Are you interested in a business major? Business Administration is among the most popular majors currently chosen by undergraduates in the United States. Students choose the business major because of the generally high demand in the job market and the practicality. It has always been considered a safe choice in terms of job security, since almost all companies need people to manage their finances, market their products, and run their operations. However, is the undergraduate business degree alone enough to get you a decent job?
Based on a WSJ article posted in 2012, Wealth or Waste?, an undergraduate business degree is not considered as valuable as it used to be by many companies. Instead of hiring someone with specific knowledge in accounting and finance, firms are more interested in hiring talented individuals who have innovative ideas, strong critical thinking skills, and broad academic knowledge. They believe that potential employees who possess these qualities would be great assets, to bring different perspectives to the position, and offer creative and unique ideas to solve problems.
Therefore, in order to be more competitive in the job market after graduation, prospective business students should be thoughtful when planning their curriculum. If you’re interested in getting a business major, make sure you do your research and look at the curriculum on the program’s website. Does the business curriculum incorporate classes from other departments? Are you allow to take electives outside of the business major? Do they offer any dual credit programs?
As many firms are shifting their recruitment efforts towards this new focus, some universities are starting to redesign their business curriculum to respond to companies’ needs. At Santa Clara University, they offer an Accounting & Information Systems (A&IS) major, which is jointly offered by the school’s accounting department and the operations management & information systems department. Besides the traditional accounting courses, students can broaden their knowledge by taking courses in programming, systems design, financial information systems and more. New York University is offering an undergraduate program in Business and Political Economy. The program combines a wide range of topics in business, politics, economy, and international study to prepare students for the global business environment.
By no means am I suggesting that a diverse curriculum will guarantee you a high paying job. What I’m saying is that employers are now looking for well-rounded candidates who are able to contribute from different perspectives. Therefore, if you decided to go for a business major, consider broadening your background by taking electives in technology, communication, writing, psychology, or any subjects related to your future workplace besides taking the core business courses. Not sure what classes to take? Go to job search websites such as Indeed.com or Monster.com, enter the title of your dream job, and look at the requirements of the positions. This will definitely give you some idea of what other skills you may want to obtain to prepare yourself for your future career.
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