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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

College of Modern Languages encourages students to become bilingual for workforce advantages

Increased job openings for bilingual employees promise benefits like increased salary
Avery Johnson
The College of Modern Languages encourages students to become bilingual to increase opportunities post-college. The college offers courses in languages such as Japanese, Spanish, German and more.

Kansas State’s College of Modern Languages pushes bilingualism for a career boost, showcasing the benefits of language proficiency, including enhanced communication, cultural understanding and global networking opportunities. 

“Being bilingual in the workforce could help you negotiate a higher salary when job hunting,”  Paulicia Bender, assistant director of K-State’s Career Center, said. “It can also help you connect with more customers or clients, make conversations easier with clients and partners who speak different languages and open up opportunities for doing business all over the world. Your job search pool becomes a wider ocean because you’ll be able to consider international positions.”

According to Workforce Essentials, bilingual employees can earn anywhere from 5-20% more than monolingual ones.

“Being bilingual can help you negotiate a better salary, especially when employers find it to be a valuable skill that’s necessary for the success of their business,” Paulicia Bender said. “Connections with customers [and] clients are important, and they’re more likely to do business with a company they feel understands them and their needs.” 

Rebecca Bender, interim department head for modern languages, said the College of Modern Languages realizes a need for bilingual employees.

 “We help students discover job opportunities and career paths they hadn’t thought about before,” Rebecca Bender said. “Students always ask what they can do with a language degree, and the answer is anything. Having bilingual skills in today’s global economy will not only open up new doors, but it will give students an edge when competing for more sought-after careers.”

Teachers in the college like Annie McCord, graduate teaching assistant, said they attempt to inspire language students and excite them for the workforce after graduation.

“Being bilingual has changed my life,” McCord said. “I’ve been bilingual since I was 12 years old and I would not want to go back to monolingual life. Learning Spanish has helped curb my perfectionism, increase my curiosity and has opened essentially all of my career options for the future. Every day I am learning and growing in both English and Spanish, and the continuous challenge that language creates is why I would recommend it to all people.”

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About the Contributor
Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson, multimedia editor
Multimedia editor for 2023-24. Previously photographer for spring 2023.
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