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23:How do people get into a business major in college?

23:How do people get into a business major in college?

23:How do people get into a business major in college?

How are they admitted? In many cases, there’s no particular challenge. However, at some schools, business is sufficiently impacted that some students can be filtered out at admission or via a pre-business significant and competitive admission.

How can they enjoy it? Beats me. It’s the most popular major by far, but studying businesses sounds less interesting than watching paint dry. I could turn that into an experiment. The belief is that students choose it because it’s less “woolly” than the humanities or social sciences but not actually very challenging (I can’t speak to the challenge level…). However, the belief that it magically will lead to a promising career is nothing but a fantasy, wishful thinking. Outside of mathematically-intensive fields like economics, business grads are basement dwellers in terms of earnings.

How do people get into a business major in college?

I can tell you how my daughter got into the University of Washington College of Business. She graduated from high school. Then, she attended Bellevue Community College (later upgraded to Bellevue College). I remember when she transferred to the UW, she was automatically placed in the College of Arts and Sciences. This is pretty common at large universities with limited resources ( state budgets). Anyways, she was admitted to the College of Business after one semester in the College of Arts & Sciences. She graduated in marketing and sales and lives happily in Seattle.

How do people get into a business major in college?

It depends on the school. With most schools, check a box on the application. But at some schools, you apply after admission. For example, at Berkeley, you do your first two years satisfying general requirements. As a Sophomore, you used to transfer into Haas as a Junior. Check the websites of schools that interest you.

What should someone interested in a business major do for undergrad (if the school doesn’t have a business major)?

A large part of this is how good your school’s reputation happens to be. You will have an easier time with your liberal arts education from, say, Colgate than a low-ranked, obscure college.

Assuming you attend a decent school, some tactics can be effective. It would help if you did all of them to have a shot.

  1. Take some online courses to learn the basics of business. MOOCs, Coursera, and so many others offer a ton of free or low-cost classes. Acquire some foundational knowledge so you aren’t lost conceptually.
  2. Major in a subject you do well in, then make a case for its career relevance. If you’re an English major, leverage written communication skills. If you’re a History major, focus on your research abilities. A Physics major, focus on your quantitative skills, etc.
  3. Get practical business experience while you are a student. Get an internship in a business-related role early. Land a marketing, PR, sales, HR, operations, etc. internship and get a flexible on or off-campus job in these areas. You will develop skills and have experience to be considered for jobs that prefer business majors. You can also perform duties that align with these roles in student groups to start practising these skills.

You do these things, and you shouldn’t have too many problems. I suggest that you start familiarizing yourself with MBA programs. If business ends up being what you want to do long term, plan to begin an MBA program 3–5 years after you graduate from undergrad.

Should I major in business if I don’t know what to major in?

As a business graduate, absolutely not.

First, let me state that business subjects are fantastic. They teach you useful life skills (accounting, negotiation, etc.), management techniques (organizational behaviour, leadership, etc.), and business strategy (planning, entrepreneurship, etc.). I found my business degree incredibly interesting and helpful.

With that said, business degrees are (relative to other degrees):

  • Easy. A few hours of work and study per week are generally enough to perform at an above-average level in exams and assessments.
  • Dense. Business lecturers generally recognize their content is straightforward and cram a lot of studies/readings / other content in to compensate.
  • Substitutable. If you’re great at public speaking or report writing, for example, that’s a few extra marks right there.

This makes it incredibly easy to do enough to get by, which you will probably end up doing if you’re not passionate and engaged with the subject! Sure, you’ll learn some valuable skills by force, but that’s not enough to make it worthwhile as a major.

However, I recommend you major in business if you intend to get the most out of it. This doesn’t mean aiming for a high GPA – it means getting the most practical learning possible. For example, you don’t just learn leadership theory to pass the course and get a degree; rather, the next time you work in a team, you go back to your notes and apply what you learned.

