Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. In addition to China, Mandarin is spoken in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Philippines, and Mongolia, as well as North and South America and throughout Europe.
China is the world’s third largest country and second biggest economy after the United States. Graduates with proficiency in Mandarin are well positioned for jobs in business, diplomacy, engineering, science, law, philosophy, political science, technology, finance, tourism, translation, teaching, and more. A study of languages in the U.S. jobs market found that Chinese is not only the most requested language after Spanish by employers, it has experienced the greatest growth in demand.
Chinese has been designated a Critical Needs Language. Numerous U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the NSA, USAID, Department of Commerce, and FBI actively seek employees proficient in Chinese for a wide range of jobs. Some of these agencies provide scholarships for students pursuing Chinese language studies as well as pay incentives for employees who bring Chinese skills to their job.
Adapted from Lead with Languages: Lead with Chinese-Mandarin