Now Hiring: The CIA
Uncle Sam wants you! Particularly if you learned Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Korean, Pashtu, Persian, Russian or Urdu as a child, and are still fluent. Not only is the CIA hiring, but other foreign service and state divisions are also desperate for recruits who are college graduates and speak second languages fluently.
The shortage of these types of candidates has driven the government to develop a flagship program for finding the most promising college students and putting them through intensive language learning. It seems they haven't been able to find enough Americans these days who learned fluent Spanish, French or German in high school, let alone the non-Latin based languages mentioned above.
While the State Department's needs for fluent bilinguals are growing, it's estimated that not even 20 percent of Americans speak at least two languages. From that ever-decreasing pool, the government has to find multilingual recruits who are ready, willing and able to work for the U.S. government. And the State Department has some stiff competition from deep-pocketed big business interests.
Major U.S. corporations are also looking for those who are fluently bilingual, as doing business in this era of globalization requires that. It's a trend for both the government and private corporations to send promising learners to language research centers for training, since there just aren't enough candidates who learned second languages as children.
So if you're bilingual or have a knack for learning languages, you can check out your government options at the State Department Career site. Those who are leaning toward work with the CIA should start there. Don't worry -- if the CIA is interested, they'll contact you.