Updated November 22, 2022 · 1 Min Read

For those considering careers fighting terrorism, it's important to speak one of the useful languages for homeland security. Here are the top five.

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For candidates who are interested in serving the government, a list of useful languages for homeland security might be a good place to start building their qualifications. Because the American government has a foreign language deficit that it needs to fill, being proficient in one or more of the below languages will help to give the candidate a better chance at becoming a part of the agencies that protect America.


Arabic is one of the most useful languages for a job in homeland security, particularly because the conflicts in the Middle East have been on the rise since the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. It is a language that leads to jobs in a variety of government agencies as well as further on-the-job linguistic training once a candidate has taken their position. Arabic is important for human intelligence as well as data analysis, so both field agent and analyst jobs do have a preference for a proficiency in this language. Candidates are reminded, however, that they must receive a four out of five on the defense language proficiency test, which is given to ensure that a candidate can demonstrate fluency, in order to earn a job based on Arabic.


As political tensions rise between America and Russia, analysts and agents with a proficiency in Russian are highly sought after, especially in the homeland security sector. Because the language can be difficult to master, there is a gap in filling positions that require Russian proficiency. Students who have taken several years of Russian, have been to Russia, and can communicate in and translate Russian are in demand and, should they make it through the screening process, are virtually guaranteed a position within homeland security or one of its various branches.


Chinese remains a language of incredible interest for homeland security, partially because there are so many Chinese students and businesspeople who live and work in America. Learning to speak Mandarin is useful to the government because the intelligence community needs help deciphering business and personal habits of Chinese officials. Analysts, linguists, and translators are all needed in homeland security and can pay handsomely for candidates that can prove their fluency in Chinese. Chinese speakers can work both at home and abroad, increasing their career opportunities within the intelligence sector and can provide them with high-level jobs within just a few years of working for the government.


Also known as Persian to some Americans, Farsi is the official language spoken in Iran; over 40 million people in the world speak Farsi, most of them located in the Middle East, so this language is of great interest to homeland security. This language is a branch of Indo-Iranian languages, which itself is a subfamily of Indo-European languages and is considered by the American government to be a critical language for its agents, linguists, and translators. Candidates who are proficient in this language often find work in the field or become analysts working in offices in America.

As globalism takes hold, America's homeland security division must keep up, which means hiring people who understand the languages of areas that can be of benefit or danger to the country. By taking a look at some of the most useful languages for homeland security, candidates can begin their own education into these languages in order to prepare themselves for service to the government.

Related resource:

Top 19 Cheap Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

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