Your résumé is finally complete. Each detail, from the formatting to the content, looks spectacular. At first glance, the languages category may seem insignificant. It is placed on the bottom of the page, and many feel that the employer will bypass it since it is not front and center.
However, the skill of knowing a language other than English can hold more value to an employer than one may think. In fact, especially in the modern day, it gives applicants a competitive edge in the job market. Globalization is affecting most aspects of business; having customers from a variety of backgrounds and cultures increases a company’s market base.
Since many companies want the extra business from nations outside of the Anglosphere, applicants who are bilingual or even polyglots will have a better chance of being hired, depending on the company. Moreover, according to CNN, interpreters and translators are among the top 15 fastest-growing occupations in the United States.
Only 17 percent of Americans are able to speak another language fluently. This makes multilingual applicants high in demand for the employers who are in need of them. As a result, these candidates can be offered higher wages if they will be a valuable resource to a company.
Outside of the workforce, there are more benefits to being a polyglot. Not only can one better immerse themselves into another culture while traveling, but being multilingual improves everyday skills regardless of the location. In fact, knowing a different language improves upon general problem-solving skills. Based on a recent study, people who know another language are better at processing information and performing creativity tasks.
Understandably, despite all of the positives that learning a new language has to offer, many believe that they do not have the time to learn. Being a full-time student is time-consuming, especially for certain majors with a lot of specific credit requirements. Introductory-level foreign language classes typically meet four days a week for over an hour each day, despite the fact that they are only four credits.
However, there are resources that one can use to pick up a new language at their own leisure. There are plenty of online programs out there, and for Binghamton University in particular, there are plenty of extracurricular clubs and activities to participate in to improve upon one’s language skills. On B-Line emails, you will see that there are meetings for language societies such as French Club, Spanish Club, Italian Club, International Language Association and more, and other activities such as Spanish Table and La Table Française that meet in resident dining halls to help students learn and improve upon their language skills.
Whether it be a BU student, another college student or anyone outside of college, there are several ways to receive help to learn a new language. But the younger a person is, the easier it is to learn, so it is best to start as soon as possible.
Brad Calendrillo is a sophomore majoring in English.