Business Administration Major--Useless?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Another New Yorker, May 14, 2011.

  1. Another New Yorker

    Another New Yorker Senior member

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    Is a business administration major truly useless? I am an undecided freshman in college at the moment and I've heard both ways regarding this. I'd pair it up with either accounting or Chinese. I don't quite have career paths well researched but I do know I'm interested in doing "business." I suppose this may be me being greedy, but honestly, I'm not too hot in the sciences and I find the humanities interesting but useless. We do not have a finance major option or else I'd probably look into that.
     


  2. DaveB

    DaveB Senior member

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    I would strongly recommend accounting over b-admin assuming your goal is to find employment after graduation
     


  3. enigma77

    enigma77 Senior member

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  4. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    To be honest yes it is. I'm a rising senior in Finance / Business Economics and I'm actually learning hard skills. Business Admin makes you manager of a Target store or something and most of what you learn you can learn in extra curricular leadership / greek life. Take accounting and Chinese it'll be a lot more beneficial. Hard skills need to be learned. Soft skills can be from experience and books.
     


  5. enigma77

    enigma77 Senior member

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    I think it also depends a great deal on your individual school.
     


  6. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    I'm starting to get tired of people saying that undergrad degrees are "useless" because they don't teach hard skills/get you a job the minute you graduate. I have new for you: Almost no undergrad degree will actually qualify you for a job and even those that do, like engineering or accounting, aren't the golden tickets to employment they once were. While I agree that some degrees like Women's Studies or Romance Languages are probably more useless than others, the fact of the matter is that very few degrees are designed to get you a job in a specific industry. That's what technical colleges are for.

    Your degree, be it in business admin or sociology, is what you make it. I graduated with a BA in Political Science and probably had a better job lined up when I graduated than 95% of the Business students at my school because I actually studied and networked while I was in university.
     


  7. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    I'm starting to get tired of people saying that undergrad degrees are "useless" because they don't teach hard skills/get you a job the minute you graduate. I have new for you: Almost no undergrad degree will actually qualify you for a job and even those that do, like engineering or accounting, aren't the golden tickets to employment they once were. While I agree that some degrees like Women's Studies or Romance Languages are probably more useless than others, the fact of the matter is that very few degrees are designed to get you a job in a specific industry. That's what technical colleges are for.

    Your degree, be it in business admin or sociology, is what you make it. I graduated with a BA in Political Science and probably had a better job lined up when I graduated than 95% of the Business students at my school because I actually studied and networked while I was in university.


    +1 poli sci major here and i'm in a completely different field than my major (business: finance/business analysis)

    why? network and interning.

    all undergrad degrees are useless. you don't really learn anything in undergrad anyway it's more of a "gateway ticket" and what you do with it is what gets you places.
     


  8. Biscotti

    Biscotti Senior member

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    Aren't most business majors "business administration" in a given field? For example, at my school one who majors in Finance has a bachelors of business admin in Finance. I guess you're referring to management? I'll admit; it isn't my cup of tea, but it'll give you options: several friends of mine went that path, and they are all happily employed.
     


  9. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    +1 poli sci major here and i'm in a completely different field than my major (business: finance/business analysis)

    why? network and interning.

    all undergrad degrees are useless. you don't really learn anything in undergrad anyway it's more of a "gateway ticket" and what you do with it is what gets you places.


    I'm in supply chain management. Just goes to show...
     


  10. enigma77

    enigma77 Senior member

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    My sense is the concerns over business degrees stems from the fact that business majors have been doing as poorly as everyone else (in some cases poorer) in post-grad job placement. With business being the most popular undergraduate major in the U.S. now, it's of course harder to distinguish yourself. It's not that political science or English majors are more or less attractive to employers, I think; it's just that there are so many business majors out there, and being a business major doesn't particularly qualify you for a specific job. (That's the sense, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I have seen positions that do require finance degrees and CPA certification.)

    In my own experience, I felt as though I had to network more aggressively because I was majoring in one of those "useless" majors, and after graduation had great job opportunities because of it. It depends a lot on the individual student.
     


  11. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    My sense is the concerns over business degrees stems from the fact that business majors have been doing as poorly as everyone else (in some cases poorer) in post-grad job placement. With business being the most popular undergraduate major in the U.S. now, it's of course harder to distinguish yourself. It's not that political science or English majors are more or less attractive to employers, I think; it's just that there are so many business majors out there, and being a business major doesn't particularly qualify you for a specific job. (That's the sense, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong; I have seen positions that do require finance degrees and CPA certification.)

    In my own experience, I felt as though I had to network more aggressively because I was majoring in one of those "useless" majors, and after graduation had great job opportunities because of it. It depends a lot on the individual student.


    I don't think political science or english degrees are attractive at all, even from top schools, which is why motivated students in those programs will often hustle way more. It's a gamble though. I went into poli sci because I knew I would excel and enjoy it. I studied incredibly hard though, networked, and took a lot of classes that were quant/econ/stats heavy as hell to make myself more attractive to potential employers. In the end I really think it paid off though because I graduated with very good grades, a lot of solid experience as a UG (senior thesis, research assistant, internships, etc.) and a strong academic profile overall. So even though my major was pretty useless I could actually set myself apart from other applicants.
     


  12. enigma77

    enigma77 Senior member

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    I don't think political science or english degrees are attractive at all, even from top schools, which is why motivated students in those programs will often hustle way more. It's a gamble though. I went into poli sci because I knew I would excel and enjoy it. I studied incredibly hard though, networked, and took a lot of classes that were quant/econ/stats heavy as hell to make myself more attractive to potential employers. In the end I really think it paid off though because I graduated with very good grades, a lot of solid experience as a UG (senior thesis, research assistant, internships, etc.) and a strong academic profile overall. So even though my major was pretty useless I could actually set myself apart from other applicants.

    Agreed. My post-grad employment opportunities really came down to my non-school experience and networking.
     


  13. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    Aren't most business majors "business administration" in a given field? For example, at my school one who majors in Finance has a bachelors of business admin in Finance. I guess you're referring to management? I'll admit; it isn't my cup of tea, but it'll give you options: several friends of mine went that path, and they are all happily employed.

    Yes

    At my school you were a business major, then chose a concentration thereafter. I think they had finance, accounting, management, economics, international business, marketing, and production(or manufacturing, something like that).

    I was a business major with an concentration in marketing, but business students all around didn't have much post-graduate stress if they hustled internships over the summers. Like the OP, I always knew I wanted to "do business" and had a lot of fun with all of my business classes. I had internships and got a decent network by the time I was a Sr, so post-grad was never a huge problem. I've always been comfortable and capable in the jobs I have worked since. I never had regrets about my major, and never knew of any other business majors who did.

    All that said, OP will be dead in the water if he doesn't build a network or get internships.
     


  14. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    I don't think political science or english degrees are attractive at all, even from top schools, which is why motivated students in those programs will often hustle way more. It's a gamble though. I went into poli sci because I knew I would excel and enjoy it. I studied incredibly hard though, networked, and took a lot of classes that were quant/econ/stats heavy as hell to make myself more attractive to potential employers. In the end I really think it paid off though because I graduated with very good grades, a lot of solid experience as a UG (senior thesis, research assistant, internships, etc.) and a strong academic profile overall. So even though my major was pretty useless I could actually set myself apart from other applicants.

    I took a little bit of a different (but similar) approach. I didn't take quant/econ/stats heavy classes for my major, but I took classes that allowed me to see more than one view point (imo, poli sci classes do this very well) and most of my papers were based on evaluating program A over program B, etc. etc.

    On the other hand, I am a minor in "business administration" but I overloaded myself on quant or business pre-req classes for electives (stats, econ, calc, finance, acc, etc.)

    Of course, I was also very fortunate to figure out that I didn't want to be a lawyer after 2 years, but that's a different story.

    TL/DR
    I think that a lot of people these days are too naive in thinking that just graduating from college is enough to get you a job... it's not enough and you're only setting yourself up for failure if you don't try to develop soft skills/network.
     


  15. Jbreen1

    Jbreen1 Senior member

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    It's funny this thread came up because I've been thinking about this a lot lately and it's been causing me a lot of stress.

    I graduated this past December with a business administration degree and a concentration in management. At my school the business degree consists of classes in marketing, accounting, finance, management, and international business. You choose a concentration, and then take added classes in that concentration. Some students have double concentrations, but I stuck to just management.

    I was never really motivated throughout my college career. I barely studied, although I graduated with a respectable GPA and kept my dean's scholarship the entire time. It was a joke of a major. Don't think I ever really read one book, but I always went to class and did all my work.

    I chose business because I didn't really know what I wanted to do going into college. Friends and family always told me business was the way to go and that was "where all the money was." I always assumed it was a solid degree to have.

    I'm realizing that it doesn't really qualify you for much. Going for the accounting/finance route would have been much more beneficial. Because of my social skills though I was able to land an accounting job out of school. It was for a startup company and I wasn't really making much money but it looked great on a resume.

    I'm now trying to figure out what I can go to grad school for with an undergrad business degree. I'm thinking about going for accounting so that I can go the CPA route. I definitely wish that I researched a little more about college degrees because I probably would have done something else. However, if you're lazy and you want to breeze through college and still be able to put that college degree on your resume, then I highly recommend a business administration degree with a management concentration!
     


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