Learning a foreign language can be tough. I should know; I’ve been doing it on and off all my life, and I’m far from a natural linguist. But it’s also incredibly important – something that employers recognise all too well. They are concerned about the fall in foreign language GCSE and A Level entries in the UK:
GCSE results: fall in numbers taking foreign languages 'a cause for concern' http://t.co/MmxMar6QhE
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 21, 2015
Science and language subjects suffer decline as A-level choices shift http://t.co/r5dUgonTEt
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 14, 2015
— BritishCouncil Press (@PressBritish) August 21, 2015
— The Independent (@Independent) August 20, 2015
Bottom line: foreign language skills are very high valued in the global – and intensely competitive – jobs market. Knowing another language will give you a massive competitive advantage. It ain’t all English. I would even put speaking a second language ahead of acquiring a degree. In other words, forego university, and move abroad to hone your foreign language skills.
A quick example: you will not succeed in China, the world’s biggest economy, without knowing some Mandarin (it’s often a prerequisite for landing a job there). And even if you don’t fancy a move to China, you might need to speak the lingo anyway, with Chinese companies becoming increasingly visible on the world stage, from Huawei to Lenovo.