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Is an Undergraduate Business degree "worth" it?

nEdgaRnEdgaR Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
edited August 2009 in Business Major
Hi Everyone!

I'm starting the application process for colleges now as a rising high school senior. I'm fairly sure that I want to pursue a career in "business" after graduating, so I assumed that an undergraduate business degree would be useful. However, after reading various sites and getting advice from an MBA professor (in finance), it seems to me that a BBa or similar degree is not really "worth" it. Apparently it doesn't prepare students for the corporate world, with the exception being a concentration in Accounting (which I understand... it's a very specific field that really can't be taught solely through work experience or through any other "liberal arts" major).

Now, I know that a career in "business" isn't exactly specific, but that's my problem. I really have no clue what exactly I WANT to do.

If I wasn't to pursue a BBa, I'd probably go for a major in Economics, with either a double major in Statistics or International Relations/Political Science (for the possibility that I could do corporate law).

However, I assume that at very well-known undergrad business programs (I'm thinking Wharton/Hass/Sloan/McCombs) the education may be worth it. (I guess Wharton is an exception.. they give you a B.S. in Economics, but you end up taking quite a few business courses and get to take concentrations).

Sorry for the "mouthful", but I'm a little confused at this point. A better understanding would definitely help me trim my (rather long) list of colleges. Thanks!
Post edited by nEdgaR on

Replies to: Is an Undergraduate Business degree "worth" it?

  • openedskittlesopenedskittles Registered User Posts: 954 Member
    At schools where there is business and econ programs, the best business jobs will probably go to the business students. At a lot of top schools there isn't a business program, though.

    You'll need internships and job experience to get the best jobs no matter what degree you have. None of them will completely prepare you for the corporate world, but out of all of them, I think a good business program would probably be the closest to one that truly does. The reason accountants need an accounting degree is because only accounting majors can sit for the CPA exam, which you're required to take to be a licensed accountant.
  • christalena2christalena2 Registered User Posts: 1,667 Senior Member
    The recruiters who come to my university from the best companies often look for 'business majors only.' So if anything, you'll be at a disadvantage without it.

    Having my major allows me more opportunities in business, with internships, connections, etc, and plus, if you're interested in business, shouldn't you want to learn more about it?
  • JapherJapher Registered User Posts: 1,349 Senior Member
    Here's something I advise many people in the "i don't know what I want to do" phase; cruise LinkedIN. Check out profiles of people who have job titles that sound interesting to you and check out how they got their, you might be surprised at what you see. Every path is different.

    An interesting thing I see is a lot of Brand Managers with Industrial Engineering or Operations Research degrees. If you are going to count on an MBA to supply you with general business knowledge/degree I would at least consider other undergrad degrees that can better define you, not so much 'what you want to do'. Corporate communications, organizational behavior, industrial design, etc. are all good bases to build a business career on, other than the standard business or engineering. Note, Sam Palmisano has a history degree.
  • ThetaxdadThetaxdad Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    nedgar - you are correct in that the degree probably does not prepare you for the corporate world, but then again, I don't think any amount of schooling can. Work experience, as mentioned above, is totally different from school and it is the internships and summer jobs that will actually prepare you more than any schooling will. I would have to say that a business degree is certainly worth it, if you want to go into business. I know plenty of successful people who graduated with various business degrees. I think what you should do is enroll in a business program and see where the first two years take you. During this time you will get exposure to management, marketing, finance, accounting, econ, etc. This might help you narrow down which area you want to concentrate in.
  • nEdgaRnEdgaR Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Does it matter which school it is though (in terms of getting an undergraduate business degree)? I've considered Georgia Tech's School of Management, but will that be of any advantage to me? I know it varies from university to university (what sort of companies recruit, which degrees they recruit, etc.)

    Also, I'm not completely sure if I'm going to go into business either. What if I decide to do law? Will I be able to (in 4 years) double major with a liberal arts degree as well? Or a minor?
  • nEdgaRnEdgaR Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    I really don't have anyting against an undergraduate business degree... I'm sure it'll provide me with good exposure to the various concentrations I could pursue. However, the side-effect of this is that I'd end up with a diluted 2 years... something that could possibly hinder my analysis/research capabilities of, say, an Econ major.

    What I'm more concerned about is the not as "high-ranked" business schools (like GA Tech and BU)... maybe at those programs, I wouldn't be receiving as much of a benefit?
  • SolomonmSolomonm Registered User Posts: 326 Member
    Your major does not really matter for law school. I wish I still had a link to the publication but Econ/Business majors were some of the better performers on the LSAT. For law school 90% of admissions is your GPA and LSAT score. So as long as you keep your GPA up you don't really have to decide on law school until your Junior year.
  • student01student01 Registered User Posts: 785 Member
    hmmmm good question
  • plscatamacchiaplscatamacchia - Posts: 586 Member
    ^Wow, what an insightful response.

    No a BBa does not prepare you for the corporate world. What your GPA/ECs do is project how you will perform or at least how hard you will work. They get you a job and they do provide an edge up on non business majors by introducing you to basic business concepts that will indeed help going into your very first day.
  • student01student01 Registered User Posts: 785 Member
    Well let's see... do finance majors typically go on to earn MBA's... or does it defeat the purpose?
This discussion has been closed.