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Language in Business Survey

Language in Business Survey

To better understand the language needs of U.S. businesses, Lead with Languages commissioned IPSOS to conduct a study* that surveyed 1,200 companies in January 2018. The findings leave no doubt: Language skills are hot!

Foreign Languages: A Skill in High Demand and on the Rise

In a world where 95% of its consumers live outside the U.S. and where growth in the U.S. market is increasingly driven by a diverse, multilingual population, it’s no surprise that language skills are an increasingly valued skill among U.S. companies across sectors and functions. As demonstrated in a national survey conducted among U.S. businesses (excluding those with 10 or fewer employees) an overwhelming 9 out of 10 rely on foreign language skills, with one third saying they rely “a lot” on these skills.

Moreover, a majority of businesses report a demand that has been on the rise over the past five years and projected to continue over the next five.

Yet, despite this demand and 40% of companies reporting that they don’t have enough employees with language skills, enrollment in foreign language is not keeping pace. Just 20% of K-12 students are enrolled in a foreign language class—typically starting at age 15 and just for two years—and only 8% of college students.

*Check back here later this month for the full report. 

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Business survey infographic
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