Top 5 reasons being bilingual sets you apart in any career field
by UTEP Connect
In many parts of the world, speaking more than one language isn’t just common, it’s assumed. In fact, over 50% of the world’s population speaks a minimum of two languages. Although monolingualism is the norm in the United States, the demand for bilingual and multilingual employees is exploding. The number of online job postings targeted toward bilingual workers more than doubled nationwide between 2006 and 2015, rising by an astounding 162%!
Are you bilingual or thinking about learning another language? Here are five reasons your language skills may make you more competitive in the workforce.
1. You have access to more than one culture’s ideas and points of view.
In the U.S., the demand for bilingual and multilingual employees can be traced to a boom in the country’s Hispanic market. Currently, more than 82% of the U.S. Hispanic population speaks Spanish, and members of this group are more likely to be loyal to companies that offer the option to communicate in Spanish. By 2060, it is projected that Hispanic individuals will make up almost 30% of the national population.
Studies have shown that the language one speaks directly influences thought processes and frame of mind—the more languages you speak, the more points of view you can access and understand. In addition to simply being able to communicate in more than one language, a bilingual or multilingual employee will often be better at understanding cultural points of view and talking to consumers/customers/prospects about things that matter to them. This makes dual English- and Spanish-speakers an incredibly valuable asset to companies across many verticals that are looking to increase revenue and expand into new markets.
2. You can communicate with a larger number of people.
Your language skills can make it possible for your company to reach people in new and previously untapped markets and provide more services to customers. To put it simply, more reach can translate to more money. Talk about a marketable skill.
3. Bilingual and multilingual people have been shown to be better communicators.
Bilingual brains are used to understanding ideas and values in more than one language. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that studies have shown bilingual students are not only better learners but also more effective communicators. In an age when communication happens every day on a global level, the ability to interact effectively and efficiently in more than one language is advantageous to companies in any field.
4. You are in demand in a variety of fields.
With globalization moving at a rapid pace thanks to numerous advances in technology, being bilingual gives you a competitive edge. This is increasingly true in fields like hospitality, healthcare, IT, customer service and communications.
5. You are automatically ahead of the pack.
While exact numbers vary, it is estimated that only about 20% to 35% of the U.S. population is bilingual. This gives bilingual employees a substantial advantage over the rest of the competing workforce. Particularly in a difficult job market, this kind of advantage can make all the difference in terms of landing your dream job or having to settle.
How UTEP can help
UTEP Connect currently offers a selection of online degrees that can help you get ahead:
- Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies: One of the newest additions to the UTEP Connect family is our BA in Chicano Studies. This immersive program, which educates students on the rich history of the Mexican-origin population of the U.S., features a multi- and interdisciplinary framework and serves as a useful complement to other degree specializations in areas such as criminal justice, social work, healthcare and public administration.
- Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies: For students not entirely sure which career path they’d like to take, our Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies degree features a wide range of concentrations that can be paired with language skills for a customized education experience. Areas of interest include the humanities, the social sciences and wellness.
- Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Bilingual Education: Our Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program with a concentration in bilingual education positions graduates to become educators who are well versed in the intricacies associated with the bilingual classroom. A demand for teachers who not only speak more than one language but also understand the corresponding culture is growing nationwide.
UTEP Connect’s degree programs are offered 100% online, which is perfect for working professionals who want the same level of education they’d get in a classroom but cannot fit trips to campus into their busy lifestyles. Access classes, coursework, peers and professors online when it makes sense for you.
Ready to learn more? Come see how we’ve been providing excellent education for over 100 years.