Careers Advice and Languages


Careers Advice: Why is it important to study languages nowadays? What are the benefits of doing so?


There were almost 11,000 jobs created by foreign companies in Ireland in 2010 and that figures has certainly risen over the past five years. Mainly due to our countries continued almost zero corporate tax regime (we will leave that for another day!).


Foreign companies are typically global with customers all over the world. Foreign companies based in Ireland manage their accounts across the EMEA business and Market areas. These internal customers will need graduates and employees with the ability to communicate in the local language.

If you speak more than one language you are at an advantage. It would be sound educational and careers advice to make a foreign language outside English compulsory post primary and even at primary level.


Career Advice: Is there a large requirement among companies for graduates to hold a second language?


Yes, for example, Facebook, Oracle, Citi, all have internal clients across Europe that do not speak English. Then you have to consider companies in Ireland that are founded in Europe and not in the US.  Take BNP Paribas for example, you will probably need French to be considered for a position within BNP.


Do you think these companies are hiring outside Ireland to fill these type of positions? It would be interesting to analyse how many Irish graduates are getting these multilingual graduate opportunities.


Career Advice: What careers can a graduate typically get from studying a language?


If you are a graduate, your educational level will open doors, in essence you can start your career off in almost any generic field. Graduate employees like graduates from certain fields because their minds work in certain ways. However, if you have a language or two it will give you an extra edge.

Take a small Irish manufacturing company that wants to break into the French market. You must speak French to build relationships with French resellers. Irish SME’s have got to start thinking outside the traditional British export market.


Career Advice: What courses (business, engineering etc) can you combine with a language to give a greater scope of career choices?


International Business and Language, Computer Science, Law, Arts, etc.


Check out our follow up blog post, which delves into the human and personal attributes that relate to languages and offers some valuable careers advice.


Diarmuid Haughian

MA Career Guidance, QCG



Careers Advice