Should you major in business? Is a degree in accounting, business administration, or other business major the right choice for you? To help you decide, here are some good reasons to become a business major, and some good reasons to think about choosing a different course of study.
Reasons to Major in Business
Are you the type of student who values a “no-nonsense,” career-oriented approach to education? If so, then a business degree may be a great choice for you. Many students thrive in a liberal arts environment where they are asked to think about philosophy, history, and life’s great questions. And many students don’t. If you have a very pragmatic sense of what an education should be, consider majoring in business, where the majority of what you learn will relate directly or indirectly to your career.
One advantage to choosing a business degree is that it offers students flexible possibilities. This is especially true when it comes to broad business majors such as business management, marketing, and finance (as opposed to more specialized degrees such as hospitality management). Most undergraduate students don’t have a solid sense of what they want to do after they graduate, so a major that focuses on skills that will be of use in many facets of the working world may be useful.
Another good reason to major in business is that business schools often help students find excellent internship opportunities. When it comes to finding a job, connections and “real world” work experience are at least as important as a degree, and an internship is a valuable way to get a foot in the door.
And depending on where you go to school, an advantage to majoring in business may be prestige. In many colleges and universities, not every students gets into business school. A high GPA and other prerequisites must be met. Businesses know this, and they definitely know the “cream of the crop” schools that are very selective – so getting a good business school on your resume demonstrates that you are a hard-working student with a solid work ethic.
Reasons Not to Major in Business
The “no-nonsense” approach to education isn’t for everybody. Some students thrive in a liberal arts setting and appreciate the opportunity to learn, in part, for learning’s sake. And here’s the thing about liberal arts: the writing, thinking, problem solving, and speaking skills needed to be successful in these majors translates to skills needed in the working world. A liberal arts major combined with a good internship is often just as good a ticket to a job as a business major plus internship.
Moreover, when it comes to looking for a job, there’s a glut of business majors. At many schools, business administration and management is the most popular major. An employer going through a pile of resumes might just pause at a qualified candidate with a double major in sociology and dance when everyone else in the pile is a business major. And while some employers do prefer candidates with a business background, others prefer candidates with diverse majors and backgrounds who can bring different ways of thinking into an organization.
And here’s something to think about: do business classes sound interesting to you? For some students, the answer is yes. For others, the thought of four years of courses in accounting and finance and management sounds like torture. Most student are much more successful taking courses they actually enjoy, so unless the business school coursework sounds at least somewhat appealing, you may be better off majoring in something else.
There’s one more reason you might not be majoring in business: you didn’t get into the business school. If this is the case, and if you really want to go into the business world, choose a major that’s particularly useful in business, like economics or communication. Then get an internship or two.
Majoring in business can be a terrific way for students to start their careers in the business world. But it’s not the only way to do this, and business majors are not the best choice for everyone. Take the time to investigate the business offerings in your school before deciding whether or not a business degree is right for you.