Linguist Forum

Specializations => Computational Linguistics => Topic started by: zorro on August 24, 2016, 08:46:09 AM

Title: Way to get into computational linguistics
Post by: zorro on August 24, 2016, 08:46:09 AM
Hi everyone,

I have a question related to a career as a computational linguist. 

I have a background in linguistics and a few computer skills (I have a degree in Linguistics applied to language learning and I have worked as a linguist on tasks devoted to revision of grammars and scripts, which gave me the opportunity to learn XML, and a basic knowledge of regular expressions). But I can not be really independent at the moment in this kind of job. 

Do you know if it is handful in these conditions to get into a master in computational linguistics if I want to continue to work in this field or is a programming course in an independent school good enough to be able to  process the tasks related to the job of a computational linguist?

Thanks in advance
Title: Re: Way to get into computational linguistics
Post by: Daniel on August 24, 2016, 09:28:21 AM
Typically a degree in linguistics (including with a computational focus) will not teach you the technical skills you need to do computational linguistics. Most people who do that already have the background or get it on their own. There may be some programs that do teach this, but not all do. So you might need to get a degree in computer science first, or learn it on your own, and then possibly also get an MA or PhD in (computational) linguistics. It depends on exactly what you're going for. If you want a job, you probably only need the relevant computer skills. If you want to be a professor of (computational) linguistics, you'll need a PhD in linguistics.

Note that there are different kinds of jobs in "computational linguistics"-- some are for linguists who know a little about programming and can work with programmers. But most are for programmers who know a little (or a lot) about linguistics.

Some programs are moving in the direction of teaching more about computational skills, such as adding combined bachelor's programs that have both computer science and linguistics, but you may still need to pursue one or the other at a higher level to get certain jobs.
Title: Re: Way to get into computational linguistics
Post by: zorro on August 24, 2016, 02:56:21 PM
The kind of job I might get into would be more for a linguist with programming skills.
So a master or a training in programming would be fine in these conditions.

Thanks for your answer