We live in a world vastly different to that of our ancestors. Not long ago, the limit of most British people's experience would have been their village and the surrounding fields. People were born, lived and died in the same place. In the 18th and 19th centuries, new technology and global discovery fuelled an entirely new way of living: huge industrial cities were filled with migrants, often working in factories that exported goods around the world. Since then, industrialisation and globalisation have continued to drive the way we do business, and in the modern world, that means language learning is vital for business people.
Learning a language opens up the world. For example, taking French courses in London can lead to jobs in Paris. Those who have language skills are able to work abroad on the same terms as a native. While many companies send staff abroad to work without requiring language skills, being able to speak the local language makes it much easier to do your job and really get to know the place where you are living (rather than relying on the expat community for a social life). Even in countries where many people speak English, being able to converse with people on their own terms helps create connections and establishes trust and respect. That, in turn, creates more business opportunities. After all, you can't make a business deal if you can't understand each other.
Opportunities with languages
There are many jobs available to those fluent in a language. Modern languages graduates are among the top graduate earners (only medicine, pharmacology and architecture graduates earn more). Speaking another language opens up a wide range of commercial and business roles, and helps provide opportunities for progression within the company. Not many language graduates work in roles directly related to their language learning (such as translation): the real opportunities lie in general business roles. Large multinational companies employ language graduates in management roles to ensure they have high-quality staff who can converse easily with their international suppliers and clients, and work in overseas offices if necessary. Those who don't have a language degree can still look to improve their employment prospects by learning a language – whether it's Chinese or German lessons, London has plenty of colleges offering flexible classes.
By Content Lobby
Submitted on 19th July, 2011