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Can I get a job in China without knowing Chinese?
It is a common issue among those considering working in China whether or not they should learn the language in order to do so. If you're asking if it's feasible to work in China without learning the language, the answer's a bit more complex. Not knowing Chinese may really work to your advantage at times.
If you're still scratching your head, you're not alone. You have gone totally mad! If I don't know the language, how can I hope to get a job in that country? Relocating to (insert favorite English-speaking country here) would be impossible for anybody who couldn't communicate in the language.
For the most part, job opportunities in China don't need fluency in Chinese. The following are China's most "urgently needed" talents right now, according to China Daily:
Directors of senior management teams in major multinational companies
worldwide firms of the major accounting and consulting firms with departments of accounting, finance, architecture
Senior scientists and educators who have made significant contributions in their areas of expertise
Arts and sports celebrities as well as notable prizewinners
Aren't there a lot of things riding on this? Since you brought up the subject, I understand that the bulk of us aren't exactly "seniors" (except maybe a senior in college). Where might new grads or those with less than, say, 20 years of expertise in a certain area find the best job opportunities?
In accordance with Laowai Careers, the following are the 10 most popular jobs for foreigners that do not require much prior experience:
acquiring knowledge for oneself (English teaching)
Trading Accounting/Finance Accounting/Finance IT-Engineering-Marketing
Hospitality management and marketing materials translation
The ability to speak Mandarin Chinese is not required for these jobs. The fact that one does not speak Chinese may be an advantage when it comes to English teaching or editing/writing in English. When youngsters don't speak any English, parents want to place them in an English-only setting, hoping that the immersion would help them pick up the language. In this nation, teachers without Chinese proficiency or excellent command of their native English are in great demand. As a side benefit, many companies choose to employ an English editor or writer who does not know Chinese, in order to ensure the quality of their work.
Because of the high demand for English, I'd argue that if you plan on working in China, English is a must-have. Chinese individuals will often speak in English rather than Chinese to accommodate visitors from other nations, who are expected to converse in English regardless of where they come from (even if they don't know the language natively). In addition, even if English isn't your first language, teaching English as a part-time private job will pay more than teaching any other language. To put it another way, teaching English pays more per hour than teaching any other language. As a result, many Spaniards and Russians choose to teach English rather than their native tongues because of the higher compensation. Isn't it odd how weird life can be?