Language Jobs

Language Jobs – The Irish educational system is currently failing to provide equal chance, equal access and share.  Graduate employment opportunities with global employers in Ireland are seeking multi-lingual employees in order to service their clients on mainland Europe.  Unfortunately our educational system is not producing multi-lingual graduates.  In a recent 25-country survey which captured the percentage of third level students who claim to be proficient in at least two foreign languages, Ireland came second from ‘last’ with a figure of 5%, the average being 20%.  Multinational employers are looking for multi-lingual employees; the importance of languages can no longer be ignored or understated.


Language Jobs – The Economic Outlook

When considering what language to study, you must evaluate the economic importance of that language and which can apply the best advantage, find your niche and analyse each countries economies.   For example take German; It is the most widely spoken first language in the European Union and accounts for 4% of internet use.  In a recent skills survey, it was revealed that amongst employers specifically looking for employees with language skills, French and German remain the most sought after languages.  Madarin: According to recent studies, 38% of British firms are interested in people who can speak Cantonese or Mandarin, in order to build business links with China.  These are the facts that you must reflect upon when choosing a language.  The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China and India) economies are thriving at the moment, however how will they be fairing upon graduation?  Ultimately, fluency in any global language is a positive toward your human capital and unfortunately I don’t believe our young students realise the importance of being multi-lingual.


Language Jobs – Level of Study

The depth of language study can vary depending on the course duration and NFQ level – the higher the NFQ level relates to the level of exposure and study depth, for example cultural employment exchanges, academic placements, cultural studies, etc.  Private language schools may focus learning time on speaking and writing the language and is usually a phased learning curve, allowing the student to bridge from Level Basic on up to Intermediate and Advanced.  There is also the option of learning from home using computer based applications which are very popular if you are leading a busy schedule.  Again, research and reflection is required when making a decision.


Language Jobs – The Multinational Employers

The multi lingual opportunities are in any multinational company in Ireland more so within, software, IT and Internet companies, the export sector and teaching abroad.  Ultimately, it’s about competitive advantage, if you have a background in Law and you can speak French, you have a greater prospect of landing a job with a Law firm that has a number of clients who have business relations in any French speaking country.  Tesco’s are expanding into China, if you can speak Mandarin or Cantonese it will give you the potential to apply for that position.  The world has become a globalised society and our educational system must produce the multi-lingual graduates that will allow us to export and trade our way out of our current problems.


Language Jobs – Gaelscoil’s

If you are a young parent reading this article, my advice is to enrol your child into a Gaelscoil which will provide him/her with bi-lingual qualities, confidence with other languages and a reduced fear of learning continental European languages.  Gaelscoil’s can provide a solution to our over-reliance on the English speaking labour and commercial markets and open more ‘self opportunity’ and growth opportunities for the Irish ‘export’ economy in decades to come.  The Irish language could if the government had real courage be the solution to our language uptake issue – make all primary schools Gaelscoil’s.


Diarmuid Haughian MA Career Guidance, MSc., BSc., QCG is the founder and MD of  He can be contacted on

Published in The Metro February 2012


Language Jobs

Language Jobs