by LAURA JELICH – Published July 30, 2017
Thanks to our increasingly global economy, foreign language skills are not only an incredible asset in obtaining a job, but may even be deemed a necessity in certain fields. Countless sources constantly debate about which are the best and most valuable languages to learn. Some languages are valuable because they are difficult to learn and the scarcity of fluent secondary speakers makes them particularly valuable. Other languages are fueled by an especially strong connection to a certain booming industry. Still, others are simply very widely spoken making them carry weight across a large audience.
With so many beneficial tongues to choose from, the real question is which should you pick? And where should you go? Language learning is a lot of work, so you may as well choose a language and a destination that will love you back! Here are the best foreign language to learn for jobs.
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Luckily, amid all the varying opinions and research, the following five make up the consistent handful of languages that repeatedly top lists compiling those deemed most beneficial. So there is no doubt that learning any of the following five languages will boost your shot at getting HIRED.
Congratulations, if you are reading this, you already possess the nearly undisputed #1 most useful language for getting hired, English. Although English is a solid third-place-holder when it comes to native speakers – not even coming close to the forerunner, Chinese – it stands firmly in first place when it comes to the total number of speakers worldwide, roughly 1,500 million. The vast number of speakers and number of countries in which it is spoken help to make English the most widely used international language in business, tourism, and academia, and essential in connecting countless other areas of expertise across the globe.
Additionally, Dutch sociologist Abraam de Swaan classified English as one of 12 “supercentral languages” which are calculated according to how widely spoken a language is and how effectively it can serve as a link to other languages. While all five of our top languages for getting hired fall under de Swaan’s “supercentral language” list, English was furthermore dubbed the only “hypercentral language” that bonds all supercentral languages.
Unfortunately, despite its widespread use, being a monolingual English speaker simply won’t cut it when it comes to getting hired. With so many non-native English speakers out there, acquiring a second tongue is a near necessity just to measure up to the competition. So, if English is the only language you speak and/or you want to significantly increase your chances of getting hired, consider learning any of the following four most influential languages to add to your repertoire.
2. Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin is one of five major Chinese dialects, the official language of China and Taiwan, and boasts the second-highest number of total speakers worldwide. Since China is the world’s second largest economy, Chinese has been dubbed the single most important language for business, excluding English. Possessing Mandarin language abilities will not only open doors throughout Asia, but Chinese is actually required for more jobs than any other foreign language besides Spanish.
Despite its undeniable value, Chinese is only the seventh most studied language by American undergraduates, according to the Bloomberg Rankings. It is not that surprising, then, to find out that Chinese is also considered to be one of the most difficult languages for native English-speakers to learn. So while one should be prepared to put in the miles that learning Mandarin requires, it also promises to prove an impressive and unique skillset sure to catch employers’ attention.
Germany makes up Europe’s largest economy, is the second largest exporter of British goods, but German is the official language of two additional economic European powerhouse nations. Therefore, there isn’t a much better choice for those entering the worlds of international trade and investment than German. Not to mention the longstanding reputation for scientific and technological influence that German-speaking countries hold.
Though it is the only one on this list not an official U.N. language, German does have the highest median U.S. salary for jobs that require its language ability. So while learning German is generally more difficult than most other European languages, those aiming to break into the western world of work won’t find a much better edge in getting hired than adding German to their resume.
French has a long and influential history. Previously the world-dominating language (until bypassed by English) and the official language of the U.N., NATO, and the Olympic Committee, French is currently spoken in over 40 countries, including several rapidly-developing African economies. The French language is definitely not going anywhere, so Bloomberg alots it the second place spot, after Mandarin, on his list of useful languages for business (which excludes English). The most common professional positions with a demand for French language abilities include: service, sales, and education positions.
For those panicked at the prospect of studying the previous two rewarding yet especially challenging tongues, take heart! French is considered somewhat similar to English making it much easier to learn for those that can already understand this (English) article, and remains a favorite among American college students as the second most-studied foreign language.
Spanish is the fourth most spoken language by both native and non-native speakers worldwide and is the leading language of all Latin American economies. Therefore, it is a suitable choice for both international and domestic jobs on numerous continents. It is especially beneficial as a second language for those looking to hold jobs in the U.S. as evidenced by its standings as the language most-studied by U.S. undergraduate students and most in-demand by U.S. employers.
Many fields do require Spanish language abilities in order to even qualify, so if you plan on pursuing a career in healthcare, banking, or retail, learning Spanish may just prove the tipping point in getting yourself hired!
When it Comes to Learning Foreign Languages, Don’t Forget…
The tricky part with language learning is keeping it up once you no longer have the excuse to use it everyday. Upon your return home, don’t forget to continue to practice your newly acquired skills regularly during your period of job-seeking limbo. You don’t want to miss an opportunity or waste the first few weeks at your foreign-language focused position because you are shaking off the rust!
Each of these languages are incredibly influential worldwide and all will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting HIRED. However, it is still worth noting that what makes a given language important will likely in turn influence which is the most valuable for you personally. So choose a language you are not only excited to learn and fall in love with, but one that will in turn love you back by landing you your dream job!
This article was adopted from the original at the website : goabroad.com/articles/language-study-abroad/languages-to-get-hired-and-where-to-learn-them