The current global scenario showcases numerous benefits of learning a second language especially a foreign language. Learning a foreign language can help you in building a new career altogether or upskilling the current career as it also adds to the resume. Learning a foreignlanguage is often looked upon as a hobby but having a command on a foreignlanguage can also lead to a full-time career. When it comes to career in foreign language, the most common one that comes to the mind is that of a translator, but there is much more that you can do with a degree/certification in a foreign language and contrary to the popular belief, some of these are highly lucrative careers!
Bilingual English speakers are the highest in demand. Some popular foreign languages that are high in demand are Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, German and French. As European languages like French, Spanish have always dominated to be the most learnt foreign languages, Mandarin is raising in demand with the growing influence of China on the world economy.
Formal Education in Language
Various universities offer courses for learning foreign languages. These courses are offered at different levels with different course time duration. These courses are offered at levels of certification, diploma, degree (UG & PG), advance diploma and more. Major government/central universities have now shifted to CUET (Central University Entrance Test) for admissions to their degree courses in foreign languages. Whereas to get into certificate courses of foreign language & make a career in foreign language from any public or private university, there is no such eligibility criteria as these are basic beginner courses.
College/ University to Study from
Some of the top colleges in India for a degree in foreign language are-
JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University)
Banaras Hindu University
Jamia Milia Islamia
Manipal Academy of Higher Education
Career in Foreign Language
Translator/Interpreter – Even though AI has advanced, it cannot replace human translators due to the complex nature of language and understanding meaning & emotions behind a text. Translators will always be needed, be it for corporate or governments to talk to international clients or delegates and act as a mediator between the people of two or more countries in a formal setting. Translators are required in corporates, MNC’s International banks, embassies or organizations like UN etc. Apart from these, increasing globalization has also offered a lot of lucrative careers in Foreign Languages.
International sales and marketing- Global brands like BMW, Samsung, H&M etc. want people who can market their brand and produc appropriately around the world. Selling a smartphone to an American buyer can be different from selling one to an Indian buyer. Such companies need people who can speak the local language and can market and sell their products to the target countries and customers. Sales itself can be a lucrative career option and adding an international factor to it can turn out to be an extremely well-paying career option!
Foreign language experts in corporate– For the same reason as international sales and marketing, companies need foreign language majors to work as bloggers, community managers, handling communications etc. Foreign language speakers are much needed in corporate and international banks to be able to communicate with foreign clients.
Hospitality – Multi-lingual people are given preference in hospitality sectors like hotel management, flight attendants etc. International flights attendants, if not expected, are preferred to have basic knowledge of the language of the country their flights usually fly to. Similarly, managers of hotel groups that often cater to international clients or have to deal with an international team at work, are appreciated if they are multilingual.
Journalist- Knowledge of a foreign language can be well combined with journalism. A journalist who knows the language of the local area, is able to empathize more with the situation of the local people and present the news in a more humane and understandable manner. Moreover, big international media agencies like BBC and CNN hire people who are linguistically skilled and culturally sensitive to edit, broadcast and present the news in an appropriate and sensitive manner.
Teacher – If settling down in a particular foreign country fascinates you, then teaching can be a good option for you. Being certified in a foreign language, you can be a teacher of that particular language in a foreign country. For example, if you have a good command over the Japanese language, you can be an English teacher for the Japanese students at school or university level. You can also choose to stay in your home country and teach the respective foreign language in schools or universities or language institutes. You can also become a professor of foreign literature and culture for example Russian or Spanish literature and culture.
Jobs in international organizations – an additional foreign language in your resume can give a jump to your career in international organizations like UN, Red Cross etc. These organizations are actively looking for people who, in addition to their respective professional skills, also know multiple foreign languages. Multilingual people are hired for community outreach, refugee support, relief work and other such programs in these organizations especially UN. You can also bag government jobs in departments like Department of Immigration, Intelligence, Defense etc.