Not only does learning a foreign language provide personal fulfilment, but it can also be financially rewarding. In fact, according to the language experts, a professional who is fluent in a second language can earn up to 15% more than their monolingual counterparts. Below are all the career benefits that come with picking up a second language.
Today most corporations need employees who are bilingual or multilingual. Being fluent in two or more languages opens up the door to a variety of job opportunities not available to monolingual job candidates. These opportunities exist in marketing, transportation, administration, sales, retail, banking, education, law, communication, public relations, tourism and government – to name just a few.
The demand for professionals who can communicate in multiple languages is growing globally. According to research, over the next decade, there will be a 42% increase in demand for translators and interpreters. Even if you don’t want to become a full-time interpreter, just being able to communicate proficiently in another language is a huge asset.
All things being equal, a candidate who only speaks one language is going to be less attractive than a multilingual job candidate. A result of a survey shows that over 60% of corporations who want to do business in a foreign country don’t do so because they don’t have enough multilingual employees. For any company, being able to speak a foreign language automatically makes you an attractive asset.
A multilingual employee also comes with a higher price tag. It’s a simple issue of supply and demand. Employees who can speak more than one language are in higher demand than those who cannot because there are fewer of them.
Being able to speak a foreign language and having experience with different cultures, positions employees for promotions and higher-level positions. Larger companies need managers who can travel overseas to close deals and oversee operations. On the other hand, a multilingual employee who can help explore new business opportunities in foreign countries and establish new operations overseas is needed by smaller companies.
If you’re not fluent in a foreign language, being proficient is still a big plus. Corporations will often hire translators to take care of the details of foreign communication, but they still need experienced managers who can meet and greet clients and function as the company’s face in foreign markets. Being able to speak a foreign language fluently, however, is your best option. It provides the greatest job security, wages and advancement opportunities.