Everyone knows that foreign language fluency can improve your employment prospects. Being bilingual introduces you to new job prospects and increases your odds of landing a managerial position and a premium salary to match. However, some languages are more lucrative than others. Before you start planning on how to learn Japanese or master Cantonese, read on for five languages that are guaranteed to give you a competitive edge as you take the following steps in your career.
French is one of the most commonly spoken languages on the planet, with 274 million speakers. Only a fraction of these are native speakers, with the rest using it as a second or third language. As a result, you’ll find French being spoke far and wide, with countries on five continents recognizing it as an official language.
Because of its widespread use, French is an increasingly important language for international commerce. If you’re looking for maximum flexibility in your future career, mastery of this European language will put you in good stead for the future. Now that the United Kingdom has departed from the EU, it’s also likely that French will largely replace English as the communication standard in Europe.
Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Currently, around 460 million use Spanish as their native language. In addition, it’s used as a second language by another 100 million non-native speakers. Used in more than 20 countries across the globe, Spanish is becoming increasingly important to international trade and business.
It’s one of the most frequently studied languages in high schools and further education. However, it’s also incredibly accessible for adult learners. Older individuals looking to refine their resume with foreign language skills should seriously consider exploring Spanish.
If you’re looking to add a premium to your pay packet, learning German is the way to go. The official language of Germany and three other European countries, German also enjoys recognized status in two other territories. As a result, there are more than 130 million German speakers worldwide, with many of these confined to the European mainland.
Because it’s not as widespread as other languages in this list, you’d be forgiven for wondering why German fluency commands such a high premium. The reason is simple. Germany is a major manufacturing hub and this EU country is one of the most industrious in the developed world.
Arabic is an ancient language. It’s existed in a familiar form for almost 1,500 years, although proto-Arabic languages emerged earliest. With more than 422 million speakers worldwide, it’s also one of the most widespread languages in the world. The majority of speakers are spread across 25 states and territories throughout the Middle East.
The Middle East isone of the most lucrative job markets around. Many countries and states in the region are enjoying economic booms, with impressive GDP growth performance. Unfortunately, while career prospects are plentiful, many industries in the region suffer from significantly small candidate pools. This makes six-figure salaries ripe for the picking.
Mandarin has long been a dominant language. Today, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world, with an estimated 1.1 billion native speakers. Moreover, the economic importance of China continues to grow.China will likely supplant the United States as the leading international economy in a few years.
Even if you’re not prepared to relocate to Asia, getting to grips with Mandarin is well worth the effort. Firms based in the US, Europe, and elsewhere are increasingly turning their attention to the Chinese market. This has inevitably meant an upswing in the number of positions available for Mandarin-speaking candidates. While proficiency with Mandarin may net you a sizable salary boost, learning this language is not easy. It’s considered one of the most complicated languages to learn.