If you’re a high school graduate who dreams of building a successful IT career locally or internationally, I have news for you: your multilingual abilities and soft skills open up exciting career opportunities.
It’s true that hard skills matter a lot; you must have excellent technical expertise to become a reputable specialist. Mastering English will help you to advance in most IT companies, but learning another foreign language, French, in particular, will propel you to new heights.
So, How’s your French?
Did you know that one in five IT companies in Moldova has total or partial foreign capital? This is a huge career opportunity for any young French-speaking IT specialist, as international companies are always on the lookout for bilingual specialists.
I know firsthand the benefits of learning another language. I graduated from the Technical University of Moldova, got a job as a developer, and climbed the ladder to become Practice Manager for an international tech company.
My job is exciting, with a lot of responsibility and plenty of career rewards. And I have myself to thank for the inspiration and the drive to learn French. Being bilingual has provided so many opportunities and the chance to do what I love in my own country.
How to Increase Your Chances of Professional Success
I learned French in school as a young boy, but it was when I joined UTM’s Information Technology –Filiere Francophone Informatique program that I realized I made a pretty smart move.
- This special “student squad” had access to internships abroad
- The program’s teachers were the best and very dedicated
- As part of the “visiting professors” concept, French teachers from Canada or France traveled to Moldova regularly to share their knowledge about specific programming languages
- The majority of classes – including our papers and exams – were in French
- We were the only students at the university with their own classroom, where the IT community and Filiere Francophone Informatique graduates also occasionally gathered
- I felt proud to be part of an elite program; my colleagues were smart and competitive
- Discovering French culture broadened our perspective of the world
The reasons that made the Filiere Francophone Informatique appealing when I was in college from 2003-2007 are still valid today. And, participants receive even more perks for joining this special program: a diverse range of local and international internships, summer schools, and unique presentations by French specialists from international organizations.
The Importance of French in Business
Just like when I was in school, many students today study and work at the same time. Although classes were tough, I got my first job at a small Moldovan IT company during my second year of college. My role was to build websites using PHP. After more than a year, I felt it was time to look for a more challenging position.
I applied for a job at Pentalog because they had many French clients, and the projects were interesting. Plus, I knew French quite well!
Since 2007, when I got a PHP developer position (the second try was a success!), I took on all kinds of responsibilities: I was a Team Leader, Project Director, Scrum Master, and now, I’m a Practice Manager.
In my case, I’m sure that my French language skills were a bonus in both obtaining a job and advancing in my IT career. I connected with clients easily, communicated even the most challenging aspects of business, and last but not least, I enjoyed many business trips to France and other foreign countries.
French speakers have plenty of advantages for success:
- French is spoken in 56 countries on 5 continents and is among the top 3 most useful languages for business after English and Chinese.
- Statistics show that people entering the workforce with second language fluency can expect to earn 10 – 15% more than their peers.
- Knowing a second language increases your value in the business world and gives you the ability to build relationships and network.
- It sets you apart in a large pool of candidates and gives you value.
- You can enjoy a rewarding international career in your homeland.
- Bilinguals have more gray matter in their brain, which makes them smarter!
The next time someone asks what college you want to apply to, I’d be happy to know you chose “Information Technology – Filiere Francophone informatique.”
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(To be continued. Keep an eye on us for the following episode of the series!)