Graduation season is upon us: everywhere on campus, seniors are wrapping up final papers, saying their goodbyes to beloved professors and getting measured for graduation caps and gowns. The class of 2016 is an especially lucky one, since they’re entering a job market where the unemployment rate for recent grads is the lowest it’s been since June 2008. But even with this promising outlook, they’ll still need certain skills to get some of the best jobs out there. And yes, while being a whiz at Excel can still help a student out, being multilingual can be an even bigger boost.
Whether they can help them start a career or negotiate a higher starting salary, language skills are a great tool in any new graduate’s toolbox. Today, we’re taking a look at three of CollegeBoard’s top jobs for recent college grads and discussing how foreign language skills fit into each of them.
Between preschool, elementary and secondary education, there are over a million job openings for those with a bachelor’s degree in education. While teaching English abroad has long been a popular option for recent grads, teaching a foreign language right here at home—or teaching an English as a second language course—is another strong option. Bilingual education is growing in popularity, especially in areas of the country with large populations of foreign language speakers. If your education department doesn’t offer many chances for students to learn a foreign language, offer Mango’s courses (especially in Spanish, French, Chinese and German) for students. It may help them land a job post-graduation.
Nursing has long been a stable field, but the job market’s been heating up even more lately. However, hospitals do tend to look more favorably upon nurses with experience, so recent grads need to make sure their resumes are updated with the skills they need to compete. And one of the best ways for a recent grad to set themselves apart is with language skills. According to the most recent census, 21 percent of households speak a language other than English at home, meaning there’s a good chance a portion of visitors to the hospital will need to communicate in a non-English language. Nurses who speak commonly-spoken languages like Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese are thus invaluable in the healthcare industry.
For grads set on a high salary right after graduation, there’s not much better than a career in accounting. But if your math-savvy grads are really looking to make the big bucks, bilingual accounting jobs can set them up for success. These jobs, in which accountants work primarily with international firms or organizations to organize finances, offer a higher salary and significant room for growth. If your students are interested in international intrigue, the high-flying world of finance and job security, set them up with the tools to learn languages like French, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish and they’ll be good to go.
If you’re looking for an example of how an academic library has helped students learn a new language, check out our recent case study with Brazosport College.