Languages are about more than just communication. They’re part of our cultural identity – and are closely related to a country’s history, society, politics and art. Speaking a foreign language is particularly useful in areas such as journalism, politics and international business. Languages gives you active listening and confidence so will help you in leadership roles.
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What workplace skills does languages develop?

Adaptability: Being able to adapt to changing situations
at work is useful in all careers from business and finance roles to team leadership and freelance work.

Independence: Many jobs involve lone working and the ability to make decisions and take the initiative and this is something that all employers prize in candidates.

Problem solving: Engineers, designer, medical professionals, social workers and teachers must all think creatively to overcome problems every day.

And one you might not have thought of...

Leadership: Not just important for entrepreneurs, managers and HR professionals. Leadership is the ability to motivate your colleagues, customers and even your boss through calm, quiet confidence and competence.

What jobs can you get with languages? 

Interpreter: Study modern languages up to A-level then find an MFL degree which specialises in interpreting.

Sales executive: After studying languages to GCSE or A-level, take a business, management or marketing course at apprenticeship or degree level.

Diplomatic services officer: Study a foreign language up to degree level then apply to the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream graduate programme.

Apply for an apprenticeship... or go to university? 


Apprenticeships for students who want to pursue a languages career include: hospitality officer, travel consultant, publishing officer, PR and communications apprentice, government communications officer, project manager, digital marketing apprentice, chartered manager degree apprentice, solicitor.


18.3% of 2017 graduates went into marketing, public relations and sales, taking roles such as marketing officer, PR agent and social media manager. 16% went into business, finance and HR. About one in 10 worked oversees, compared with under 2% of graduates overall. About a fifth went on to postgraduate study in disciplines such as development and human rights.

What did languages do for them?

"The skills I developed from learning French and Spanish can also be applied to learning new programming languages. Learning about different cultures and how to communicate with different groups of people is also incredibly useful for meeting new people."
—Ben, infrastructure technician apprentice at Google
"I primarily use the skills I learned in English language and Spanish. I’m not a Spanish linguist but having an awareness of several different languages and grammatical structures helps with problem solving when trying to translate something containing either vocabulary or constructs I’m not familiar with. There’s a lot of crossover between languages, so the more you learn, the easier it gets." 
—Gemma, intelligence analyst at RAF. Read the full interview here.
"I am really glad I did languages at A-level (and then at university), because it helped me improve my general communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills with different audiences. I also had to regularly learn and translate new vocabulary which helped me with my ability to pick up new skills and take in information."
—Nav, senior human resources advisor at National Audit Office. Read the full interview here.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone on the team, please feel free to email us at

Success at School Team

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