Skip to content

Interesting modern jobs that need foreign languages proficiency

As the world’s economy becomes increasingly globalized, the demand for bilingual/multi-lingual workers more than doubled between 2010-15 according to a report in New American Economy. “In today’s global economy, businesses require employees who can serve customers in a variety of languages,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy. “This research highlights the growing need to attract and promote a multi-lingual workforce among both foreign and U.S. born talent.”

The report, ‘Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market’ pointed to the fact that employers are looking increasingly towards workers who speak multiple languages, particularly in industries involving a high degree of human interaction. It found that the fastest growing area among bilingual listings in job postings was for ‘high prestige’ jobs, a category that included financial managers and industrial engineers.

The report’s release coincided with the launch of the Lead with Languages campaign, created by a group of government, business, education and non-profit partners, a multiyear campaign to improve the nation’s language skills gap, making language learning a national priority with the goal of supporting a new generation of Americans equipped to succeed in the global economy.

So, let’s take look at a few interesting modern jobs that require second language proficiency:

Hospitality Manager in the Tourist Industry: Hotels, holiday resorts, tourist attractions are crying out for people with second language proficiency. If you’re seeking a career in hospitality or tourism, bilingualism/multilingualism will always look great on you Resume.

Information Technology: Being bilingual/multilingual in this ever-growing sector is a huge asset for workers. The tech industry in the digital age is perhaps more representative of the global marketplace than any other. The world of technology knows no international boundaries, and workers in the industry from programmers, software engineers, to customer support will all find the ability to communicate in a second language very advantageous. Interestingly, the most desirable and useful language to learn in the tech industry is Mandarin Chinese, which is perhaps not so surprising given the dominance China is achieving in the industry.

Human Resources: A 2017 report by McKinsey & Company on ethnic diversity in the workplace showed a clear link between ethnic diversity and increased profitability. Human Resources is a field where bilingual/multilingual workers are invaluable and much sought after.

International Sales: Again, linking back to the rise of the global economy, this is a field where the command of a second language is very often necessary. Employment in International Sales more often than not requires people with multi-language skills.

Healthcare professionals: Hospitals and clinics in areas with large multicultural populations are invariably going to need to be able to communicate important medical advice to patients whose first language isn’t English. Employment opportunities abound in this area for doctors, nurses, and emergency telecommunication responders who are bilingual/multilingual. And healthcare professionals who are fluent in languages can look abroad for work too.

YouTuber: Fluency or a high level of proficiency in a second language opens up a world of possibilities in this new and ever-growing sector. Perhaps you’d like to launch a YouTube channel teaching language learning on YouTube? It’s a competitive market, but with personality and fresh ideas, you too could launch your own YouTube channel. An example of how this can work is Easy German, a hugely successful YouTube channel with a million subscribers that takes a unique approach to teaching German to native English speakers through its ‘learn German in the streets’ approach.

Customer Service: Whether dealing with customer complaints or queries, invariably customer service representatives provide the first impression that customers have of a company, and we all know just how important first impressions are. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! Bilingualism/multilingualism is a tremendous asset for workers in this sector, and it won’t have passed your attention that multilingual call centres have become the norm in recent times.

Blog writer/online content creator: With so much of the world leaning on the internet to provide resources and information, blog writing, which in its infancy may have been considered a hobby, has, for many, become a full-time occupation. Similarly creating content for the hundreds of millions of sites on the web is a role much in demand. Second language proficiency in these areas are often not simply desirable but necessary.

The importance of second language proficiency cannot be understated in the ultra-competitive, modern world; and the value it offers employees in a wide range of modern jobs is inestimable. The ability to communicate effectively in languages other than your own native tongue has become a necessity across a wide section of industry, business, and commerce. As Greg Roberts, former dual-language immersion chief for the State of Utah put it: “monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st century.”

ICLS has provided language training since 1966. Our clients include individuals, government agencies such as the FBI, USAID, the Foreign Service Institute, and organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization, the IMF, and the World Bank, to name a few.  With over 80 languages to choose from, a corps of highly skilled and trained language teachers, and in-house curricula, your language learning journey is off to a great start when choosing ICLS. Explore our foreign language classes to find a program best suited to your needs. We offer both group and private language classes.

Start Your Language Adventure Today!

Let's talk!

Learn More

Contact us today to discuss your language-learning needs!