Why Multilingualism is an Asset in Business

Thank YouFor decades now, the world has experienced the intense effects of globalization, including the rapid expansion of businesses and people to far-flung corners of the globe. Traveling is easier and cheaper than ever before, which may well account for our increasingly nomadic impulse. Graduates of an American university in Rome understand better than most the pull of travel and the advantages of cultural exchange. And they are even more likely to keep moving for work following the completion of their degree.  Read on to learn what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s internationalized marketplace.

A Global Business World

Today, going global is just another step in a company’s overall expansion strategy – success is often synonymous with conquering overseas markets. Of course, a prerequisite for venturing into foreign markets is excellent communication skills with which to make contacts and broker agreements.

Today, bilingual or even multilingual speakers are in very high demand in almost all fields of business, especially marketing, management, and sales. In fact, there are many published studies which show that multilingual professionals earn substantially more than their single-language peers.  Multilingual job candidates often gain an advantage during hiring, and are more likely to earn managerial roles throughout their careers. Able to facilitate overseas networking, the business professional with language skills is a particularly hot commodity in the business world.

The Languages Employers Look For

There are certain factors that make foreign expansion appealing for businesses. Countries with low inflation, political stability and a strong infrastructure for technology are of most interest to expanding companies. Today, the most marketable languages to know (aside from English) are Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian. What is also noticeable is that these languages all have a large consumer base. The growing business market in China has made Mandarin another very desirable language for business professionals. Mandarin has the largest number of native speakers in the entire world (nearly 1 billion people, or 1/7 of the world’s population).

Build Your Language Skills

If you are in school studying Communications or International Business, you may have the option to study abroad in Italy for a summer or semester.  Attending university abroad is a great way to learn another language while immersing yourself in a new culture. If you choose to study economics in Italy, but want to practice another language in addition to Italian, you have the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and visit countries where French, German, Spanish and a multitude of other languages are spoken.

In fact, no matter which academic program you’re pursuing, taking courses abroad provides valuable opportunities to engage with people from diverse backgrounds – which in addition to language acquisition – is an essential part of becoming the quintessential 21st century global business professional!

What other advantages do you think come with speaking multiple language?

Student Spotlight

Menu