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By Nsim Team
Computational linguists develop computer systems that deal with human language. They apply their training in computer science and linguistics to develop computer applications which facility communication between computers and humans by performing tasks such as speech recognition (e.g., Siri), speech synthesis, machine translation (e.g., Google Translate), grammar checking, text mining, and many others.
If you want to become a computational linguist, you will typically need to have a master’s or doctoral degree in a field related to computer science, or a bachelor’s degree combined with work experience developing natural language software in a commercial environment.
Due to the variety of skills and knowledge you will need to have for this career, you will need to develop a knowledge base in linguistics (specifically coursework that deals with syntax, semantics, phonetics and other structural aspects of language), mathematics, natural language processing and computer or software programming. Pursuing coursework in these areas will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in a career as a computational linguist.
In order to become successful in a career as a computational linguist, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will not only allow you to perform your job duties with competence; they will allow you to effectively deal with the challenges of this career.
•Knowledgeable in structural aspects of language (syntax, semantics, phonology, phonetics)
•Excellent programming skills in C++/Java including object-oriented analysis and design
•Adept at high-level algorithmic software design and low-level code optimization
•Ability to develop software from existing code, detailed specification, or general conceptual outline
•Solid knowledge of analytic techniques, statistics, mathematical modeling
•Familiarity with embedded systems hardware, ADCs, DACs, ability to read schematics
•Knowledgeable in information retrieval
•Knowledgeable in machine learning for natural language applications
•Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
•Able to analyze complex problems
•Able to concentrate for long periods of time
•Remain patient and persistent with regards to work activities
Employment of computational linguist is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increasing globalization and by large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification.
ARE YOU FIT FOR THE JOB?
If you want to become a computational linguist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a computational linguist:
Those who become computational linguists are individuals who are interested in a challenging and rewarding career in the field of artificial intelligence. They are typically individuals with an interest in the structure of language that is in equal measure to their interest in application and software development. They also have an educational background in both of these areas.
Those who become computational linguists are individuals who have the ability to visualize complex processes and solve complex problems. Computational linguistics, as with other application developers, are able to apply a great deal of concentration over a long period of time in order to complete a complicated task properly the first time.