What does it take to be globally competitive? If now you feel that everything is happening too fast and you need to work double-time just to keep up, imagine for a minute how it could possibly be like for the next generation. If you are a parent raising a family, what do you need to do to raise children who are globally competitive? Imagine the level of technology that they have to work (and contend) with, and the skills set that they would need in order to be eligible for the best possible jobs. You also need to know the languages to learn to be globally competitive.
Languages to Learn: Become multilingual
Thomas Friedman claims that the world is flat and whoever has the tenacity and ability to adapt survive. These days, the competition for a position is not just all the other fellows in the room waiting for the final interview. In certain jobs, the competition could come from anywhere in the world. What does one need to do to level the playing field? The opportunities to find a job do not only come from the country you are living in at the moment, and one way of building up a resume that has a chance of passing the first screening is to be multilingual.
Deciding to master world languages in order to be globally competitive is a smart move for any career you intend to dominate and excel in. Whether in business, health services, or information technology, having the ability to communicate effectively in other languages would give you an edge over other applicants vying for the position. And having English as your first or second language is not the only advantage that it used to be. As a matter of fact, American parents are coming to the realization that the next generation of Americans would be interacting with cultures that do not speak their language in ways that had never been seen before. Those who are learning languages foreign to their native tongue are doing so not only to enhance their cognitive functions, but to get the best paying jobs available. The question is, what languages will give you that competitive edge as we move forward into the 21st century?
Languages to Learn: Future top contenders
The list of countries with the highest GDP should not be the sole basis of language choices. Parents who hope to prepare their children for the challenges of the future must also look at the list of the fastest growing economies in the world today. English (American and British), Japanese, Deutsch, French, Italian, and Spanish will remain relevant business languages for the next few decades, but projections of GDP by 2050 presented in a Goldman Sachs paper list the People’s Republic of China at the very top, followed by the United States, and then by India. Other newcomers in the world stage are Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Indonesia.
And now that China is on the rise, there is no doubt that Mandarin ought to be on the list. It is the most difficult language to learn, but everybody is saying that the 21st century belongs to China and its 1.3 billion people. Parents could start scheduling vacations to China (and other rising economies in the East) so that their children would start to appreciate not just what Ancient China has left behind for the world to marvel, but what modern China has yet to offer the world.