Why is learning English so vital to your global career?

In today’s world, English is the global language. According to Global Speak 2017 report, English is used by more than a billion people around the world. Learning English allows you to be a part of this worldwide community and get an entry into many careers.

International professionals who speak a second language will be in demand for the foreseeable future. So it is important to learn English.

Even if you are not a native English speaker, you will benefit from learning the language. Learning English has many benefits, especially for young people who want to get better jobs and live abroad. Here are some of the most important reasons why it is so important to learn English.

It’s not just for communicating with your friends and family, English is a language that is needed in almost every industry. Global employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate their fluency in the English language. So if you think you might be interested in learning English then here are a few reasons why it’s so important to your global career.

Business English usage is growing rapidly

Because of our increasingly connected workforce, adopting a universal business language has become a priority of many companies around the world. Business English proficiency allows for more effective global operations as a result of stronger collaboration and communication between employees and business divisions. Business English also makes complex interactions between the company, partners, vendors and its customers more consistent. That’s why, according to this English language infographic, 80 percent of global companies say English is needed to succeed in their business. 

Business English makes you desirable to MNCs

Just as computer skills are vital, so too is the ability to effectively communicate in English when looking for a job at a global organization. According to the many multi-national corporations (MNCs) are establishing English as their corporate language, among them:

  • Supports its English mandate with global training courses in over 40 countries.
  • Microsoft’s MACH program help assimilate international employees.

That means you wouldn’t even be able to get “your foot in the door” without having the English language listed as a skill on your resume.

Business English is a hiring criterion

The companies above and many others realize that strong communication skills improve business performance. That’s why some companies require a certain level of English before they’ll ever consider hiring you. Many even map required levels of English proficiency to certain job roles and career progression.

If your English isn’t good enough today, that’s all right. Top executives, along with talent management personnel, proactively recruit and train new employees that have not only basic English proficiency, but also advanced business knowledge and skills. That is because these employees help the company grow and innovate as they expand their worldview. There are enterprise-grade business English programs available, like to help improve your English skills as you work.

English encourages advancement

Companies that mandate English, like Japanese company, have seen rapid changes in their corporate culture. According to a  “One Monday morning in 2010 [Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO], whose own English was perfected at Harvard Business School, unleashed ‘Englishnization’ on his thousands of stunned employees.” The company, an online shopping space doing business globally, requires all employees to demonstrate English competency. This Englishnization is cited for improving both employee and company performance.

Career progression in this connected world requires consistent improvement so you can work optimally across borders, cultures and time zones. There’s no denying that business English skills are vital to your career.

Is there a right way to learn English or is it all about practice?

In March 2011, Learning English notes this training trend where companies are requiring employees to complete certain levels of the test over time and receive credentials. Most employers provide language theory training as well as practice classes throughout any progress toward certification.

According to Pearson’s survey, 94 percent of large organizations worldwide have employment-related English proficiency testing programs from “schools or special entities that monitor their staff’s language skills” . So what do you need to know about these testing programs?

Depends on the company…

While some companies only want proficient English speakers, others are much more inclusive when it comes down to their language requirement. Some organizations actually test for non-cognitive skills: how good you can be at collaborating with other team members; communicating effectively in face-to-face interactions and keeping up with changes in technology (like desktop computers versus smartphones). These tests tested your ability to understand and be productive in the English language.

The reliability of a company’s tests is also an issue to consider as it relates to how this type of policy affects your career path if you’re hired by a single employer versus other positions within that same organization . Some employers focus more on the practical tests for finding employees with specific competencies like reading, writing and speaking skills outside the workplace than they do their cognitive abilities: remembering facts or organizing data for examples; making sound judgments about what to say and not saying something without thinking it through. The final outcome on a language test has less of an impact than how well or poorly you function as a team member in your entire career. See also, speaking English.

Other European countries, such as Spain and Denmark, are using computer-based testing systems that compare candidates with normative data from across Europe known as the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR).

The difficulties with these testing systems are that they tend to not be comprehensive; or in other words, the tests can often only measure a small portion of what your role requires. Also, this doesn’t take into account individual differences: for example, some people might do much better on English language exams than others regardless of their proficiency when it comes down to having common social skills such as showing empathy towards coworkers and being confident about themselves. As companies ramp up their new hires and search for the best candidates, new selection processes such as these will become more prevalent. These European companies are taking part in a growing movement to change how employers hire people by utilizing proficiency criteria that go far beyond speaking a language well or reading skills alone.

All in all, reading and writing skills are expected, but these results may be particularly strong candidates from low-wage countries.

The test scores do not reflect job performance in the workplace. While it cannot shed light on personal attributes for a specific cultural environment for example, how eager you might be to perform teamwork tasks or communicate with your colleagues—it does still show which candidate can fit best into an international organization by passing key language skill tests that shows both theoretical knowledge and the ability to communicate.