Research shows that businesses are increasingly looking for employees who speak a foreign language. In a LinkedIn survey, 90% of HR Directors, CEOs and CMOs responded that having English-speaking employees is beneficial to their businesses. Additionally, a recent survey by Towers Watson found that companies that are ‘effective communicators’ had a 47% higher total return to shareholders over a 5-year period compared to those who weren’t effective in this area. Here are just some of the reasons why learning English can boost your employability…
English is the most commonly used language in the world
There are more than 50 English-speaking countries around the world, and around 375 million people communicating in English. The options for employment in different parts of the world are more extensive than with any other language. For example, you could find yourself in:
• The Bahamas
• New Zealand
• St Lucia
• Trinidad and Tobago
• United Kingdom
English: the lingua franca of business
The effects of globalisation have certainly had an effect on English becoming the lingua franca of business. It makes you more employable by opening doors to many more career options and connects you to more globally recognised companies. In the US, 69% of people surveyed who spoke English as a second language said English was the most important language for them to learn.
The internet is in English
The internet was developed in the UK and US, giving English a head-start as the dominant online language. As more countries come online, other languages have increased their web presence but English currently accounts for 55% of all online content. Being a universal language makes it a common ground for communication between different nationalities. We’ve mapped out this data here.
English is also the international language of science
Did you know that in today’s scientific world, a new term is more likely to be coined in English than in any other language? And new discoveries are even more likely to be published in English? As this data shows, the comparison between the number of journal articles published in English to those published in the country’s native language has risen. Even the famous German-born Albert Einstein researched and taught in the US.
You could potentially earn more
According to research from the US, those who speak English as a second language can command a wage increase of up to 30%, while those who have mastered it can earn 67% more. As the US is a leader in technical innovation (behind China), the number of roles available to English-speakers has increased and US companies are looking abroad for market growth more than ever before.
When it comes to employability, having a second language is immensely valuable and being bilingual will put your application ahead of monolingual candidates. And the employment options available to those having English as a second language will only increase.
This is just the beginning of a new agenda for Business English. Join the debate by tweeting #englishforwork.