The Career Benefits Of Learning A 2nd Language

How would you like the chance to improve your career opportunities? According to management personnel interviewed by the language learning company Rosetta Stone, learning a second language improved individuals’ chances of being given an interview opportunity, being extended a job offer, getting recommended for a promotion, or earning a pay raise. If you’ve been looking for the motivation to become bilingual, improving your job prospects is a great way to fuel that fire.

Job Opportunities

The global jobs forecast is set to rise by around 3 million workers according to data shared through the NASDAQ by premiere financial news provider RTTNews. That puts individuals who speak a second language at a unique advantage over those without the ability to communicate as effectively in a global economy. 

How does speaking another language improve your chances for job opportunities? If the global job market is growing, then it’s easy to draw a direct line to increasing your global opportunities using the top spoken languages in the business world as your guide. English is the most spoken language and even accounts for nearly 26% of content on all websites.

However, right behind English is Mandarin, the official language of the People’s Republic of China. It’s spoken by over 1.2 billion people globally. Because of China’s vast economic reach, learning Mandarin would be a healthy step toward securing an international employment opportunity. 

After English and Mandarin is Arabic. This might come as a surprise to some people, but it’s spoken in the Middle East and Africa: a vast area of opportunity. As a result, Arabic is growing quickly. In fact, it’s one of the world’s fastest growing languages with 25 countries around the globe claiming Arabic as their official or co-official language. Not only is it a language growing in popularity, but it’s also turning into a language eagerly sought after by U.S. government agencies, the business market, the field of engineering, and the medical field. 

Beyond these examples, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Japanese, and Hindi speakers are also in high demand in the global job market. Companies want to build positive relationships with their clients, and having an in-house translator – someone to demonstrate a company’s value of culture and the global nature of modern life – is a benefit that can’t be described by a set dollar amount. From marketing to transportation and from banking to communications and technology, the bilingual job market is hot and doesn’t show any signs of weakening. When you add a second language to your qualifications, you increase your chance at getting the job, the promotion, or the raise.

Increased Pay

When a skill you have is in high demand, you are in high demand. Around half the globe is bilingual, but in the U.S. only around 20% of the population can speak a second language fluently. This means that if you’re bilingual and looking for a new job in the United States, you have a sought-after skill that many others don’t have. Being fluent in a second language will increase your ability to find a new job, but it will also increase your chances to negotiate a more desirable salary. High demand, increased opportunities, a competitive job market, and better general communication skills: all of these add up when it comes to an employee’s salary.

Additionally, having the chance to be selective about the job you choose is an enormous advantage for bilingual career seekers. When the market starts narrowing, you will stand out among the crowd by providing practical and cultural value to whatever role you choose. In fact, bilingual employees can earn anywhere between 5 to 20% more money on average per hour than single language employees. Adding a second language can literally translate to more cash.

Proven Motivation

You might have a lot of experience in your field, but the ability to prove that you are willing to learn adds something unmeasurable to a job seeker’s resumé. Why? Simply put, it demonstrates motivation and follow through.

The big difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it is motivation and follow-through, two qualities essential to success in most career fields. In a tightening job market, those qualities can be proven by learning a second language. When you become proficient in any new skill, you increase your value, but in a global job market and increasingly diverse U.S. job market, learning a second language proves you understand the importance of a second language as a skill, you had the willingness to apply your time and resources to learning the skill, and you had the work ethic to see it through to the end with proficiency. 

Regardless of the field you’re in, those are qualities that set applicants apart, earn them an interview, or find them place in line for promotion.

Problem-Solving Skills

International researchers from Scotland and Italy found that children who were bilingual were “significantly more successful” performing problem solving tasks than those who were not according to the International Journal of Bilingualism. This might seem like a strange connection, but the science behind the data makes a lot of sense.

When anyone is learning a second language, their brain has to develop new synapses (connections) between ideas, and it has to add new patterns to old thoughts and pathways. This causes the language center of the brain to increase in flexibility. These connections and the flexibility of the language center lead to a healthier, more active brain, with an improved ability to problem-solve and think critically.

This directly translates to skills you can use to self-promote. Improved problem solving and critical thinking skills also usually mean a higher level of creativity and an improved ability to multi-task. Since most career fields value all of these skills, you’re on the right track for better paying, more satisfying roles when you add a second language to your repertoire.

Washington Technical Institute

Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. 

Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Meritize Financial Assistance, Climb Credit, or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702 to speak with an admissions specialist.

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Advance your education with an accredited certificate program from Washington Technical Institute (WTI). WTI is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning.


Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning.