People know when they need to hire a dentist or an accountant, but they rarely know when they need to hire a linguist. This talk focuses on the professional opportunities available to people with traditional linguistics and computational linguistics training, from undergraduate to graduate degrees. Laura Walsh Dickey shares her experience transitioning from academia to industry. As part of the talk, she discusses specific problems she’s worked on and the kinds of interesting challenges that linguists might find themselves working on in industry. She talks about how to spot jobs that might be appropriate for linguists and gives practical tips about finding them, applying for them, and deciding what’s right for you.
Laura Walsh Dickey is a Program Manager at Google, focusing on machine learning and language technology. She joined Google in 2013 with a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and 25 years of experience in academia, consulting, and industry. Her research at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Northwestern University focused on the phonology of liquid consonants, speech perception, and speech production. Her forays into the consulting world opened up a new area of linguistic problems which needed to be solved, from drug name confusability to teaching foreign language pronunciation to understanding what people mean when they type in that Google search box.