Many people shy away from learning Mandarin because all those symbols that make up the written word seem entirely bewildering, and they are...even for the Chinese themselves! However, the spoken language is really what is needed and that is MUCH easier to learn. In fact many say learning Mandarin is easier than learning English, French or Hindi etc. The reason being, that Mandarin is an uncomplicated language. There are no plurals or conjugations or even tenses, which often trip people up in European language learning.
In terms of your career, learning Mandarin even at a beginner level with give you a much better chance f doing business with Chinese companies, providing considerable competitive advantage. For the Middle-East in particular we are seeing a great influence of the Chinese especially in Engineering and Construction and as such we strongly recommend those seeking to reach the top of their field to invest in Mandarin for themselves and their employees.