The demand for qualified employees who are bilingual has risen by 162 percent in the last five years, according to a report conducted by New American Economy. Having "bilingual" on one's resume shows potential employers an applicant would be an asset if hired.

Melanie Haber
Melanie Haber
By learning a second language in elementary school, one learns also how to handle more and stay on task. There are perks to learning another language.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

But there also can be downsides. The article, "Language deficiency in children," published by the National Library of Medicine, reported that bilingual children can get confused in school easier because they are switching between two languages so often and not spending enough time learning all the ways of one specific language.

Nonetheless, knowing more than one language is becoming more common. Countries are starting to teach younger generations another language. Knowing both their native language and another language can help them in the future.

According to studies done at the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab in Ithaca, N.Y., "Children who learn a second language can maintain attention despite outside stimuli better than children who know only one language." This carries over to when those bilingual children grow up and enter the workforce.

Being bilingual is becoming a critical skill more employers are seeking. Having the ability to speak another language gives one a competitive edge against those who are monolingual, especially at companies with only monolingual employees. A survey conducted by the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Ariz., found that a majority of students said that knowing another language was a crucial factor in getting hired. In 2010, there were 240,000 jobs that targeted bilingual workers. By 2015, there were 630,000 jobs. With such numbers on the rise, it is logical for one to conclude the need to learn a second language so they can succeed in the business world.

The article, "Graduate jobs: Best languages to study," published by the Telegraph in London, listed the top five languages used in the business world. Taking the fifth spot was Polish, followed by Mandarin, Spanish, French, and German. German was listed as the No. 1 language to learn. These languages were chosen as the most useful because they all dominate the others in a different way. Spanish and Mandarin are widely popular because there is already a huge population of those who use it. German is considered the business language of Europe.

Someone able to speak one of these five languages, in addition to their own, instantly has a greater advantage in the business world.

More and more businesses are requiring and searching for employees who are bilingual, Such employees give companies a competitive edge, are better at staying on task, and can handle more. Not only are there positive career effects by learning another language, there also are positive sociological and cognitive benefits.

By learning another language one can secure success in the business world.


Melanie Haber is a senior at Hermantown High School who researched and wrote this originally as part of a college-level composition class.