This probably isn’t the first time you’re seeing an article about learning a new language to further your career — it also won’t be the last. Career blogs in particular are abuzz with the idea of learning a new language to better yourself and your career prospects.
But what exactly is all the hype about?
Well, for one thing, there is no doubt a real value to being a polyglot. As with most things, knowledge is power, and knowing more than one language will certainly have you poised to know more, do more, and earn more.
This begs the question: how MUCH more are we talking about?
What Language Pays the Most?
To find the answer to my previous question, we’re going to have to dig a little deeper. After all, different languages have different values in the business world.
Some languages are more widespread, making them more desirable to potential clients and business partners. Others aren't as popular, but they may serve as more of a niche in far less saturated areas of business — those who know the language are seen as more of a hot commodity.
Either way, it’s plain to see that there are many variables in determining the most in-demand languages. It’s not simple arithmetic but here are a few languages in-demand that you should consider looking into.
It’s no surprise that German is an in-demand language: Germany is one of Europe’s economic powerhouses at the moment. If you’re looking to capitalize on Germany’s economic prosperity, then you might want to consider learning the language and nestling your way in.
Spanish is one of the most widespread languages on Earth. Around 538 million people worldwide speak Spanish. That’s a fairly large pie for you to sink your teeth into — with so many people, the opportunities appear to be endless.
French may seem somewhat unsuspecting, but it’s also an extremely widespread language with around 277 million speakers worldwide. On top of that, French isn’t relegated to any one particular region of the world because it’s spoken across 5 different continents! That leaves you with a vast array of opportunities to pursue in all corners of the world.
Of course, you had to know we were going to mention Mandarin. As far as the sheer volume of speakers is concerned, Mandarin is only outmatched by English. Over 1.1 billion people speak Mandarin worldwide! That combined with China’s ever-growing status as an economic powerhouse makes for a very compelling argument to learn Mandarin.
It also goes without saying that English is up there as well.
Since you’re reading this I can assume that you already have a firm grasp of English, but don’t be so quick to dismiss the idea of brushing up your skills, especially business language training. Corporate language training for companies is extremely beneficial to a company’s productivity and success. If you’re not yet set on learning a completely new language, you should seriously consider language courses for business.
As for the other languages I mentioned, don’t fret too much on deciding which one to go with. Learning a new language, irrespective of which particular one you choose, can increase your career opportunities and wages in general.
Naturally, you won’t get paid to learn a language, but it’s certainly worth considering how much more money you can make if you know a second language. Some experts even believe that doing so can add between 10% to 15% to your current wage.
That’s a tremendous increase that you can’t afford to overlook.
How to Start Learning
Now that we’ve broached the subject of which second language is most useful for employment, it’s time to look into how to go about learning it.
Lucky for you, language learning has never been easier or more accessible. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. Gone are the days when you had to sit in an uncomfortable classroom with a dull and unengaging lecturer.
Advancements in telecommunication have made it so that online classes and tutoring are available whenever you want, however you want, and wherever you want!
But perhaps you’re not exactly sold on the idea of learning online. That’s certainly a reasonable apprehension, especially if you’re not used to this style of learning. In that case, we can look at the pros and cons of online learning. That way you can make a measured assessment for yourself.
The Pros and Cons of Online Education
Admittedly, the pros are plentiful. Online learning provides you with unparalleled flexibility. It allows you to choose the tutors you like, set your schedules, and learn from home. For someone who’s already a busy professional like yourself, flexibility is key. Without it, you might get discouraged and end up abandoning your goals altogether.
The cons relate more to your own interpersonal beliefs. You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of learning via webcam, it’s certainly not an uncommon concept. You may also feel that going to a tangible place of learning keeps you more accountable, and therefore, likely to learn.
Either way, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. No matter what your preferred style of learning is, there’s something out there that will cater to you and allow you to thrive with your goal to learn a new language.
Asking what language pays the most is a tad bit reductive. What we know for certain is that learning a new language, regardless of what it is, will yield better results for your career opportunities and the wages you earn.
No matter what language you decide to go with, just know that you’re doing yourself and your career a tremendous favor. This will help elevate your business viability to the next level and provide you with a whole new set of exciting opportunities.
So what are you waiting for?
Elitsa Zaimova, Business language training director, Preply Enterprise