The tech sector is one of the most buoyant industries in the United States. In 2020, the US tech sector employed more than 5 million workers in part-time or full-time capacities. Roles within the tech sector vary from customer support operatives to cloud engineers, with job-specific requirements varying significantly between posts.
While an in-depth knowledge of programming languages is essential for those looking to pursue a career in software development, learning a foreign language can also boost your career prospects in the tech sector. Demand for multilingual candidates is on the rise, with foreign language proficiency considered a particularly valuable asset.
What Language Skills Are Tech Sector Companies Looking For?
Around 90 percent of US employers rely in part on employees that can speak at least one additional language besides English. What’s more, around a third of all American employers are highly dependent upon bilingual or multilingual employees. This demand extends to the tech sector, with multilingual candidates standing apart from monolingual job-seekers during the hiring process.
In the US, the demand for speakers of Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Spanish is particularly high and on the rise. However, many employers report encountering problems when it comes to securing talent demonstrating proficiency in these languages. Anyone looking to improve their odds of landing a dream gig in the tech sector would do well to focus their attention on learning one of these highly-sought after languages.
Broadening Career Horizons
Even if you have no immediate need to master a foreign language, getting to grips with a new tongue can put you in good stead for the future. With at least one foreign language at your disposal, your career prospects will be significantly improved. Should you encounter a shortage of suitable positions in your home country, you can extend your search to include international destinations.
Although Silicon Valley is often considered the be-all and end-all when it comes to tech sector jobs, other countries around the world are home to thriving IT and technology industries. In Europe, both Switzerland and Sweden are home to booming tech sectors, while the Netherlands employs a significant number of tech-savvy expatriates who have left their home countries in search of better career prospects. Many IT and tech professionals will find far better salaries and starter packages available elsewhere in the world, but you’ll want to demonstrate foreign language proficiency to ensure the best chance of landing an interview.
Although the US and Europe are hotbeds of activity within the tech industry, you may want to look further afield for the most lucrative salaries and rewarding career challenges. If you can land a position at a high enough level, the Indian tech industry is well worth investigating, with India fast becoming a leading force within the sector. However, the rapid rise of the Chinese economy means you may want to orient your job search towards East Asia. Getting to grips with Mandarin Chinese may prove more challenging than brushing up on your high school French, but rising to the task will yield substantial career rewards in the future.
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