It’s easy to decide to learn a foreign language, but the real challenge is to decide which language to learn. If you have a solid reason to learning a certain language, you don’t need more; however, many adults want to learn a new language to develop their expertise, but have no idea how to pick the right language, especially when they are looking to supplement their income.
As the unemployment rate in US is still pretty high, millions of people are trying to make themselves more valuable for employers. Luckily, learning a foreign language is one of the ways to gain extra value as an employee, a fact which has been proven by surveys among employers. Moreover, being bilingual can bring you higher income.
More languages, more money
Recruitment specialists state that bilingual workers earn up to 15% more money, which is a significant amount. The Economist made a top 3 most profitable languages, which show bonuses vary in amount on the language you are fluent in. German is the leader of the top, with almost 4% bonuses.
Many companies are open to hiring foreign workers and this trend is spreading on all domains. Translators’ opportunities are expected to double until 2022, for example, while US military workers can earn up to $1,000 more each month, if they are bilingual.
After you have learnt a new language you can easily change your job field, as there is a whole new range of opportunities open for you, based on this new language.
Which are the most profitable languages to learn
All foreign languages are useful, however, there are some languages which are considered to be “more profitable” than others. In this article, I rated different languages by the number of speakers in the world, the number of countries where it is spoken and their relevance for the international economy.
I have to note couple of things about this criteria: Chinese, Arabic and Hindi are the top 3 most spoken languages across the world, BUT you need to consider the number of people in each country when you decide how useful are these languages. For example, China is the most populated country, with 1,300 billiard of people, which made around 20% of the world population.
For the second criteria, you can check the Census official data to see the business partners of US.
Now that you know how I made this list, let’s get into the business!
The top 4 most profitable languages to learn (in no particular order)
Despite the misconception, French is spoken by over 2 million people across the world, in 29 countries, which makes it highly useful. First, students who know French are eligible for scholarships, which can save their parents a lot of money. Secondly, Canada, where French is one of the main languages spoken, is the top trading partner of US. Moreover, French is the official language of NATO, the Olympics, Red Cross and United Nations as well as other organizations. This opens your job opportunities to jobs in consultancy, administration, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, to name a few.
In US, mastering French is going to add to your value as an employee, because few Americans know it.
China is the new dominating power in economy and it’s influence is growing, which means learning a Mandarin language opens up your professional perspective. China is one of the biggest trading partners of US and the demand for executives in multinational companies is rising. Knowing this hard to learn language is hard, but it will provide you with opportunities in diplomatic sector and military sector, apart from commerce and banking sectors.
Germany is a powerful European country, which means its economical value is rising, along with its international economic power. According to some financial magazines, German is the language that returns the highest profit. The only drawback is the fact German is not the easiest language to learn, but the increase in monthly earnings is a strong motivation.
Our latest entry is not the latter, but it’s the easier to learn: you can even pick up Italian during a visit in Rome! British Council included Italian in the top 10 most important languages for UK, for the next 20 years, which means it comes with a lot of opportunities. Italian is a Romance language, just like Portuguese and Spanish, so it can be a good option for those who already know Spanish, for example. Or, you can first learn Italian to make it easier to learn Portuguese.
Either way, it will open a lot of job opportunities for you, as Italy is a popular destination, with a strong tourism sector; Milan is the fashion capital and great chefs come in this country to perfect their cooking skills. The business sector is also in demand of Italian speaking professionals.
Featured photo credit: Flickr/Peter Miller via flickr.com