You know that mastering business English is important to your professional progression. The question is, just how important is it really?

Boundaries and borders no longer exist in the world of business. Today, location is not as important as ability when it comes to securing employment, proximity no longer a necessity thanks to highly efficient outsourcing processes, and professional progression dependent on what you can do, above all else.

Who you know, and where you are don’t matter like they once did.

What you can do does.

In a highly competitive employment market, this means having the skills to outshine your competition. It also means having a high level of business English if you want to compete on both a regional, and global, scale.

Why? Consider the facts:
  • A recent report from the global employment agency Randstad found that 58% of graduate positions, 65% of middle-management positions, and 100% of senior management positions require at minimum a second language; primarily English
  • English continues to dominate as the language of business, something that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future
  • To compete on a global scale, by 2020 an estimated 2 billion people will be learning English (Source: The British Council)
  • On average, improved English skills save employees two hours a week, increasing workplace efficiency and reducing operating costs, making applicants proficient in English more attractive to employers

If the above facts weren’t enough, it’s also important to bear in mind that to progress professionally means that you need to continuously educate yourself. The internet, with its 2.4 billion users—a large proportion of whom communicate in English—and its 634 million websites—55.5% of which are in English compared to 4.3% in Spanish, 3.8% in French and 2.3% in Portuguese—is the easiest, most affordable, and accessible resource to do this through. It is also a resource through which you can benefit from access to highly specific and important, information relevant across all professions, such as the Project Management Institute’s knowledgebase. In addition, it offers broader, but no less important information from websites and organizations such as Ted, whose talks inspire and inform professionals at all levels, worldwide. To truly benefit however, it is clear that you need to have a high level of English.

All these facts, among many others, confirm that the need to master English, and particularly business English, is no longer something required only of high-level professionals. It has become a basic core skill required at all levels of the employment hierarchy; from entry-level to senior executive positions.

A required skill many of your competitors in the employment market don’t possess. South America has one of the lowest levels of English language proficiency worldwide.

Brazil for example, the largest economy in South America and the sixth largest in the world, is along with Russia, the country with the lowest proficiency of Business English in the world.

Columbia, with its major economical and commercial ties with the United States, and Chile, the region’s most competitive country, have both been ranked in the bottom five countries for business English proficiency in the world.

And the list goes on.

Why is this important to you? Because it means that today:

  • You have the opportunity to differentiate yourself in the employment market
  • You have the opportunity to seek, and gain, employment opportunities your competitors do not have the skills for
  • You can progress faster, and further, by simply improving your business English skills

In what has become a global workplace, maybe it's time you removed your borders and boundaries?