Learning a second or third language has many benefits in both your working and personal life. From mastering multitasking, to improving decision making and problem solving, language learning is a sure-fire route to personal development. And, as a bonus, it is fun and sociable along the way!
More specific benefits to your working life include improved communication skills, increased productivity and morale, and career growth.
However, looking beyond the personal and professional benefits to the language learner, which industries particularly profit from employing people who offer a second or third language as an appealing addition to their CV? In this article, we find out which industries are on the lookout for language talent.
Tourism and Hospitality
Yes, we know we are stating the obvious, but tourism is, of course, the number one industry where language skills are essential to employability. And post-pandemic, the tourism industry has well and truly bounced back and is booming once again!
The World Travel and Tourism Council claims that the travel and tourism sector contributed 7.6% to global GDP (gross domestic product) in 2022. Opportunities in tourism are hugely varied, and include being a tour guide or hotel manager, running a hotel’s spa or sports facilities, or working as waiting or bar staff. Having staff who are able to converse in the language (or languages) common to most of the guests is a huge asset for any employer. Pilots and cabin crew on flights, or staff on international ferries and trains are usually required to be bilingual to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.
In addition to the commercial side of overseas travel, speaking a second or third language is often a dealbreaker if you are looking for employees in the international aid and development sectors. Areas such as healthcare, education and disaster recovery need aid workers and volunteers who can communicate effectively with the local population. Language skills are a must for employability in certain international development sectors.
With the world developing at an unprecedented rate, engineering skills are in high demand all around the globe. More heavily developed countries need engineers to help them reduce their environmental impact in the construction, energy extraction and transport sectors. Developing countries are working to improve their infrastructure, set up renewable energy projects and invest in sustainable food production processes. So, engineers of all persuasions – electrical, mechanical, civil and environmental (to name just a few) – are highly prized. But with hundreds of applicants for each position, candidates with a second or third language on their CV can rise head and shoulders above the competition.
Banking and Finance
The world of business today is truly global, especially in the sectors of investment and finance. The banking and financial sectors are keen to recruit multilinguists because they can ensure accurate and clear communication between offices in different countries – though of course, you also need to know your onions when it comes to dealing with different currencies!
Bilingual human resources staff in the financial sector are also in high demand for rapidly expanding companies to ensure that both the businesses and their people are supported at all locations during dynamic periods of change.
Teaching and Training
Being proficient in a second or third language will certainly increase employability prospects in the areas of teaching and training, especially if there is a need to train colleagues overseas. Many people with foreign language skills make excellent teachers, and hundreds of teaching posts are available all over the world. And travel may not even be required, as so many teaching, training and tutoring services can now be provided online.
Marketing and Public Relations (PR)
If your company wants to extend its reach to global markets, knowing how to launch your product or service in the country or language of your choice is absolutely vital. We have all heard of marketing disasters due to misinterpretation, and you want to avoid humiliation at all costs. Knowledge of local slang and profanity is helpful to avoid embarrassing mistakes!
Language skills are essential for word-perfect marketing to ensure that you can communicate effectively and pack a powerful punch with your message. With a suitable level of language know-how, your company can create campaigns that appeal to consumers in the language you need. Greater cultural understanding can also help you avoid inadvertently including shameful or offensive words or gestures in your marketing and PR campaigns. Phew!
At Simon & Simon, we understand that it is not only language skills that increase employability. We offer writing and presentation skills courses, as well as cross-cultural workshops, to help you ensure seamless communication with business associates around the world. Contact us today to improve your business communication in the language you need.