Practically any job can involve languages, and whatever your career path a language is often an added bonus in addition to your other skills.
In our shrinking world where businesses in all sectors and of all sizes operate in global markets, employers aim to recruit people with language skills. Businesses need to understand their international customers’ needs, aims and motivations to work successfully in a global world. This is where their employees’ language skills, together with the intercultural skills acquired whilst studying a language, are invaluable.
Even a little language can make a lot of difference. Although fluency will give you more options, basic ability in a language is much in demand. A few phrases at visits or in a meeting can break the ice with foreign customers.
A buzz word in recruitment is communication. Studying a language clearly makes you a communicator, orally and in writing, and so greatly enhances your employability.
There are also many personal benefits in being able to speak other languages. Not only are language skills often the key to progression on the career ladder, according to recruitment agencies, salaries for those who use languages at work can be anything from 8% to 20% higher than in comparable jobs without languages, depending on how central languages are to the role. In addition language skills open up opportunities for travel or placements abroad.
According to OneNorthEast’s Language Skills Capacity Audit undertaken in 2000, companies in the North East are losing business in international markets through lack of language skills and intercultural understanding
- 1 in 5 is aware of losing business as a result of a lack of language skills;
- 1 in 5 is aware of cultural barriers;
- Almost 1in 2 has encountered language barriers.
So learning a language not only makes sense for you personally, but it makes good business sense too.
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