#AskTheExperts - New and Essential Skills for a Localization Career (2)

A new instalment of #AskTheExperts, a GALA blog series where we ask translation industry experts inside and outside the GALA community for their insights and advice on managing business processes and digital transformation. Do you have a burning or knotty question? Send it to us and we’ll ask our experts.

Today we ask our experts to answer the following question:

What are the essential skills that are still needed in the translation and localization industry? And what are the new skills that should be included in a translation/localization curriculum?

This time here's what a new expert has to say.

Autumn Smith, incoming Localization Program Manager at Facebook

"In my opinion, the key skills needed to make this happen are problem-solving and critical analysis. The work that we do requires us to step into the shoes of our stakeholders whether that be our clients, our vendors, or the engineers creating products. Succeeding requires the ability to manifest solutions that address concerns from parties with conflicting interests. It also requires the ability to back up these solutions with industry knowledge, case studies, and increasingly, by utilizing concrete data. You can have the knowledge, you can know the tools, you can be aware of the standards, but none of this matters unless you know how to use them in tough situations. A translation and localization curriculum must position students to be able to interact with professionals of all backgrounds as trusted and trained experts on localization from Day 1.

As our industry continues to mature, I believe we should also be training ourselves in UI/UX design, product management, and market analysis as part of the core curriculum. I believe that in the future, localization professionals will increasingly be stepping into the role of product manager and owning the product completely for a particular market. If we are ever going to gain the respect, we seek in the industry we need to be seen not just as advisors but as decision-makers for the product in that market."

Stay tuned for more experts' opinions.

If you're interested in collaborating and helping prepare students and young professionals for successful careers in the global language industry, we invite you to sign up for the Global Talent Special Interest Group. This SIG serves as a mutually beneficial ecosystem for industry professionals, academic administrators and instructors, and students to share knowledge, best practices, and the changing industry requirements.

For an overview about a career in localization, visit the GALA Knowledge Center.