Global EconomyThe way people do business today has changed. Due to a flattening of the world and the ever increasing need to be able to do business across borders foreign languages are becoming an integral part of education and job readiness.

Did you know?
1. Three in four Human Resource Executives cited study abroad as important when evaluating the resume of a job candidate.
2. Colleges look for both a well-rounded, balanced student and that ‘standout’ special gift, skill, or talent, such as language proficiency gained from studying abroad.
3. International volunteer work is highly regarded in graduate school applicants and is often favorable in the eyes of prospective employers.
4. Internships abroad are an excellent option for graduates and undergraduates. They provide the training needed to succeed in a career, as well as practical experience critical in qualifying for gainful employment.
5. Learning a language and studying abroad can save thousands of dollars in tuition and lead to graduating faster. *
6. Employers say that knowledge of a 2nd or 3rd language is crucial in today’s competitive job marketplace.
7. Students are finding that taking a gap year between high school and college to study or work abroad can increase their opportunities, both in education and employment.

How are you staying competitive?

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5 Responses to A Foreign Language is Key to Employment Success

  1. John B says:

    I definitely agree that overseas experience and foreign language ability are important, but these days I’m seeing a lot of people trying to rely on them exclusively, in absence of other real skills. This, save for a narrow range of directly language-related jobs, is a mistake, as you end up competing with native speakers of those languages that have more non-language skills than you. If the language you’re speaking happens to be from a country with a large, well-educated, but relatively poor labor pool (my second language is Mandarin, so this certainly applies to me!), you’ll be hard-pressed to get a job for the salary you might be expecting.

    Of course, that’s not to dissuade people from learning a second (or third, or fourth!) language, but simply to do it as part of a package, and not to see it as a magic bullet.

  2. Great point John. I don’t think any one skill is the magic potion for job success. Always take the time to create a balanced portfolio of experiences to make yourself more marketable. Thanks for joining the conversation John! How did you learn Mandarin?

  3. Carl Higgins says:

    Language skills are often overlooked I believe because, as Americans, we still live with the paradigm of “everyone speaks english”. Being bilingual and a global citizen, I’ve learned through twenty four years of international marketing and sales, that language skills are often viewed as words, phrases and nothing more. What is misunderstood is the ability to connect to a culture in a deeper, more meaningful way when bilingual. The meaning behind the phrases is so critical to negotiating effectively. I’ve found my acceptence into cultures where I’ve [at least] tried to learn some of the local dialect paid enormous dividends in the end in building relationships, trust and business.

    • I couldn’t agree more Carl, you can learn a lot about a culture through the language. For example, formality and status are very relevant in many other languages. Thank you for your comment!

  4. employment says:

    Language are really important in working overseas and you have a great though jhon. :)

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