve language, linguistics, computing, business and culture, a qualification in any of these disciplines is a possible route to this career. If you have a combination of skills you’ll have an advantage, so it could be worth doing a Masters in a complementary subject – for example in business or IT if you have a degree in languages (or vice versa). There are also a small number of specialist Masters courses in Ireland that are dedicated specifically to localisation.

To find out more, download the careers guide at the Centre for Next Generation Localisation’s careers page.

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