Institutions of higher education see rise in students taking Arabic courses

More students are deciding to study Arabic at their colleges and universities.
More students are deciding to study Arabic at their colleges and universities.

According to the most recent study by the Modern Language Association, the number of students who are enrolled in higher education courses to learn the Arabic language has been increasing drastically since at least 1960. For example, in 1960 only 525 students across the U.S. were enrolled in these courses. In 2009, however, about 35,083 individuals were taking Arabic classes.

The largest increase in enrollment in the courses has been more recent. In 2006, there were about 23,974 people taking these classes. By 2009, that number had risen by 46.3 percent.

In order to meet students' demand for Arabic, many schools offer bachelor's degree programs in the subject. These institutions include Ohio State University, Georgetown University and, most recently, California University of Pennsylvania, according to their websites.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that students who are fluent in Arabic may have the opportunity to find more jobs. For example, demand will be high for individuals who speak this and any other Middle Eastern languages to work as translators and interpreters. Many careers in homeland security also prefer candidates who can speak Arabic.

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