?Habla Espanol? Why Spanish Should Be Your Second Language in Business

By Robinson, Tennille M. | Black Enterprise, September 2005 | Go to article overview

?Habla Espanol? Why Spanish Should Be Your Second Language in Business


Robinson, Tennille M., Black Enterprise


Globalization and the growth of the Hispanic market in the U.S. are driving the demand for cultural diversification in the workforce. Those who understand the needs of the work environment and prepare accordingly position themselves to be competitive in the marketplace.

"Learning a foreign language is absolutely another evolutionary step that we don't have a choice but to take on in order to remain competitive," explains Jason Chambers, assistant professor with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "We're already seeing that people who speak multiple languages have employment advantages."

A recent study by TheLadders.com, an online job search service revealed that out of 1,496 executives in the $100,000-plus job market, 61% found that Spanish would be the most useful foreign language at the their jobs. Chinese came in a distant second with 16%; French earned 8%.

"More law firms are marketing to the Spanish-speaking population and pursuing bilingual lawyers," says 21-year-old Andre Warner, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania who minored in both Hispanic and Latino American studies. This fall, he is pursuing his law degree at Georgetown University and has found that learning a second language is not only a great cultural experience but one that will enhance his career objectives as well. …

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