World Tour Insights: Mexico Discovers Value in English

Mexico Discovers Value in English

Street Impressions via Munir Hamdan on Flickr

Mexico Discovers Value in English

Doing business in Mexico requires people to know Spanish. Unlike Europe, where a multi-national gathering usually becomes a predominately English-speaking encounter, a similar business meeting in Mexico would be primarily conducted in Spanish. The expectation that companies working in Mexico require Spanish-speaking employees in agents may limit the desirability of partnerships in Mexico, and limit the scope of ventures that might otherwise find Mexico attractive. This also limits the talent pool, because success in a Mexican global company requires speaking Spanish.

To help bring the wider global conversation to Mexico, GlobalEnglish partners with Fundación Televisa Bécalos. This program empowers young adults looking for work with English prior entering the workplace.

Hugo Sancen, the Fundación Televisa Bécalos  program director in Mexico, shared several fascinating statistics on the Mexican job market. He recently met, for instance, with a group of students participating in their scholarship program and learned that many use, OCC, the largest recruitment website for those seeking jobs right out of college. When looking at job listing, this group of students found that 6 out of 21 jobs required English. Although they could apply for the majority of the jobs without speaking English, those the jobs only offered salaries around 8,000 pesos. The ones with English where closer to 12 000 pesos. From this sample, English speakers landing jobs could earn up to one-third more salary!

The landscape changed when they looked at jobs that required 4 years of experience. Out of the 24 discovered in the search, 16 required English. Six where actually written in English. The students quickly understood that English was a fundamental skill for a good career in Mexico.

During our discussion, business leaders expect an announcement from the Secretary of Education’s office that Mexico will commit to be bilingual learning by 2020. We look forward to this announcement, and will work closely with our team in Mexico to support the country during this transformation.

The need to master English for Mexican workers may not always arise in early jobs, except for those focused on serving English speaking markets like outsourced customer service. But English mastery becomes a real need for those who want to move up the career ladder—and critically important to those who need to work with other team members outside of Mexico, or on international projects. The college students saw this during their job searches. Many entry level jobs did not require English, but for those looking to build a career, English was the key to higher paying jobs that required cross-country and cross-region collaboration.

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