IT grads told to brush up their language skills to get higher pay

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IT grads told to brush up their language skills to get higher pay

Antony Savvas

IT graduates should brush up their language skills to benefit from higher wages being offered by big foreign firms located in Scotland and other areas.

IT and telecoms recruitment consultancy NetworkersMSB is currently looking to find candidates who are fluent in French, Spanish, Dutch, German or any of the Nordic languages, to fill a number of "well-paid opportunities" at top technology companies.

The firm says about 20% of the positions on its books at its specialist technology office in Glasgow require language skills for technical support and customer service roles.

Candidates offering language skills can expect to earn as much as £3,000 more at entry level, and will continue to earn more than their peers without languages as they progress, claimed NetworkersMSB.

The demand for languages is particularly acute in Scotland, it says, because for the last decade, organisations including IBM, Dell and Sun Microsystems have operated large call centres that service European-wide areas.

And, as well as the more common Western European languages required, there is now an emerging need for Eastern European languages, such as Polish, Russian and Turkish.

Virginie Katz, NetworkersMSB's specialist technical languages consultant, said, "At the moment, the majority of vacancies we have are being filled by European Union technology graduates speaking their mother-tongue and fluent English. With at least a dozen universities on our doorstep in Scotland, it would be great if we could identify some home-grown talent with the right combination of skills."

NetworkersMSB predicts the demand for IT professionals with linguistic skills will continue to grow in other areas of the UK, including Northern Ireland, where government initiatives such as beneficial tax-breaks and other incentives are encouraging service outsourcing businesses to relocate.


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