Is a second language useful in the job market?

British people are notoriously poor at speaking another foreign language and for those who struggled to learn a smattering of French, German or Spanish at school, it may seem a rather useless subject when it appears that most of the world seems to speak English more than competently.
However, many employers do view more favourably candidates who can speak a second language than those who do not. This is true even when speaking a specific or a second language is not part of the job specification. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of another race or culture which means a candidate is likely to be more flexible or is more open to looking at things from a different perspective. In today’s world where the internet can connect us to others thousands of miles away in seconds, the ability to have a knowledge and understanding of others can only be an advantage.
The ability to speak more than one language definitely gives candidates a competitive edge over others. With the rise in immigration in the UK over the past 10 to 15 years, there are many children growing up speaking English in school and another language at home, giving them an advantage over children from families where only English is spoken. For those who are determined to succeed, they may want to try learning a less common foreign language. British companies are opening markets in Russia, Brazil, China and parts of the Middle East and competent speakers of Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic may find themselves in demand.