The coronavirus has created a shift in the job market, meaning candidates are finding it more difficult to find employment. Learning a second language is not only proven to improve your brain's functionality, it can also make you more employable.
As a direct consequence of learning a second language, you will have more opportunities in foreign or multinational companies in any industry. In the education sector, for example, you could earn money teaching that second language, or tutoring students. In business, you could use it for interpretation or international work.
Which languages should you learn?
If you are unsure which language to learn next, these are some of the most lucrative languages to know:
China makes up around half the world’s population, making Mandarin the most spoken language globally, even ahead of English. This is often seen as the best second language to learn for business – some business courses even include a module dedicated to learning Mandarin.
This could be an important language to learn if you’re interested in the creative industries. The creative industries play a big role in French-speaking countries, so you are more likely to find a role that suits your artistic passion in a company that speaks French.
Spoken in many former Dutch colonies, some of the closest countries to the UK including the Netherlands and parts of Belgium, as well as some Caribbean nations. Forming bonds with businesses in our neighbouring countries can help UK companies seeking to grow their international footprints.
For scientific or procurement and supply chain roles, German is one of the most useful languages to know. It is the 10th most widely spoken language globally and one of the most common languages in Europe. Major UK companies find German speaking candidates attractive, allowing them to better compete with German counterparts.
According to research by online educational platform Preply, Arabic is the most lucrative language, with the average wage of Arabic-speaking roles reaching over £52,000 in the UK, especially in teaching. The demand for Arabic speakers in teaching is booming, while interpretation roles are crucial for companies to build global relationships.
The benefits of a second language
This additional skill will give you an edge in this tough job market. An employer will see your second language as a sign of intelligence and dedication. Even if it’s a skill you rarely use in your role, it can also have an indirect effect by positively impacting your brain.
Many believe that to learn a second language you must start early, but many adults are successfully learning second and third languages all the time. Multilingualism promotes the health of your brain, even as aspects of it decline as you age. This is known as ‘cognitive compensation’. There is a clear difference between monolingual brains and multilingual brains when it comes to health.
Where do I start?
There are many ways to learn a second language. Apps Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, are widely used. You learn as if you are playing a game or learning your first language again, making it easier to pick up a completely new dialect.
You can find thousands of affordable language courses online, at reed.co.uk. Alternatively, you could find a tutor to help you one-to-one. There are many online platforms including Preply with language tutors available. Once you’ve mastered your new language, you could even become one yourself.
Not every company you want to work for speaks English. Learning a new language has a multitude of benefits and it can give you a boost if you are looking for work during this pandemic. Also, with the worldwide increase in remote working, there are fewer geographical limits to finding your dream role.
If you’re looking for your next opportunity, contact your nearest REED office.