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How Does Learning a Second Language Help With Jobs?

How Does Learning a Second Language Help With Jobs?

There are many “soft” benefits to being able to communicate in more than just one language, such as a broadened perspective and understanding of cultural diversity, but can it really make you a better job candidate? How does learning a second language help with jobs?

For Canadian job seekers, being able to communicate with people in both official languages is a valuable skill. In addition to boosting your attractiveness as a private sector employee, French / English bilingualism is required for the highly sought after jobs in the civil service. 

In this post, we will go into a bit more detail about how the ability to speak multiple languages can help you in the job market, especially for public sector jobs in Canada. 

Bilingualism & Public Service in Canada

Canadian flag with parliament building in background

Canada’s public service is one of the most bilingual workplaces in the country. This is because the federal government is committed to providing services in both English and French. As a result, employees who are bilingual have a significant advantage when it comes to securing a job in the public service. 

The ability to speak both official languages is an essential skill for all public servants, and positions that require bilingualism are designated as such. Canada’s public servants play a vital role in ensuring that all Canadians can receive the services they need in the language of their choice. 

By being bilingual, Canada’s public servants are able to better serve all Canadians and they actually earn more money! French / English bilingualism is required for senior positions, and public servants in bilingual positions that meet their Public Service Commission Test requirements become eligible for a bilingualism bonus. 

Increased Job Opportunities For Foreign Language Speakers

Many companies list language training and practical skills as part of the desired skills job applicants should have. Even jobs that you would not think would require dual language skills, such as programming or finance, actually could require communication with people who speak a different language.

Many businesses may try to expand to other markets, including other providers in Canada or internationally. Communicating in the business world with people who speak a foreign language can be invaluable for collaboration and customer retention. This is a valuable asset, and many companies are willing to pay a premium for bilingual candidates.

Furthermore, you may be able to apply to companies that operate in two different languages instead of being limited to working for a company that operates mainly in your native language. Learning a new language opens more doors for you and gives you greater choices when job hunting.

Does Knowing a Second Language Increase Income?

Bilingualism has long been considered a valuable skill in a business setting. All other things being equal, bilingual employees often get higher-paying positions than their monolingual counterparts. This is because bilingualism gives employees a broader range of skills and abilities, making them more attractive to employers. 

Bilingualism is not just about learning another language. It also involves understanding different cultures and customs. This can be extremely valuable for job interviews in today’s global economy, where businesses often operate in multiple countries. 

In Canada, someone who can speak French and English earns, on average, 40 per cent more in income than a unilingual anglophone or francophone. For public servants, the ability to communicate in more than one language opens up opportunities at senior and executive positions, not to mention the bilingualism bonus

Learn a Second Language For Better Job Prospects

Are you interested in learning a second or third language? LRDG offers results-oriented English as a second language (ESL) and French as a second language (FSL) online training that can help your career growth in either the private or public sector. Book a call to learn more!