Improving your language skills offers many personal and professional benefits. Not only does it provide new insights and access to other cultures, but it can entirely change your worldview. Becoming bilingual or multilingual gives you a global business perspective and more employment opportunities as well. From a financial perspective, learning a foreign language boosts earnings and opens new career paths. With more job security and greater earning potential, there are now more reasons than ever before to learn a new language.
4 Ways Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Earnings
In the current job market, knowledge and experience are not enough to stand out from the competition. Adding foreign language skills to your resume is one way to separate yourself from the pack and qualify for more lucrative positions. The ability to adjust to the demands of our rapidly changing world could be the key to landing your dream job. As society becomes more diverse, learning a foreign language helps you adapt more quickly and boosts earnings in all job fields. Here are a few more ways these skills benefit your professional ambitions.
1. It Creates New Career Opportunities.
The most obvious advantage of learning a new language is that it creates new career opportunities. If you can speak a foreign language, you gain entry to international markets that are inaccessible to those who cannot communicate with potential clients. As the global economy becomes more connected, foreign language skills are going to be in even higher demand.
There is already a need for translation and interpretation skills in every industry. There are professional applications in marketing, sales, administration, communication, business, law, banking, education, and government, just to name a few. However, fluency in a foreign language is a huge asset, no matter what field you are in.
Multinational corporations and businesses with an international presence are already actively seeking bilingual and multilingual candidates. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor expects a 42% increase in the demand for interpreters and translators over the next ten years. Improving your language skills now could give you the edge you need when the right opportunity comes along.
2. You Earn Higher Salaries.
Higher salaries are one of the strongest arguments why you should brush up on your language skills. Learning a foreign language boosts earnings because bilingual employees are in high demand. Since there are few employees with well-developed language skills, those who have them are a valuable commodity.
Big businesses know this. And, they are willing to compensate you well if you can engage foreign customers in their native tongue. On average, employees who can speak a foreign language enjoy an average salary increase of 10-15% depending on the position. Another thing to keep in mind as well is that the more languages you know, the more marketable you become.
3. It Improves Your Candidacy for Positions.
As previously mentioned, it is important to find something that sets you apart during the interview process. Learning a foreign language is an excellent way to achieve this. Not only do language skills make you more attractive and valuable as an employee, they also make you more memorable.
Your initial interview is your chance to pitch your skills and show employers exactly why they should hire you. So, it would be the perfect opportunity to highlight the skills that make you the best candidate. It is especially important to emphasize foreign language skills with multinational corporations. They need bilingual employees who can communicate with foreign customers and create more business outside the U.S. If potential employers know your value, it greatly improves your candidacy for these positions.
4. You Have More Opportunity for Advancement.
Last but not least, learning a foreign language also gives you more opportunities for advancement. Since you have more exposure to different cultures and industries, you have a greater pool of networking potential. You never know what clients will seek out your services, or what other expertise you can offer them. Your combined skill set may be exactly what smaller businesses need to explore new ventures and facilitate contracts with clients around the globe.
These interactions also give you exposure and experience that puts you in a position to promote. Large companies need higher-level employees to travel, oversee operations, and close deals in other countries. If you possess the required language skills, you would be the prime candidate for these positions.
Top Foreign Languages that Boost Your Earnings
If you want to learn a foreign language to enhance your career opportunities, it is important to choose the right one. Based on the current economy, here are the top foreign languages to boost your earnings.
Although it is not the most widely spoken language, it is economically valuable because of its importance to the European economy. Furthermore, since they have an open economy, there are more opportunities for outsiders with language skills.
With more than 200 million speakers on five continents, French is solid skill to list on your resume. France is also a key player in global economics with the fifth-largest economy and a top destination for foreign investors. Additionally, if you speak French, you have access to valuable education opportunities through world renowned business schools and universities.
In the American workforce, Spanish is becoming a necessity to conduct business. As the number of Spanish speakers continues to grow, so is the need for fluent translators. Moreover, it is one of the easiest languages to learn and among the most useful. It will only become more valuable as Latin American countries play large roles in international markets as well.
Without a doubt, China is dominating global markets. As they expand their influence, it also increases the need for foreign language skills. It is a potential goldmine for job opportunities. In particular, there is an increased demand for Chinese language skills in executive positions both domestically and internationally.
Arabic is the most prevalent language in one of the world’s wealthiest regions. So, the ability to speak Arabic opens up new opportunities in the Middle East where there is high demand but low supply. The vacuum creates even greater choice of careers than in other regions, particularly as Middle Eastern economies are seeking more diversity.
Even if you are not fluent, proficiency in a foreign language still boosts your earnings. Companies usually have other departments to handle official communication, but still need people for face-to-face interactions. Becoming bilingual creates so many professional opportunities, it is difficult to find reasons why you shouldn’t start building your language skills.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.