C / C++ is the most important programming language, to be learned.
You need to learn good software design, object-oriented analysis, good software engineering practices, and how to function as a software developer. Those skills are mostly independent of what programming language you use, and they are easiest to learn using a well-designed programming language for today's problems. That is certainly not C (way too low-level), nor C++ (way too complex, with a quarter-century of layers of cruft accumulating). Python and Java are probably the best choices. If you do not have these skills, then anything else does not matter.
In addition, as you say correctly, since a significant amount of software is still written in C and C++ (although less and less every year), a professional software engineer will eventually need to master those languages too. But they also need to master other skills. For example at least a passing acquaintance with awk, lex and yacc is necessary, as is some understanding of assembly, instruction sets, and machine architecture. In addition, I think a well-trained professional should have done some programming in ancient languages (be it ksh, Fortran, or Rexx), to understand where the field comes from, and why our tools are the way they are.
In the long run, a software engineer will learn a new programming language every 2-5 years anyway. Their first language in college matters little. A very successful colleague of mine just retired at age 65, and when he started system programming, C barely existed, and was not yet in widespread use outside of Bell Labs; he spent many of his first years coding in PL/1, assembly, and so on. I had programmed in Basic, Fortran, Cobol, RPG-II, and Assembly before I ever had to use C, and even after that, much work was done in languages such as Objective-C, Rexx, DCL (the VMS scripting language), Modula-2, Ruby, Java, Perl, Python, and a few I have forgotten.
In the end it's about the thing I keep repeating over and over: You get a job because you are an intelligent person, who can function as a software engineer. The skill of coding in one particular language is only a small part of that job. The question we are discussing is relevant and important to education of young people, and a superficial and minor question for college-level engineering and science education.