“Are you bilingual?” “¿Hablas español?”

These questions are becoming more common both on job applications and in the workplace. Answering “yes” could connect you with new clients and patients, or even help you land your dream job.

To meet the increasing demand for bilingualism in our diverse world, UA Little Rock now offers a Workplace Spanish certificate that you can earn 100% online. Taught by our experienced and knowledgeable on-campus faculty, this program will help you gain practical skills that can boost your career and allow you to reach Arkansas’s growing Spanish-speaking community.

Learn a practical skill for any profession

Dr. Erin Finzer, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of World Languages at UA Little Rock, said the purpose of the certificate is to give students a more practical use for the language.

“We built this (certificate) program, building on curriculum that we already had in place, and seeing that our students were really looking to Spanish, not so much for the literature and cultural studies background that they used to,” Finzer said, “but more for a practical Spanish for the professions.”

Denzel Jenkins, one of the students in the program, is planning to major in both Spanish and Mass Communication. He said he hopes to use his Spanish proficiency in his filmmaking career.

“I have a passion for film, so I want to make movies in various languages besides English,” Jenkins said.

Expand your reach in a diverse world

Arkansas’s Latino population grew 10 percent to an estimated 205,000 between 2010 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. Latinos now make up more than 7 percent of the state’s total population, and that number is expected to increase.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the national Hispanic and Latino population to be around 57 million in 2015.

Finzer said some career areas that would particularly benefit from the Workplace Spanish certificate include business, nursing, criminal justice, and construction management.

This interdisciplinary certificate is aimed at students who don’t have a lot of room for electives, Finzer said; it can be completed in as little as 15 credit hours, or less than a year.

As a result, the program isn’t meant for fluency but for basic proficiency.

“It doesn’t promise fluency in Spanish,” Finzer said, “but a strong working foundation in communication basics where students can navigate a diverse world.”

Boost your career

Employers across all industries are increasingly hiring workers who can speak multiple languages.

Research published in March 2017 by New American Economy shows that the demand for bilingual workers in the United States more than doubled, with about 240,000 job postings aimed at bilingual workers in 2010 increasing to 630,000 postings in 2015.

With the United States having the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, it’s no wonder why.

Learn more about this program:

Workplace Spanish certificate information
PEW Research Center, “Demographic profile of Hispanics in Arkansas, 2014
U.S. Census Bureau, “Sumter County, Fla., is Nation’s Oldest, Census Bureau Reports (Release Number: CB16-107)
New American Economy, “Not lost in translation: The growing importance of foreign language skills in the U.S. job market
The Guardian, “US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more