Thursday, May 12, 2011

If my children were seriously considering business as a college major . . .

Some questions have been raised here recently about the value of a business degree.  However, if my children were seriously considering business majors for their undergraduate studies, I would look at the Bloomberg Businessweek rankings for help in selecting a college.  It looks as if it offers helpful information.
As part of Bloomberg Businessweek's annual ranking of the top undergraduate business programs, senior business students from the 139 participating schools were asked to assign letter grades—from A to F—indicating how well their business programs teach 14 specialty areas: quantitative methods, operations management, ethics, sustainability, calculus, microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, financial management, marketing management, business law, and corporate strategy, as well as entrepreneurship and international business, which were added this year. Based on those grades, scores were calculated for each of the ranked schools in each specialty area. 


  1. There are huge differences among these specialties. Operations management is closer in many ways to engineering. Entrepreneurship is, um, fluff.

  2. I would want my child to focus on the more quantitative aspects of business in their college training. OTOH, without looking into it, I would think there are some schools that provide meaningful value in their entrepreneurship courses. But many others must be 100% fluff.

  3. Sorry, I just cannot imagine what one would teach in an entrepreneurship class. Would they read bios of successful entrepreneurs? What would they gain from that? Maybe they jump off cliffs so they can learn risk-taking? These programs remind me of the programs on "leadership". These are really personal qualities, not academic content.

  4. Just saw this:
    Entrepreneurs age 55 to 64 represent a rising share of start-up activity, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, accounting for 23 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2010, up from 14.5 percent in 1996.

    Getting old and losing your job is a good way to learn how to be an entrepreneur!

    Older workers

  5. Unfortunately, it rarely works. Most of those people are simply labelling themselves as "consultants" to avoid the stigma of no job when they go to interview for real jobs

  6. I just read a terrific article on how to succeed as a consultant and I might post it here although it's a bit OT.