Spanish Courses at UW Colleges
UW Colleges offers a variety of Spanish courses at local campuses and through UW Colleges Online. These courses cover topics like language acquisition, literature and culture, and are taught in both English and Spanish. Visit our online course catalog to learn more about Spanish classes offered at UW Colleges.
Why study Spanish?
- There are 328,518,810 Spanish speakers worldwide, putting it second only to Chinese for the total number of native speakers. Its use in what is now the US dates back to 1513 (almost five centuries ago) by Ponce de León. Spanish was the language spoken by the first permanent European settlers and explorers.
- In the US, it is used by some 35 million people or around 10% of the US population. This makes the US home to the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
- Spanish majors acquire skills that are increasingly in demand during this age of international trade and travel. Employers tend to hire bilingual employees in areas such as business, medical, law and criminal justice, media, government, community work, and teaching.
- Spanish is the fourth most widely used language geographically in the world, spanning 44 countries.
- It is the official language of 21 countries.
- It serves as an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, World Trade Organization, and North American Free Trade Agreement.
- It is the third most commonly used language on the Internet (after English and Chinese).
- There are more than 5,000 elected US officials who are of Latino/Hispanic origin.
Adapted from the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) website.
Career Opportunities with World Languages
Spanish majors acquire skills that are increasingly in demand during this age of international trade and travel. Recognizing this, employers tend to hire bilingual over monolingual individuals. These are some of the fields that hire workers with Spanish skills:
Business: Opportunities for bilingual employees abound in translating, advertising, sales, International trade, banking, finance, and law. Bilingual travel agents, tour guides, hotel and restaurant managers are needed as are high-tech workers to produce bilingual web sites, and bilingual workers in publishing.
Medical: Employers need translators to provide vital information to the increasing numbers of Spanish-speakers who use medical services. Medical firms engaged in international commerce, marketing, and research also need bilingual workers.
Law and Criminal Justice: The ability to communicate with diverse communities qualifies individuals for a variety of positions in law (providing legal services and advice) and law enforcement.
Media: As Spanish-language newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and websites proliferate, employers need bilingual reporters, anchors, office staff, and technology workers.
Government: Federal, state, and city administrators increasingly need to communicate in Spanish with their diverse populations. Local agencies require bilingual social workers. Diplomatic positions require foreign language skills as do Immigration agencies. Those seeking volunteer or paid opportunities abroad should be bilingual.
Community work: Non-profit community organizations increasingly provide essential social services to diverse populations. These organizations need bilingual administrators, accountants, staff workers, and lobbyists. Community cultural groups also are looking for bilingual workers to serve as fundraisers and event promoters.
Teaching: The demand for Spanish language teachers in schools and colleges has increased. Bilingual schools and Spanish immersion schools require bilingual teachers and staff. ESL teachers benefit from a knowledge of Spanish.