In an increasingly globalized society, being able to speak a second language is more important than ever. Being bilingual will benefit your job prospects in just about any chosen career. Foreign language skills are almost as valuable as programming ones in the tech sector.
Whether you’re chasing a customer support position or thinking about a career in software development, demonstrating fluency in a language other than your native can set you apart from a teeming candidate pool.
What Languages Are Most In-Demand?
English fluency is generally considered a minimum required when pursuing careers in the tech sector. However, as more companies expand globally, being able to speak a second or third language is becoming more important. Some world languages are more in-demand than others.
Currently, French and German are among the most sought-after languages in this sector. If you’re eager to secure a high-paying position quickly, knowing how to learn German will give you a significant advantage.
What Kind of a Premium Can You Expect?
A second language will always land you a premium on a starting salary. However, some languages are more prized than others in the tech sector.Japanese continues to be one of the top-paying languages in the tech sector. Let’s take a software developer role as an example.
At the lowest end of the scale, entry-level candidates can earn upwards of $40,000 as a starting salary. However, software developers with Japanese language skills can pursue salaries as high as $110,000.
For the next highest paying languages in the tech sector, cast your gaze to Europe. Denmark is home to a thriving IT sector that’s worth more than 35 billion dollars. fThis Nordic country offers rich prospects if your expertise lies in software development, this Nordic country offers rich prospects.Denmark is also home to a significant number of tech startups, meaning there’s no shortage of vacancies available.
Dutch and German skills will also put you in good stead if you’re looking to secure a generous salary in the tech sector. In the Netherlands, the average tech salary is around $5,200.
In Germany, monthly averages are slightly lower, hovering at around $4,100. of course, you may be able to find more generous monthly incomes if you land a lucrative position in Silicon Valley, but these US-based roles are highly competitive.
What Tech Roles Benefit from Foreign Language Fluency?
If you’re just starting in your career, it might be surprising that many of the lowest-paying jobs in the tech sector call for foreign language skills. Hiring managers looking to fill customer support roles prioritize candidates with more than one language at their disposal. By communicating with as broad a customer base as possible, you can prove yourself a real asset to a company with international reach.
The tech industry is just one of many sectors internationally. If you’re struggling to secure a role in your native country, being able to speak a foreign language gives your more freedom geographically. If there’s a limited number of suitable roles in your home country or not you’re not happy with the salaries being advertised, you can consider relocating to another part of the world.
Many countries with emerging tech sectors are facing a skills shortage. With no language barriers holding you back, it’s relatively easy to secure sponsorship for relocation with a company in desperate need of your technical ability.
Foreign Language Skills and Freelancing
In the United States, it’s estimated that around a third of all tech sector roles are freelance. Many tech industry professionals prefer the work-life balance benefits that freelancing brings. However, freelancing looks set to become the standard in the tech sphere going forward. By 2028, it’s thought that as many as 45% of tech jobs will be freelance, with more employees doing away with conventional contracts.
If you want to future-proof your tech industry career prospects, now’s the time to embrace the freelance way of life. You may have to say goodbye to conventional benefits and contract perks, but freelancing in the tech sector can often yield more generous rates of pay. Furthermore, freelancing affords you more mobility.
As mentioned previously, foreign language skills make it easy to relocate to new territories to pursue new opportunities. Combine these skills with informal freelance contracts, and nothing is stopping you from pursuing more rewarding positions elsewhere.
Adjusting to the life of a freelancer can prove overwhelming for those who’ve only ever been part of in-house teams on full contracts. However, the benefits can far outweigh the risks involved.
Tired of toiling on monotonous development projects? As a freelancer, nothing is stopping there’s nothing stopping you from packing your bags and moving to Europe or East Asia to explore new roles in emerging startups. Not only do you benefit from new surroundings and being able to immerse in a new working culture, but you can also target less competitive job markets.
Career Advantages of Speaking a Second Language
A second language brings significant career development prospects. Average salaries for bilingual career starters are substantially higher. A candidate can expect to secure at least 10% more on their starting salary than a monolingual career starter. This premium can climb to 50% for senior positions.
Furthermore, those with bilingual skills under their belt can look to brighter promotion prospects. In an incredibly competitive industry, maintaining an advantage over candidates is vital in ensuring you climb the career ladder. By speaking more than one language, you can explore business opportunities further afield.
Furthermore, your language credentials will make you a desirable choice when selecting key talent to lead expansion projects in new countries. All of this brings invaluable experience that will enrich your future career prospects and the apparent perk of premium salaries and benefits.