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The Job Benefits of Being Bilingual

Girl on a TrainIt’s no secret that adding a second language to your resume can increase your chances of securing an interview, but have you explored the job benefits of being bilingual once you’ve landed the job?

Speaking a second language can help you stand out in any position, regardless of whether or not that language is used in everyday work. However, job openings with a second language requirement doubled between 2010 and 2015, putting those that speak more than one language at a considerable advantage, as only 20% of Americans are bilingual. Job positions in translation and interpreting are expected to grow 42% by 2020, with 25,000 new positions expected to be created in the coming years, making this one of the fastest growing job fields.

In addition to creating more job opportunities, speaking another language can result in a 5-20% pay increase in comparison to your English speaking co-workers. Even a 2% pay increase can help you reap the rewards of being bilingual. Based on the average salaries of college graduates, speaking a second language can mean up to $128,000 more in your retirement fund, depending on what languages you speak. Pay premiums include a 1.5% increase for Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German, which your future self will thank you for.

Aside from personal benefits, being bilingual also helps to make you a better employee. Those who speak more than one language are found to be more divergent thinkers, meaning that they are better at looking at all possible solutions and creatively solving problems. While being able to think creatively, you may also be better at thinking rationally as speaking a second language has been found to decrease emotional decision making. This means that you’ll most likely be better at making decisions based on facts, rather than feelings.

Learning a second language can seem daunting, but it is obviously worth the time spent! Improve your students’ job prospects and performance by putting their language skills to the test on one of our Language Immersion Programs!

Julia Karam

Julia is a student at Northeastern University. She traveled with EF in 2015, and now is a content marketing co-op at EF Tours. She has traveled to 10+ countries and will study in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2018 semester.

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