City 020 7796 3636
Thames Valley 01784 737 035

The one language candidates should learn for a £16k boost

What’s the most valuable second language to learn? Is it German? Spanish? Mandarin?

Well according to research, it's none of the above. An analysis by Adzuna reveals that candidates can earn £16k more by learning the romantic language of coding.

Whilst learning a programming language is unlikely to help you order coffee in an exotic destination, jobs that require it as a skill earn on average £16,523 more per year than positions which require an additional human language.

Whilst being multilingual can boost earnings, with salaries that require languages increasing by 7.8% since 2017, salaries that require computer languages have increased by 9.2% during the same period.

In fact, the average salary in a job requiring coding is £50,286 - compared to just £33,376 for jobs which require an employee to speak a second language.

But what dialect of code provides the biggest return? Adzuna found that ‘Java developer’ is the best paid coding job in the UK, offering an average advertised salary of £61,980.

However, Arabic speakers aren’t too far behind that figure, with speakers of the second language potentially raking in an average salary of £43,544. The national average salary stands at £33,708.

But is this trend towards computer languages on the rise? Whilst it’s not advised to put down your guide to Español – even if your motivations to learn concern ordering cerveza – you might want to advise candidates to consider learning a programming language. Not only do coding jobs pay better, they’re also becoming more prevalent, with Adzuna seeing a 14.2% rise in computer coding advertised vacancies in the past year.

“In the past, one of the best ways for people to improve their employability and earning potential was to speak a second language," said Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna.

"However, in 2018, computer languages look set to out-earn human ones. Java and Python have become the new Mandarin.

“At Adzuna we feel it’s really important to talk about these emerging trends, so that our education system and our national conversation can adapt to these changes in the job market and so that we can ensure we are arming our children and young people with the right skills for the future.”

However, this doesn’t mean that the incentive to learn a second language that can be used to converse in should be knocked. According to Albert Saiz, the MIT economist, there are earning premiums for different languages. Candidates can earn a 1.5% bonus for speaking Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German.

To see which languages – code and spoken – are most popular, and what they offer in terms of salary, click next…

Table 1: Top 10 most sought after codes (wage descending)


Code Type

Average Salary

Past Year Salary Rise/Drop

Java developer



Python developer



Javascript developer



C++ developer



C# developer



SQL developer



Mobile developer



Application (app) developer



Web developer



PHP developer



Table 2: Top 10 most sought after languages (wage descending)



Average Salary

Past Year Salary Rise/Drop































Source: RecruitmentGrapevine