Why Learn German?

What can I do with a major or minor in German?
The answer is: anything!

Students decide to start taking German for many different reasons: some have an interest in music, philosophy, art, or history. Some already know Spanish or French and want to try something new. Others have a friend or relative from a German-speaking country, or they want to study abroad or travel in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. Some students want to know more about European politics or about international relations. Although there are many ways students land in our classrooms, they usually decide to stay because of our exciting courses that bring together language learning and culture. Through your German classes you will learn much more than the language.

Our German majors and minors go on to a wide range of different careers. They all say that their German classes and their study abroad experiences were life-changing.

Here are some of the most compelling reasons why college students choose to study German:

  • German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union
  • After English, German is the second language most commonly used in scientific terms
  • German is proven to boost your future salary: there is increased demand for German speakers internationally
  • German is a dominant language in fields like business, history, literature, philosophy, music, and theology
  • Especially after “Brexit,” Germany is playing the leading role in European politics today
  • Germany is one of the most important trade partners of the United States (and Michigan in particular!)
  • “Made in Germany” stands for quality in many niche product markets Germany is a country of innovation and invention: Germany ranks 3rd in the world for patent applications German, Austria, and Switzerland are leaders in science and engineering: they are leaders in Nobel Prizes and scientific breakthroughs
  • Many graduate schools recommend or require knowledge of the German language
  • Our alumni have gone on to a range of successful careers!

Articles on learning German