Making sure you are ahead of the game in the job market can mean a number of things. Perhaps you decide to take your resume to a professional resume writer to make sure you are presenting the best you possible. Maybe you decide to take Spark News’ advice and sign up for a certificate course to broaden your skill set. You may even possibly find new and creative ways to get your resume into the hands of employers. You can make all of these moves to get yourself ahead or you could have simply paid more attention to your Spanish professor in college.
That’s right. Being a bilingual speaker, in particular one who speaks both English and Spanish, can give you a handful of benefits in the job market- for both the employed and the unemployed. According to Salary.com, bilingual employees can earn 5 to 20 percent more per hour than those who aren’t bilingual. Furthermore, as the Spanish-speaking population continues to rise in the United States, the demand for bilingual speakers in the corporate world will also increase. Companies will want to directly advertise to this booming market and will need to hire employees that can directly communicate with this target market.
Knowing this, many undergraduate college students have already taken steps to make sure they are ahead of the game and studying another language. Tyler Roberts, a freshman at Western Michigan University-Grand Rapids, knows that being bilingual is a marketable skill. “It could really help you get jobs over other people,” he said. “It gives you an edge over someone that doesn’t know a foreign language, and allows you to be available to more customers and help you out business-wise.” While Spanish is certainly the most popular second-language choice in the United States, it’s definitely not the only one. Russian, Polish and many other languages can be highly marketable depending on your geographical location.
Simply being able to read, write and speak in another language sets you in another category of job seeker all together. To get another leg-up on the competition, studying and understanding not just another language but another culture can boost your chances of finding a job significantly. Especially in industries such as sales, marketing, healthcare and community services, understanding another culture can bridge large gaps in communication, which is always an advantageous skill to posses as a job seeker and employee. If you find that most of the jobs in your industry are asking for bilingual speakers, consider taking a language course at your community college or look into the Rosetta Stone. It may come at an initial cost, but the outcome will most likely outweigh the cost in the end.