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Article: Business is the most popular major but that doesn't mean it's a good choice.

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Replies to: Article: Business is the most popular major but that doesn't mean it's a good choice.

  • prof2dadprof2dad Registered User Posts: 612 Member
    "Do you mean general writing skills like writing with correct grammar, writing an intelligible sentence, etc., or stylistic issues that differ when writing about literature (as one does in English courses) versus writing about business topics?"

    All of the above. In a professional setting, we are not talking about writing like a novel. It is more about how one structures information in a logical and straightforward way so that the main talking points can be easily understood. For example, it is often be expected/emphasized that the topic sentence/thesis of a paragraph is the first sentence of the paragraph so that the reader can decide whether he/she wants to continue to read the remaining of the paragraph or simply skid to the next paragraph to save his/her time. Of course, effective writing involves the use of correct grammar, etc.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 3,594 Senior Member
    I haven't read all posts, but I learned some of my most utilized writing skills in a business class. We HAD to get our point across in 1page, no messing with font, and cover several areas. Taught me to shorten sentences/tighten things up.
    My business major son is doing much more writing than my math major son ever did (and he studies more, but that's another story).
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 1,426 Senior Member
    Would double majoring in business and philosophy or english solve this "problem"?
  • CanuckguyCanuckguy Registered User Posts: 1,092 Senior Member
    I think the problem is more fundamental than ‘’business as a major”; it is here:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12

    In my corner of the Great White North, we have probably the best business/commerce undergrad programmes in the country, and admission is highly competitive. I have family members attended Rotman (Toronto), Schulich (York), and Smith (Queen’s).

    What do they have in common? They all have high A average coming out of high school, a minimum of two senior math courses including calculus, and good EC. The notion that students going to university without calculus is better than they are would not be taken seriously by anyone.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,249 Senior Member
    I don't think double majors would be required. Just take some classes which will increase writing and math skills. Bigger issue is that a lot of kids don't want to do that. I think the results from a lot of kids not wanting to be in college but rather believing they have to be in college. And in some cases, kids who probably shouldn't be in college.
  • cookie16cookie16 Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
    Only business major I would allow my kids is accounting or finance. Have son in undergrad business now at top national university. Reports curriculum for business admin is a "joke", a major favored by party loving frat boys
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,464 Senior Member
    "One medium-sized financial firm I worked for in the Boston area made it a point to unofficially have a policy of NOT HIRING undergrad business majors UNLESS they were from elite undergrad BBA schools like Wharton, NYU-Stern, Berkeley-HAAS, UVA-McIntire, UMich-Ross, etc."

    I'd also wager they only hire liberal arts grads from a few top schools--not second tier schools.
    How much math is required for the typical poli sci, history or psychology major?? Often less than for a BBA.
  • beth's mombeth's mom Registered User Posts: 3,295 Senior Member
    edited January 29
    My daughter was a business major, and she had to take freshman composition, literature, a business communications course and an additional business course that had a heavy writing component. This was in addition to other classes that fulfilled general education requirements that involved more writing than your typical business courses. She found some of the business courses to be fairly easy, but there was nothing easy about her upper level finance, economics, statistics and math courses. You definitely can't paint all business majors with the same brush, any more than you can do that with all liberal arts majors.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 11,733 Senior Member
    edited January 29
    I'd also wager they only hire liberal arts grads from a few top schools--not second tier schools.
    How much math is required for the typical poli sci, history or psychology major??

    @barrons

    You'd actually be wrong about that.

    From past hiring experiences they had so little trouble with the "Liberal Arts graduates" that they continued to hire them from the very same second/lower-tiered institutions while barring their business major counterparts.
    What do they have in common? They all have high A average coming out of high school, a minimum of two senior math courses including calculus, and good EC. The notion that students going to university without calculus is better than they are would not be taken seriously by anyone.

    I don't know about nowadays, but back when I was in HS in the mid '90s, one can gain admission to some of the elite undergrad B-schools I listed above with a B/B+ average even if one was OOS.

    Several classmates from my public magnet HS managed to gain admission to NYU Stern with 88/100 averages and SATs which were on the lower end of those required for respectable/elite universities/LACs. Some entered without having taken any calculus or even pre-calc beforehand. And all graduated from those undergrad b-schools with flying colors and found the admittedly greater quant workload to be manageable.

    Interesting considering my understanding is that Canadian high schools tend to grade much more severely than your average US K-12 so an A average there would be more impressive indeed.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,464 Senior Member
    Data indicate otherwise.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,143 Senior Member
    You would think that 14 years should be plenty to have them be able to write decently.

    On the stylistic issues, this isn't so surprising. Most English teachers never spent much if anytime in the business world, so they don't know what style the business community expects.
  • CanuckguyCanuckguy Registered User Posts: 1,092 Senior Member
    @cobrat-I always felt that our grading system is tough but fair. (On average, about 20-25% of students make first class in any given course). This practice continues into university, so you see strange stuff like getting LSAT scores in the 92%tile but a Rotman GPA of 2.9x.

    Since senior calculus is an offered course in all high schools, and it is a pre-requisite for STEM, economics and business, the chance of admission into a good business program without it is zero. A family members got into one of the top programs with a B+ in calculus (her only non A in high school) and she almost died in those heavy quant courses required in the first two years of the program.

    @citymama9- The same family member did the next best thing. She did a business degree and threw all her electives into English. At graduation, she had more than enough English credits to fulfill the requirements for a 3 year degree (yes, we have that too) majoring in English. It was a dynamic combination. Her employers knew she can do quant, but they were shocked at how well she can write.

    Btw, she achieved 1st class honours in her English classes, but not even close in her major. The difference in quality between the cohorts was that great.
  • ThankYouforHelpThankYouforHelp Registered User Posts: 1,122 Senior Member
    I had always heard that majoring in business as an undergraduate really meant majoring in frats and beer.

    Sounds like this was closer to accurate than I even knew.
  • 88jm1988jm19 Registered User Posts: 557 Member
    We actually encouraged our children to major in business. We didn't want them to be like my husband, who pursued an engineering degree as an undergrad, just because he was strong in math and science. (In hindsight dh was very fortunate to graduate when it was still possible to go straight from undergrad to a top MBA program.) Anyway, we hoped they could be a little more self-aware than we were at their age. We encouraged them to choose a major based on themselves and not the expectations of others.

    So we began talking with our children about college degrees/majors early with our children. We encouraged them to challenge themselves (take the most rigorous classes offered)....not because we were thinking of college apps, but because we told them they should try to figure out what they like, what they're good (and not so good) at and what they may want to pursue in life. We talked about how some people are generalists, while others like to specialize in an area. We talked about quality of life issues.

    Yes, we're a family who talked about college as not only a place for personal growth, but perhaps more importantly for career preparation. Developing skills was emphasized over grades....though I confess we had high expectations in that area too.

    Luckily all that 'family talk' worked. They may be just business majors, but my husband and I both agree that they have worked harder than we ever did in college....perhaps not, if you only look at classwork, but definitely, if you take into account everything they are involved in on campus.

    For them, life as a business major is good.
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 459 Member
    I would like D18 to take at least a few business classes in college so that she'll have a basic foundation to use if she starts her own business in the future (instead of flying by the seat of her pants like I have!). Not having much luck so far.
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