Career opportunities in the localization industry

Written by: Magnon Sancus Punjabi Team

A look at the localization industry

There was a time when the world was confined in its own space. Every country, every city, traded only within its borders. Doing business in other countries, traveling was a dream for many. Then a wave of globalization arose and everything changed. Trade between the countries increased, tourism increased and so did communication between the people. To make this communication effective, English emerged as a global language, which proved to be quite effective, but gradually corporates and businesses began to realize that if we want to reach the heart of every country and to catch the pulse of native people, then we should start talking with them in their own language. That’s when the localization industry was born. People started talking about localization in the 1980s and then gradually it became a holistic industry and today it has become a necessity that no business, no corporate can ignore. Despite being established as a huge industry, very few people are aware of it and most people do not see it as a profession. Today we will talk about the employment opportunities available in the localization industry, how to join this industry, what kind of businesses and corporates people looking for a career in localization can join and what are the benefits of making a career in localization.

Localization as a profession

Here we will talk about some of the roles associated with the localization industry that you can pursue as a profession:

Translator / Editor: This is the most basic and important role. In this role, you localize documents, websites, apps, etc. from one language to another. For this you should know both the source and the target language, but the target language should be your native language. Its main qualifications include a diploma or degree in translation, a degree in language or some experience in translation / editing. Most companies take examinations to test your language skills.

Language Lead: A company that has many translators of a language hires a language lead to guide them. One language leader for each language team who leads all localization work for that language. The person eligible for this role should have long and good experience of translating and editing that language.

Project Coordinator: The project coordinator uses translation management tools, solves issues with ongoing projects, communicates regularly with the translation team, and prepares for new projects. The project coordinator acts as a link between the translation team and the project manager. To be eligible for this role, you must have a master’s degree in a language or translation, long term and good experience in translation/editing, or management experience in another industry.

Project Manager: The project manager supervises the project coordinators and translators team, communicates with external vendors, monitors the workflow and implements various tools. Its primary responsibility is final and continuous delivery of projects. Project managers usually manage projects, processes, and activities, not the people. Qualifications for this role include many years of experience as a project coordinator, PMP Certification (Project Management Professional) and Degree in Business Management.

Program Manager: Program managers manage a team of project managers, review performance, and determine the overall localization strategy. Program managers interact with companies’ cross-functional teams, such as engineering, marketing, customer service, and QA, to ensure the implementation of localization strategies throughout the company. Qualifications for Program Manager includes, 3 to 5 years of experience as Project Manager, CAT Tools, Good knowledge and ability to strategize, implement and motivate a diverse team.

We’ve talked about a few job titles related to the localization industry above, but there are many more jobs in the localization industry that need to be explored further.

Areas of employment

Localization is the need of the hour which is getting adopted by each sector for different purposes. Listed below are some of the key areas that can provide you with employment opportunities in localization.

Advertising: This is an evergreen field which has been evolving from time to time. Any product, service have to rely on it to reach people, and if that message is delivered in their own language, it becomes ‘icing on the cake’. Therefore, this industry offers ample employment opportunities for localization professionals.

Legal: Every state in India has its own official language and therefore the official documents of the people of that state are made in their respective local language only. But sometimes they need to be translated for a lot of legal reasons, so this sector also offers a lot of employment opportunities in localization.

Medical: Medical is a field that is constantly changing, every day some new technology, treatment etc. is invented and it can make the life of every human being in the world better. These treatments and new technologies sometimes require lengthy studies, in which the participation of people from different countries makes it even more effective and it is very important to know the language of each person in order to get the required feedback. So this is another area where localization is very useful.

In addition to the areas of localization discussed above, there are many other areas and professions that have employment opportunities associated with localization. These need to be approached from the perspective of localization.

Salary and other benefits

This is a very important aspect as it is one of the most important factors which everyone takes into consideration while choosing a profession or employment. You can make your career in localization via many modes and each mode has its own benefits and income. We are listing out few modes here:

Freelance or work from home: Many companies offer you freelance work or work from home without hiring you as a permanent employee. You are paid according to the work you do. There is no need to go to the office and you don’t have to work any fixed hours, you can work as you wish. In this mode, you are paid as per the number of words you translate or number of hours you work.

Contract: In this case, the company hires you as a contractor and not as a permanent employee. Under this you must work a few fixed hours a week for that company and you are paid according to those hours.

Permanent staff: In this case, a company hires you as a permanent employee and you get a monthly salary for working. In addition, other benefits like PF, medical insurance, etc. are also given to you.

By looking at above mentioned points, we can conclude that localization is a fast growing industry and starting your career in it can open up a huge box of possibilities for you.

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