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Bilingual coders earn £4,500 a year more than their single language colleagues, a report from technology recruiter Greythorn has revealed.
According to the report, coders who know more than one language earn an average of 10% more, which across a working career amounts to £252,000.
The report also revealed that if IT and tech professionals currently proficient in one language were to learn a second, it would mean an extra £317m annually for the profession.
Of those questioned, 78% said they do not feel sufficient training is offered by their employer to ensure their coding skills are kept up to date.
Greythorn UK director Garie Dale said IT and technology is always going to be a sector with a skills gap because programming and coding evolve too quickly for training and courses to encapsulate relevant information for long enough.
"This means IT professionals must always be looking ahead to the next anticipated technological trend. They can enjoy a healthy salary uplift of 10% where they have mastered multiple coding languages – which highlights the personal benefits of sharpening skills in more than one area," he said.
“The UK currently ranks 19th globally for its digital skills training, falling behind the likes of the US, Germany and Japan – something that needs to change. It is essential employers provide opportunities for training, not only to ensure they have the most knowledgeable teams working for them, but they help keep UK companies at the forefront of digital advances.”
From September 2014, the English national curriculum required computing to be taught in schools to children from the age of five until 16. This replaced the ICT syllabus and was intended to introduce children to computational thinking from an early age.
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However, in the lead-up to the start of the curriculum, many schools said they did not have enough time or support to prepare for the launch.
When respondents to the survey were asked whether they thought the new government would do enough in schools to protect the UK's global position for digital skills training, 68% of respondents said no.
“The digital sector alone contributes an estimated £105bn in gross added value to the UK economy but there is a concern that too little will be done in schools to reflect this economic contribution," said Dale. "Coding languages ought to be given the same status as numeracy and literacy in our school curriculum, and although increased importance is being attached to these skills they are not yet viewed as indispensable.
“It is equally essential that professionals within the sector value their own coding and programming skills highly and keep these at the highest possible standard – this will help sustain the significant value the technology sector currently contributes to the UK economy,” he added.
Despite the benefits of bilingual coding, 53% said knowing more than one language was merely a “nice to have” and 13% did not think it was important for career progression. More than a quarter (26%) of those surveyed did not have knowledge of even one coding language.