The United States is a nation of immigrants, so it is no surprise that this melting pot of a country hosts a wide array of dialects, accents, and even different languages. Many areas of the country, especially in major metropolises, like New York, LA, Miami, and Chicago, people of all creeds live and work together, further redefining what it means to “be American.”
Being able to communicate across the diverse ethnic backgrounds is no longer a personal talent but a necessary and highly attractive job skill. If English is your second language, there are academic routes for you to take to achieve career success. Check out the infographic below to see which industries are most eager for bilingual employees.
Hablas Espanol? It is no surprise that after English, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language of the United States. People from Mexico and Latin America make up the majority of US immigrants, with numbers exponentially growing each year. Also increasing are the amount of positions that require fluency in both English and Spanish, especially in industries that serve basic needs, such as healthcare. Of the nearly 25k bilingual jobs open in the medical field, 20,641 are for Spanish speakers, which proves that the need to communicate important health information has no language barrier.
The West and Southwest have the highest job openings for bilingual speakers, with nearly all coastal and bordering states representing more than 300 job listings per capita (where one job listing equals 10k people). As a close neighbor to Latin American countries, many immigrants can find more opportunity and available positions in industries that rely on seasonal or migrant jobs, such as farming and agriculture in California and Washington, as well as areas that have predominantly large Hispanic immigrant communities, such as Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Florida.
Many children of immigrant parents grow up fluent in both their native language and English, and often are the mouthpiece for their families. The types of jobs that have the highest bilingual need are the positions that must bridge these important communication gaps. Of the 7,212 total available bilingual teaching jobs, 6,200 were for Spanish speakers, proving that bilingual positions that aid these children—who have a foot in each world—can better help the family thrive in their adopted homeland.
After Spanish, languages from the Asia continent represent the next largest bilingual positions. Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Cantonese, and Japanese languages are seeing larger jumps in open bilingual staffing because the global market is no longer prohibited by distance. Especially since China and Japan are booming in the trade and technology economies, employees who are fluent in Asian dialects and languages allow for more seamless communication, such as in customer service, sales, accounting, and engineering fields.
English may be the most widely spoken language, of the country and the world, but it is not universal. Much can be learned from the languages of our newest neighbors and citizens.
This article was first published in Olivet Nazarene University.
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