Studying a foreign language has countless advantages, especially in a time when we are all trying to build up our resumes to be the best they can be. While most students consider internships and research experience as obvious contenders to build up their resumes, fluency in another language is often overlooked. However, adding a foreign language minor or double major to your undergraduate degree is one of the best ways to beef up your resume, potentially putting you ahead of the crowd.
In today's competitive job market, being proficient or fluent in a foreign language is an asset in multiple professions. From journalists to doctors, foreign language speaking and writing skills are highly valuable, as the number of bilingual and multilingual people in the United States population has been steadily growing for decades. This means more and more people are in need of professionals who can help them in their native language.
Another benefit of minoring or double majoring in a foreign language is increased pay wages. Many companies offer a 5-20% pay increase for speaking a foreign language as you can provide translating and interpreting services.
Earning credentials in a foreign language also allows students to pursue more jobs such as becoming a teacher, tutor, translator and more if they choose to change careers later in life. This makes for a smart long-term investment, as you will always have a beneficial skill in almost any career or a different career path to follow.
Aside from the professional benefits, knowing a foreign language can also be helpful when traveling. Instead of struggling with conversations through Google Translate or constantly trying to find English speakers, you will be able to navigate your way through more countries with ease. Additionally, your education in the language and culture will allow you to connect with more people around the world.
As someone double majoring in communication media and Spanish, I can attest to the fact that the foreign language programs at NC State focus on teaching the language and their multifaceted cultures in order to allow students to truly understand the societies from which they originate. This not only makes for more well-rounded students with a worldly perspective, but also makes the classes really interesting as you learn about the history and current events of different countries.
NC State’s department of Foreign Languages and Literature offers 15 languages and 12 minors to choose from. This could also lead to the perfect opportunity to study abroad and immerse yourself in a different culture while also improving your language skills. With the COVID-19 pandemic starting to slow down with the development and distribution of the vaccine, studying abroad is no longer a thing of the past. Many study abroad programs are potentially opening back up if travel regulations allow them to do so, with a number of them even requiring a certain level of proficiency in the host country’s language to be eligible for the program.
The advantages of minoring or double majoring in a foreign language would benefit any student who has an interest in learning or mastering a different language, so why not add it to your degree plan?