Have you got what it takes to succeed in Europe? Yes, oui, ja?

May 4, 2001

European managers need to speak fluent English more than ever before, but English alone is not enough. Firms are increasingly demanding that candidates for high-level posts speak at least two, if not three, languages, a survey of multinational companies' language needs has found.

English is the language most commonly used in electronic communication, and most companies expect its use to become even more widespread, according to the report by the Community of European Management Schools, an alliance of academic and business partners.

But a second foreign language "represents a major advantage," says the report, which is compiled from information collected from interviews with nearly 40 companies that provided placements for CEMS students.

Valerie Gauthier, director of the Centre de Ressources et d'Etudes Anglophones at French business school HEC, and one of the report's authors, noted that employers recognised competence in languages as an indication that a candidate was more adaptable and open-minded: "Not necessarily because of the level of the language, but as a sign of willingness to learn a different culture."

The CEMS is a partnership of 17 European higher education institutions and a number of multinational companies that include Accenture, Danone, Procter & Gamble and Reuters.

The CEMS masters degree in management requires students to speak at least three languages.

Details: triona.campbell@cems.org

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns