5 Reasons You Need to Do Your MBA in English

5 Reasons You Need to Do Your MBA in English

Do You Speak English?

Five (and one bonus) curious facts about the international language of business

Here are a couple of fairly immutable facts grounded in hard reality that summarise the times we live in.

One: business is global.  And two: the global language of business is English.

From corporations to startups, many businesses today will look to accelerate growth outside their home markets. The digital revolution, economies of scale, diversification of risk, markets, customer bases, competition, cost … businesses are going global often as not because they can.

And with international growth comes the imperative to establish a single, common corporate language. A lingua franca that makes it easier to align operations, coordinate units, collaborate with partners, customers and get everyone on the same page, reading from the same script, using the same tongue. Across borders, cultures and geographies.

Just ask the likes of SAP, Samsung, Nokia or Honda – multinational behemoths with HQs outside of the States – what language they speak from the boardroom to the factory floor. But be sure to ask them in English.

Why English?

The hegemony of the English language can probably be traced to the spread of British colonialism, reaching its peak at the start of the modern era in the early 19th century.

And then, of course, there is the rise of the U.S. as the world’s foremost economic power in recent times.

Whatever the reason, the dominance of English as the “global language” looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. According to HBR, English is the world’s fastest spreading language with just over 1.7 billion people using it as a first or second language. In a global population of 7 billion, that’s just over 20% of all of us.

Anyone looking to launch an international career in management, then, would do well to ensure they have at least some understanding of the language of Shakespeare, Dickens and Joyce.

No big surprises there.

But there’s more to English than meets the eye.

Below we’ve assembled five curious facts about the international language of business that you many not have known.

Five (and one extra) facts about English

  1. It is officially classified as the native language in 18 countries. From Granada to Ireland, St Lucia to the United States, English is the mother tongue. But the spread doesn’t end there. English is also used as an official language in no fewer than 54 sovereign states worldwide.
  2. English is the global language of business. But did you know it is also the language of the internet? According to Internet World Stats, English dwarfed other major languages with more than 985 million online users in 2017.
  3. English is also the language of the media. The majority of the world’s foremost press and media channels – including the Financial Times, Forbes, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week (everything that features on your MBA reading list in the main) – are delivered in English.
  4. Despite its ubiquity, English is not an easy language to learn. Everything from grammatical irregularities to syntax to phonetics can make English a headache for a non-native speaker. There are plenty of contenders for the world’s most complicated language, but for fun, just try pronouncing these words: through; bough; ought.
  5. It’s estimated that a new word is added to the English dictionary every two hours. That notches up to more than 4000 new words every year. Small wonder The Economist’s Johnson blog describes the language as “rich and beautiful, not least because England has been conquered by Vikings and Normans, and has happily been open to foreign influence through its history.”

Having proficiency in English opens you up to global business opportunities, boosts your international mobility and automatically gets you on a faster track to leadership.

Doing your MBA in English means that you not only learn the basics of the language – you also master business English. You graduate fluent in the lexicon of global management.

Here’s a bonus sixth curious fact about English: it is the official language of Rotterdam School of Management’s International Full-time MBA.

Since its inception in 1985, our International Full-time MBA has been consistently ranked amongst the world’s most international advanced management programmes – # 9in the world in the Forbes ranking of 2017.

And that’s because we understand that to compete in the global marketplace, you need to be equipped with the knowledge, insights, mindset and the fullest array of skills to stand out from the crowd, identify the opportunities and pursue them to the very best of your ability. Wherever in the world you are or aspire to be.

So the question is: do you speak the international language of business?

The RSM MBA gives you full access to business English. But you also get full exposure to everything that the Netherlands has to offer as the gateway to Europe and the gateway to global business. (link to the other blogposts about being the gateway to Europe). Get in touch with our admissions team today to find out how one of the world’s premier international MBA programmes can set you up for success.