Why learn Spanish?


Career opportunities

Why learn Spanish?

Many U.S. employers are seeking workers with language skills other than English, not only for their ability to communicate in another language, but also because they value the creativity and critical thinking that develops through the study of another language and its culture.

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on employees with language skills other than English.
  • 56% say their foreign language demand will increase in the next 5 years.
  • 47% state a need for language skills exclusively for the domestic market.
  • 1 in 3 language-dependent U.S. employers report a language skills gap.
  • 1 in 4 U.S. employers lost business due to a lack of language skills.

What Foreign Languages Mean for U.S. Employers

A large U.S. Latinx population and strong cultural and commercial ties with Latin America make Spanish the language of choice for careers in health care, government, education, business, international relations, marketing, social and non-profit work, and cultural enterprises.

  • 85% of U.S. employers say they’re reliant on Spanish, making it by far the the most sought-after language.
  • 42% of employers say they’re experiencing a shortage in Spanish skills.

Source: Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers. Published by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

What jobs can I get with a Spanish major or minor?

Here are some of the current job titles for Spanish majors (and some minors) who graduated from Lawrence University between 2004 and 2018:

Finance, Marketing, Sales and Commerce

  • Second Vice President & Senior Fiduciary Analyst at Northern Trust Wealth Management
  • Research Director at Ipsos in North America
  • Strategy Development at Program Implementation at Yellowwoods Ventures and Investment (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Business Analyst in Strategy and Operations at Deloitte
  • Marketing Manager at Telnyx
  • Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant
  • Account Coordinator at Coalesce Marketing and Design
  • International Sales at BCDVideo
  • Funding Specialist at Pronto Finance
  • Project Manager at the MicroInsurance Centre at Milliman
  • Supply Chain Specialist at Café Imports
  • Account Executive at Efreightship
  • Purchasing Lead at King (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Customer Support Specialist at Hubspot (Dublin, Ireland)


  • Attorney at Menn Law Firm
  • Associate Attorney at Wolfe Legal Planning, S.C.

Education and Community Engagement

  • High School Teacher (various subjects)
  • TESOL Teacher (multiple international locations)
  • Athletic Coach
  • Assistant Professor of Spanish at Lawrence University
  • Project Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis
  • University Services Program Associate at UW-Madison
  • Student Affairs Advisor at International TEFL Academy
  • Instructor and Course Coordinator at University of Kansas
  • Vice Manager of Foreign Teaching Department at Giraffe English (Shanghai, China)
  • Special Projects Coordinator at Associated Colleges of the Midwest
  • Senior Program Manager at Common Threads
  • Program Officer at the S. Mark Taper Foundation

Media and Technology

  • Head of Process Innovation at Samsung Electronics (Lima, Peru)
  • Vice President, Automotive at iHeartMedia
  • Software Developer at Epic
  • Account Manager at Google
  • Web Producer at Amazon Web Services
  • Social Media Editor at Trusted Media Brands, Inc.
  • Localization Program Manager at Uber
  • Video Producer at Freelance
  • Benefits Manager at American Public Media Group
  • Talent Acquisition Recruiter at The Linde Group


  • PRN Behavior Specialist at Rogers Behavioral Health
  • Mental Health Therapist at Stepping Stone Family Services
  • Manager of Patient Facing Technologies at New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Senior Accountant at Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.
  • Clinical Pharmacist at Fort HealthCare

Government, Research, other…

  • Associate Analyst at American Institutes for Research
  • Research and Development Chemist at Essential Polymers

If you are interested in graduate school, here is a sample of the degrees that recent alumni from the Spanish program at Lawrence just completed or are currently pursuing:

  • M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • MBA (The Wharton School of Business)
  • M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling  (Vanderbilt University)
  • MFA in Creative Writing (University of Iowa)
  • M.A. in International Education and Bilingualism (Universidad Camilo José Cela - Madrid)
  • M.S. in Water Resources Science (University of Minnesota)
  • M.S. in Natural Resources (University of Minnesota)
  • M.S. in Public Health (University of Miami)
  • Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology (University of Utah)
  • Ph.D. in Communication Studies (University of Texas - Austin)
  • Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese (Princeton University)
  • Ph.D. in Spanish (University of Kansas)
  • Ph.D. in Spanish (University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)

A number of Spanish majors who graduated in the past 15 years have earned M.D. and J.D. degrees, as well as various masters and doctoral degrees in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts.

Source: Lawrence Spanish group on LinkedIn. Click here if you want to join this community of alumni and current students of Spanish at Lawrence.

Talk to your Spanish professors and/or the CLC if you would like to connect with alumni in your desired professional fields or areas of graduate study.

Live a better life. Learn Spanish and join a global community of 577 million speakers in 21 different countries 

Learning a global language like Spanish gives you access to a wealth of cultural products from around the Spanish-speaking world (books, films, television, news, magazines, digital media, music, art, etc.). It also allows you to have much better and more authentic travel experiences in 20+ countries across several continents. Learning Spanish will open your mind, provide better career options, and enrich your life experience. And last, but not least, learning a second language is fun! Don't miss out.

Spanish in the world                                                  Hispanic population in the U.S.

Spanish in the world infograph 2019

Spanish in the US





According to the latest report by the Cervantes Institute (Madrid, Spain) there are 480 million native speakers and a total of 577 million Spanish speakers in the world, including native, heritage and second-language learners. Spanish is only second to Mandarin in number of native speakers, and also second to English in total number of speakers.

As a result of demographic factors, the percentage of the world population that speaks Spanish as its native or heritage language is expected to increase (from 7.6% in 2018 to 7.7% in 2050), while the proportion of Chinese and English speakers is expected to decrease in comparison.

Almost 22 million students study Spanish as a second language, including 2,8 million in the US alone. There are more Spanish-speakers in the U.S. than in Spain, 50+ million, making Spanish the second language of business, culture and communication in the U.S.

My family speaks Spanish at home. Should I still take Spanish in college? 

There are many different types of heritage speakers of Spanish and just as many reasons for them to consider studying the language and its cultures in college. In some cases, the reason is practical (e.g. fulfilling a graduation requirement, getting a major/minor to prove my linguistic and cultural proficiency). In other cases there is a personal reason (e.g. I consider myself fluent but I want to become a better writer and public speaker; I want to know other varieties of Spanish and other cultures; I want to study in Latin America or Spain; I want to know more about my family's culture through books, art, film and TV; ... or I think I want to take Spanish, but am anxious because my family thinks my Spanish isn't good enough and I felt out of place in Spanish class during high school).

ALL heritage speakers of Spanish have a home in the Spanish department at Lawrence. We have a wide range of cool classes and topics of study. Come and talk to one of the professors. We'd love to meet you!