Looking for ways to become more valuable to current and potential employers? Learning a language or brushing up your skills in an existing one can be a powerful way to jumpstart new career opportunities.
Opportunities both internationally and in the U.S.
People who speak more than one language can be an asset to businesses who work internationally. If a company has offices or clients in non-English speaking countries, you can play many roles in communicating with those clients, ranging from phone conversations to preparing products and materials whose instructions and marketing need to be in the relevant language. Eighty-eight percent of recruiters say foreign language ability is important to international business success.
Being bilingual can also be an advantage for organizations that do significant business with people in the U.S. whose primary language is not English. In increasingly large areas of the U.S., languages such as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and other languages are spoken by significant numbers of people. Government organizations and hospitals, for example, often have opportunities for customer service people, translators, and other public-facing positions for people fluent in these languages.
Not only does being fluent in a language other than English increase your value to a company and potentially open up positions, it can lead to being paid more. Being bilingual is a specialized skill that can command a premium in the marketplace.
If you’re going to learn a new language to improve your job prospects, which ones should you learn?
Spanish is by far the most important foreign language cited by businesses. Seventy-nine percent of recruiters say it is the most in-demand language in companies. Twenty percent say that Mandarin Chinese is important.
However, the in-demand language can vary by region and country. Many cities, for example, have large numbers of immigrants from other countries. If your city does, it may be worth exploring whether businesses and organizations that serve those immigrants need people fluent in the language.
Many businesses may specialize in trade with certain countries. It’s a good idea to research businesses with international businesses or search for job postings that call for language ability.
Contact a Staffing Firm Today
Thinking about a new job? A staffing agency can help. We offer job postings and advice on how to look. We’re happy to help. Contact us today.