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Bilingual Supremacy: Fact or Fiction?
For years you may have heard the mantra saying that bilingual workers have more opportunity and get paid more, but is all that talk hot air? After all, have you responded to the demand for bilingual workers by learning Spanish? If you were smart you would have responded that way. The statistics of getting a job when knowing more than one language seem to indicate that those who are limited to only one language have a tougher time finding work.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Arkyan
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A Bilingual Country
In the United States, Spanish has become accepted as a second official language. A population of more than 40 million or more legal and illegal Hispanic residents is growing at a rate nearing 5% annually, meaning that the demographics that have already changed the face of American society will continue to bring about dramatic changes in the future. All this means one thing: a huge Spanish-speaking population that seems destined to become an even larger demographic group in America within the century represents a growing economic sector that needs to do business.
After nearly two centuries where the English language reigned supreme in the U.S. and around the world, the time when Americans can comfortably go through their lifecycle using only English seems to be nearly over. Government and private employers alike know that their ability to service customers hinges on their ability to communicate, giving bilingual workers the upper hand in a tough labor market.
Whether a worker was a foreign language major in college or a native speaker of multiple languages, those who can converse in more than one language are vital to businesses that operate in the United States.
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Good Statistics of Getting a Job When Knowing More Than One Language
Although there are not a lot of studies that exhibit the statistics of getting a job when knowing more than one language, a report compiled by the University of Texas at El Paso sheds some light on the matter. The report, entitled City of El Paso: Cross Section of Bilingualism in the Workplace, reveals a number of important statistics that convey the importance of being (or becoming) a multi-lingual worker.
The demand for bi-lingual workers is highest in four occupations: sales, production, transportation, and administrative support. Other occupations such as computer programming, legal, construction, engineering, business finance, and teaching are among those with the highest statistical demand for bilingual employees. Because the demand in these occupations for multi-lingual workers is so high, those wishing to build careers in these fields will likely have more opportunities for employment and advancement if they are able to speak and read Spanish.
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Other Advantages of Being Bilingual
The potential of getting a job when knowing more than one language does not apply only for jobs within the United States. The global workforce is gradually deemphasizing English as the standard language of business and adopting the local language of customers. This means that those who are fluent in more than one language will have a better employment outlook, especially with multinational corporations. Multilingual skills become especially important when working in the United States for a foreign employer. The ability to communicate with the home office is a feature that makes
Surprisingly, some of the most important benefits for multilingual workers don't require the use of another language in the workplace. According to the State of Florida, learning a second language boosts skills in math and English and improves test scores on college entrance exams. In short, multilingual workers are more desirable to employers from the standpoint that they tend to be better workers, regardless of whether language skills are required for a position.
The statistics of getting a job when knowing more than one language are impressive. Your ability to serve customers in your country and around the world plus your ability to do better work means that everyone should consider learning another language as an essential career objective.