Posts Tagged ‘languages’

Indeed accounting for the value of languages

October 6, 2017
171006data

Data as at 2240 on 6 October

So we continue our previous attempts to find some value in foreign languages with the help of Indeed.  We say that the typical undifferentiated graduate may well end up as an accountant, and ask what value may be added if they know a foreign language.  This approach also has the advantage that ‘accountant’ actually means something (unlike ‘consultant’) and it means something outside the UK (unlike ‘solicitor’).

171006table

Accountant salaries, with and without languages

The table above shows results for numbers of jobs and average pay, where ‘German’ means postings that mention both ‘Accountant’ and ‘German’ and so on.

We see that:

i) a rather small proportion of the accountant jobs mention languages (about 4% for the languages mentioned here);

ii)  for some languages–Arabic, Turkish–accountant jobs are scarce;

iii)  as previously,  Dutch, German and Spanish are worth money;

iv)  as previously,  Polish and Japanese are not worth money.

Are languages important?

September 27, 2017

Never mind which languages, the question is are any foreign languages important in the English-speaking world?  After all, if you live in some non-Anglophone country you probably need English both for foreign travel and for doing business with the rest of the world, while for an English-speaker the only real need is when you have to sell stuff to foreigners.  And that’s stuff as in stuff, since the English language may be part of the attraction of services like education.

The CBI Skills Survey for 2017 suggests that employers are not satisfied with graduates’ foreign language skills:

cbi_gradsat

but also do not regard them as particularly important:

cbi_gradfac

…unless of course they come under ‘Degree Subject’…

Available surveys do not really show any particular premium for graduates in foreign languages.  A survey with rather unclear methodology looks at average [mean] starting graduate salaries as at October 2016, with some results we have summarised:

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So it appears that starting salaries for what appear to be language-based degrees are a little above the average for humanities and a little below the overall average.  By way of comparison, the highest and lowest salaries are shown below:

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A more systematic exercise (but with less detailed subject classifications) published by DfE gives median earnings in 2014/15 for those graduating in 2008/09.  As before, we would be hard-pressed to claim a particular premium for Languages:

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Finally, what looks like a very thorough study by the IFS is more interested in various factors such as socio-economic background, prior attainment and institution status but gives some rather discrepant information for males and females:

ifs_mal

ifs_fem.png

So ‘Lang Lit’ (which must be basically English in terms of numbers) looks like a pretty good deal for women but not for men.

We conclude that there is no real excess demand for graduates in modern foreign languages demonstrated by either employer preferences or salaries achieved…

‘At the doors from the underworld…’ (Natalya Gorbanevskaya)

March 24, 2013

At the doors from the underworld clamant and screechy
paparazzi are pointing their photographic things.
Orepheus is returning without Eurydice
and his lyre has only broken strings.

The blockheads all are clustering round
only his pain is now numb, indifferent to sound.
Behind him already an indistinct cacophony
from Eurydice, Proserpine, Persephone.

gorbanevskaya

У дверей из подземелья шум и крики,
папарацци наставляют аппараты.
Возвращается Орфей без Эвридики,
на кифаре его струны оборваты.

Обормоты, кифареда обступая, —
только боль уже глухая и тупая.
Позади уже неразличимы стоны
Эвридики, Прозерпины, Персефоны.