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Bilinguall; any job

A lot of people have been telling me that if you can speak another language, it will be better and easier, (and quicker) for me to get a job. Is that really true? I'm 16, and I just do not care where I work. I would like to get my CDA for early child development, but I am not sure of what to do. I graduate God-willing next month or October. #spanish #bilingual


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Jared’s Answer

Generally speaking, I would say that being bilingual would help you get a job more quickly. It's not easy to get a job (any job), so I'm not sure I would say that you would find the job search experience to be significantly easier.


Of course there are many "it depends" caveats here. Some things to consider when trying to assess the extent to which being bilingual will help you:



  • Do you live someplace where there is a significant population speaking a variety of languages? If so, being bilingual may be very attractive to employers, because it expands the number of clients / customers you can serve. This is intuitive. If you live in Los Angeles it's going to be very advantageous to speak both English and Spanish. If you live in a city like Portland that language may not be as helpful in your job search.

  • How good are you at speaking each language? In the interview process you will likely be asked to demonstrate your language skills. If you're quite fluent, and can communicate in a professional manner with a range of vocabulary, that's obviously going to be more valuable than if you're a beginner with just a few years of high school language courses. Still valuable, but less so.

  • There are surely other issues to keep in mind and I'll let a few other people chime in with their advice.


One other piece of advice I want to share: You say that you're graduating in a month or two. It's very important that you begin your job search before you graduate if you can. Finding a job is not easy, and there is a lot you can learn from the volunteers on this site about how to do it well. It takes some time, with all of the resume sending and cold calling and follow up and interview scheduling and so on. Start today. Don't wait a single second longer. You can totally do it, but don't take it for granted. Every single second you don't have a job is a second you can spend getting a job! Hustle. Hustle hard!


Good luck and I'm looking forward to answering more questions from you if helpful!


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Alana’s Answer

It depends entirely on where you live, but in general, yes.


For example, in Boston, where I live, if someone is bilingual in English and any of Spanish, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole, they'll have an easier time finding work, especially if they're customer-facing. Mandarin is also useful in places. Someone who's bilingual in, say, English and German? That's very nice, but not as immediately applicable. That said, learning another language, no matter what it is, shows you have marketable skills and can apply yourself to a task and end up with results.


I'm assuming that you being 16 and graduating soon means you're in high school -- if you're planning to go to college, you can take any number of languages there or find resources to take them outside of the university. If not, there are a lot of places online you can go to teach yourself -- http://www.duolingo.com is my favourite, personally -- or find a class local to you.


Good luck!


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Christy’s Answer

Getting a job being bilingual definitely boosts your opportunities but of course the job search isn't easy either. I would recommend you do your research on the demographics of your area to see what the population is speaking in your area. It is important to have that information this way you can learn the language if you don't already know it for that particular population. Spanish seems to be the language that is growing rapidly in the US among other languages but due to close proximity to Spanish speaking countries it makes sense that this language would be on the rise fast than others. Start your search for a job before you graduate because it is not as easy and it is important to start early to set you up for success.


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Boris’s Answer

Mimi, you are certainly correct! Learning a second language will open up so many doors with endless possibilities. That being said, many college students who do opt to pick up a second language fail to effectively leverage their new skill during job interviews. If you ever interview for a sales position or position that requires you to interact with current and potential customers face-to-face, and the manager asks why you think you'd be a good fit for their vacancy, you should mention the fact that your unique ability to speak two languages enables you to communicate with a wider audience, which in turn encourages foreign-speaking customers to feel more at ease when they're in need of immediate help. Secretly, managers cannot stand it when a customer's question cannot be answered because no one in their staff can communicate with them. Thus, when you land your job, your bilingualism will also put you in a good position when the opportunity to move up in the company comes around.


I challenge you to learn Spanish, German, AND Portuguese by the end of your collegiate career. I know you've got the skills to do it,
Buenas Suerte!


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Rainer’s Answer

From my experience speaking another language is an extra qualification and can help you a lot. It also depends on the language you choose. Don't go for something too exotic unless you are planning to become top-class expert. Choose a language that is widely spoken and related to strong economies - such as Spanish, French, Portuguese or German. From the difficulty aspect Spanish should be easy enough to learn and give you some opportunities.


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Rachel’s Answer

There are very few careers that would not be enhanced by your knowledge of a foreign language. Business, law, and medicine all make use of the Spanish language frequently. If you know this language, you will have an advantage and job opportunities that others in your field may not.

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Yuval’s Answer

I think it would have to depend on what the job is, and which language. If the second language is relevant to the job, then yes, knowing it will be helpful -- just as learning any relevant skill would be, with the added benefit that a new language is a very difficult skill that can't be learned "on the job" (so knowing it coming in is a big help).


But just knowing any second language won't help in every job. I know Hebrew, but it hasn't helped me in any software engineering interviews.


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Gangeshwar’s Answer

Learning a different language would help you get the job easier way. For that you need to be graduate and also know the language. There are many languages that you opt to learn as per your interest.


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Estelle’s Answer

My daughter is bilingual and works as an optometrist. Her language skills have helped her immensely in taking care of patients in Houston.

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Alison’s Answer

You can make a great deal more money in almost every field if you are bilingual especially if you speak Spanish fluently as your natural tounge and English fluently as well. There really isn't a field I can think of where you wouldn't be the first choice simply for that reason. You may want to seriously look into pediatrics or working in a office though as childcare has some big limitations on earning potential. I hope this helps


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Genfu Felix’s Answer

Able to speak an additional language does open more doors for you. Some jobs even pay more for being bilingual.


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