Thursday, December 4, 2014

Two Languages Get the Job Done / Dos Idiomas Cumplen con el Trabajo

According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 15 percent of Oregon households speak a language other than English at home. In nearly 3 percent of Oregon households, no one age 14 and over speaks English only or speaks English “very well”. Many businesses and organizations want bilingual workers on staff to help serve these customers who have limited English proficiency.

There are currently 359 job openings listed with the Oregon Employment Department that mention a desire for applicants with bilingual skills. Of these, 14 percent require applicants to be bilingual, while the other 86 percent prefer bilingual skills, but don’t require it.

The occupational groups with the most listings mentioning bilingual skills are:
  • Office and administrative support (34%) 
  • Community and social service (24%)
  • Sales and related (10%) 
  • All others combined (32%)
The level of language proficiency required varies depending on the nature of the work. While some jobs may require only an ability to communicate verbally, others will require the ability to read and write at the same level as English. It is also important to note that many companies will require knowledge of industry specific terminology in both languages.

For more about how bilingual workers can benefit a business, see Knowing More Than One Language Says a Lot on a Resume.

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