Whether you’re just out of college and looking to break into your field or a young professional searching for your dream job, the ability to speak Chinese is becoming an important part of standing out in the emerging workforce. Chinese proficiency can open new doors in fields as diverse as business and finance, education and academia, arts and culture, science and technology, and more.
Work Abroad or in the U.S.
It’s well known that China remains in the top 15 fastest-growing economies in the world. The number of companies that manufacture in China is immense, including everything from Apple and Cannon to Honda and Haagen-Dazs. Just as the “Made in Japan” label has grown from a sign of cheap manufacturing in the past to high-quality products today, so is China’s labor force becoming more skilled and specialized as the country develops. In fact, modern China is shifting its economy more and more to rely on information and skill-based jobs, such as design and technology. However, even among the small percentage of Chinese people who speak English, an even smaller amount of them are fluent. Thus, as business becomes more and more globalized, the ability to communicate with Chinese speakers will create a wealth of opportunities.
If you want to build your resume or adventure and explore by teaching English in China, you will need proficiency in Chinese to navigate ordinary life. Additionally, in the academic and scientific world, more and more scholars are traveling to and from China to teach and exchange ideas, information, and technology.
But even if you want to build your career in the United States, Chinese skills are becoming increasingly in demand. California, for example, has so many Chinese speakers that even some jobs for receptionists, administrative assistants, and even dental assistants are requesting Chinese fluency of their applicants. But Chinese proficiency is even being demanded for seemingly unrelated jobs as far inland as Chicago!
Jobs for Chinese Speakers in the U.S.:
To give you an idea of what kind of jobs are growing to demand Chinese language skills, here are some random classifieds posted in 2016:
Bank Teller (Wells Fargo): “Desired Qualifications:…Bilingual speaking proficiency in Chinese (Mandarin)/English.”
Associate Director, Cost Management (Cumming Corporation): “Here’s the kicker – we need you to speak Mandarin. It is possible that we will accept a non-Mandarin speaker, but highly unlikely.”
Cloud Support Engineer (Amazon.com): “Basic Qualifications: … oral and written communication skills in both English and Mandarin Chinese”
Senior Accountant (New Vision Display, Inc.): “The job requires…fluent speaking ability in mandarin Chinese”
Other jobs open to Chinese speakers include:
International Student Advisor
Cost Manager (Corporate Real Estate)
Airline Customer Service Agent
Peace Corps Volunteer
Use Chinese to Build Your Career
No matter what kind of career you’re looking for—business, education, government, arts, technology—knowledge of the Chinese language will make you much more competitive as an applicant and in the workplace. If you’re looking to set yourself apart, the ability to communicate with over 1/5 of the world’s population and expand your business and ideas internationally makes Chinese a great and essential skill.