Knowledge of Italian is important for people in business, the arts, technology, and many professions. It also is useful for high school and college students planning careers in art history, music, linguistics, education and international relations.
Italian is the fourth most frequently spoken foreign languages in U.S. homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000). Italian also is spoken in Switzerland, parts of Africa, the Balkans, and the island of Malta.
Italy is one of the top seven economies in the world and is a member of the G7 Group of the wealthiest democracies of the world.
An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices in Italy including IBM, General Electric, Motorola, City Bank, and Price Waterhouse.
The job market is difficult. Employers can afford to be highly selective and an extra skill can make the difference. For example, a good engineer who speaks Italian is more likely to be hired by an Italian automobile maker (FIAT-Chrysler, Lamborghini).
The economy is global, so travel, the arts, media, politics, science, law, and technology have all been internationalized; the world's nations are economically interdependent. All big business today is international in scope. Language is how we enter into the culture and mind-set of our business and trading partners.