I’m not sure how the last bit of conversation goes to the private counselors’ conversation, but I have a PhD in an applied math field, began my career teaching at one of the tippy-top business schools and still teach a week or two a year in executive education course at a couple of top schools. Plus, I have a son who was a triple major (math/econ/behavioral econ) and is now getting degrees in computational and mathematical engineering and in business at a tippy-top school. Based upon this experience, it would be very hard to justify the assertion that business courses are harder than a mathematics courses. So, @Coloradomama, I completely agree with your first point. I think studying math contributes meaningfully to people’s capacity to structure arguments leading to premises to conclusions and being careful about assumptions, but most sales careers do not require an undergraduate degree in math. There are some people in marketing and especially in supply chain optimization for whom an undergraduate background in math could help.
My concern about undergraduate business courses is that they don’t teach people to think very well. I have a very bright nephew who was an econ major (I think) at McGill who took a couple of business courses and called them econ appreciation – in the same way as you don’t learn how to make art or think like an artist in an art appreciation class, you don’t learn to do econ or think like an economist in an econ appreciation class. Because you don’t understand the underpinnings of the economic models, you don’t necessarily know how to use that way of thinking properly as you move to novel situations.
I fear that many things that do not involve complex thinking or serious relationship-building will be automated over the next decade. I wonder if undergraduate business majors will be more vulnerable or vulnerable sooner. I don’t think private counselors would necessarily have a lot of leverage with respect to those judgments, but I wonder if they push back on people trying to be undergrad business majors. And, other than Wharton, Stern or Ross, would parents hire a private counselor to help their kids get into a business or accounting major in Indiana or West Virginia?