English has become the global language of entertainment, marketing, commerce and international diplomacy. The latest scientific research is published in English, even by world-famous research institutions in countries where English is not the native language.
It is clear that in Canada and throughout the world, a degree in English has become a stepping stone to a veritable host of careers, whether in law, public relations, teaching, politics, broadcasting, international relations, advertising, research, or in any number of other fields.
Studying English hones a person's ability to think critically and write well. It prepares students not just to get a job, but to succeed afterward. After surveying 120 major American corporations, the U.S.'s National Commission on Writing concluded that "'writing is a ‘threshold skill’ for both employment and promotion, particularly for salaried [professional] employees" and that "people who cannot write and communicate clearly will not be hired and are unlikely to last long enough to be considered for promotion."
Despite the fact that the number of English speakers is rapidly expanding, there are fewer and fewer professionally trained critical readers and writers. Employers, especially at elevated levels, are hungry for new recruits with a high degree of professional and cultural literacy.
A degree in English, particularly one grounded in the Western tradition of great books, is an investment in the future.