Career Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Not only does learning a foreign language provide personal fulfillment, it can provide financial reward. In fact, according to the language experts at a professional fluent in a second language can earn up to 10 to 15 percent more than there monolingual counterpart. Below we'll explore all the career benefits that come with picking up a second language.

New Job Opportunities
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. Not surprisingly, most corporations need employees who are bilingual or multilingual.

As the world becomes more global the demand for professionals who can communicate in multiple languages is growing. According to a U.S. Department of Labor estimate, 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.

Increase Chance of Being Hired
All things being equal, a multilingual job candidate is going to be more attractive than a candidate who only speaks one language. According to the British Chamber of Commerce, 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 – especially export companies – being able to speak a foreign language automatically makes you an attractive proposition.

Even U.S.-based corporations who sell their products domestically still need employees who can speak a foreign language. Over 10% of the U.S. population now speaks Spanish as their first language – and this number is growing.

Higher Pay
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 is fewer of them. Consequently, multilingual employees also come with a higher price tag. The experts at BRIC Language Systems report that being able to speak a foreign language can increase a typical wage between 10 and 15 percent, and for upper-level positions as much as 10%.

Even bilingual or multilingual employees working or the United States military or federal government can earn up to $1000 a month more for speaking a foreign language.

Career Advancement Opportunities
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. Smaller companies need multilingual employees who can help explore new business opportunities in foreign countries and establish new operations overseas.

If you 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 fluenty however is your best option. It provides the greatest job security, wages and advancement opportunity. If you want to get started learning a foreign language we recommend visiting This website provides a comprehensive suite of online foreign language learning resources, guides and tutorials completely for free in more than 12 languages.

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