Foreign languages open up exciting career avenues
Foreign languages are a growing field. One reason for this can also be because of their near absence in the higher education system in the past. Now foreign languages help communicate with the world and are opening job avenues in different fields
Girish Patel, 45, a small fabric trader from Surat made it big when he started exporting to a small company in Brazil. Harjeet Singh, 36, also saw a boom in his business in Amritsar when he started importing electronics from China. Both Patel and Singh could barely speak English when they went abroad for the first time but are now fluent in Spanish and Mandarin. They did not want communication to be a barrier in their now flourishing business.
In today's globalised world, every industry is spreading and not letting cultural or man-made borders hinder its growth. The world is shrinking and technology is connecting people from across the globe.
"Presently, foreign languages are a growing field. One reason for this can also be because of their near absence in the higher education system in the past. Now foreign languages help communicate with the world and are opening job avenues in different fields. A demand for foreign language studies has also grown at a school level, thus highlighting their popularity," explains Kusum Agarwal, head, Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi.
A demand for foreign language teachers is growing in India, as schools and colleges are offering different language courses and require faculty. "Students while studying at university also take part time jobs as private tutors and this gives them a chance to earn some pocket money. A teacher's salary can roughly range from Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per month," adds Agarwal.
There has also been a shift in the outlook towards studying foreign languages and it is no longer considered only a vocation. Other work opportunities can range from working with a BPO to being part of the tourism industry. Students interested in management studies might also like to acquire foreign languages skills to understand different cultures.
What to study
Like every other subject, one can pursue a bachelors degree and a masters degree in any foreign language. But for those who want to just get a feel of the subject, crash courses are available ranging from 10 days to a whole year. Traditionally French and German have been popular in India but now Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are also in demand. "As a result of the growing popularity, Delhi University hopes to introduce M.A. in Portuguese in the near future," adds Agarwal.
Where to study
• Faculty of Arts, University of Delhi, www.du.ac.in
• Inlingua, Pan India www.inlingua.com
• School of Language, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, www.jnu.ac.in
Reproduced From India Today. © 2011. LMIL. All rights reserved.