It’s straightforward to say, “Yeah, I’ll do that”, but ask yourself if that’s truly the sort of thing you would do. If there’s even a glimmer of hesitation, choose another major. If you don’t consciously attempt to use your business major in future, it will be forgotten and useless.

Should I major in business if I don’t know what to major in?

I’ll answer in a roundabout way.

I’d wager you know what to major in; you haven’t been entirely, brutally, ruthlessly honest with yourself. Now, why do I say this?

Everyone has things they like to do. They have subjects they’re drawn to. There are people and ideas they will discuss for days if given the chance. Usually, this is evident from childhood and, to some extent, adolescence.

But then the expectations creep in.

Safe job, safe major, safe courses of action, safe life.

People forget their inclinations. They go for majors and jobs they only marginally tolerate for the sake of safety and security. They spend their years this way, only to wonder on their deathbeds why they have regrets.

I don’t mean this in a wrong way, just in the sense that this is the truth.

So I echo John G. Herndon. No, don’t major in business.

Spend some time asking yourself what you truly enjoy, what you’re good at doing, what other people say you’re good at, and how that might then dovetail into a field of study. Then, follow that field wherever it leads you.

Much better than going for a business major just as a point of safety.

What the world rewards these days is an outstanding effort.

These days, competence is the price of admission, and the requirement for greatness is to be damn good at what you do. It’s no longer good enough to be good enough. And from experience? The only way to get very good is to feel real affection and commitment to whatever thing you’re doing.

You can’t summon that feeling if you don’t even take an inkling of delight in your work because you don’t even care a whit about it in the first place.

Should I major in Business if I don’t know what to major in?

If you don’t know what to major in, then you should not go to college.

College is a painfully slow and excessively expensive way to discover what to do with your life.

It’s unfair of society to expect a person with very little life experience to know what they want to do with their lives at a young age.

That’s why college dropout rates are reported to be as high as 30–40%.

Imagine all of that money and debt for nothing in return.

There are better and faster ways to discover if Business is the right career for you before going to college or instead of college altogether.

What business major should I choose?

Forget about the Major for a while (we’ll get back to that later) and focus, first, on what kind of business career you want. Specifically, What kind of business person do you wish to become?

Are you on the creative side? Do you love the aesthetics of products and offices?

Are you on the number side? Do you love looking at data and making rational decisions based on it?

Are you on the people’s side? Do you love persuading people or coaching people?

Are you on the process side? I would love to see how things flow and how they work.

You may be excited by the technology side and would love to see technology seamlessly meld into the Business to help it run more smoothly.


If the creative side is what inspires you, then you could look at someone like Jonathan Ive as a role model. He is Apple’s chief design officer. What was his major? He got a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design.


If the Number side is what gets you excited, then you could look at someone like Mary Callahan Erdoes as a role model. She is the CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She has $2.2 Trillion in Assets under management. What did she study at Georgetown University? She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.


If you find your inspiration in the people’s side, then you could look at someone like Diane Gherson as a role model. She is the Senior VP of Human Resources at IBM. What did she study? She got a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where they require courses in philosophy like Modes of Reasoning.


If you find your inspiration in processes, then you could look at someone like Shekar Natarajan as a role model. He is the Senior VP of Network Planning & Operational Design. What did he study as a major? Mechanical Engineering.


If you find inspiration in technology, then you could look at someone like Werner Vogels as a role model. He is the Chief Technology Officer at Amazon. What was his major? He studied Computer Science at the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

As you can see, not even one of these people got a major in Business. The point is, don’t focus on your major if your objective is to land a job in the business field. Know what moves you within the Business and look at the opportunities (majors) and skill sets you can obtain in your University to get to where you want to go. As you can see, the path is very diverse, and possibilities are all dependent on your creativity. You can definitely find business majors that can make a path towards these jobs. But you can also find other paths towards these jobs. Focus more on skill development, network development and gaining real-world experiences, and that will land you closer to your career ambitions than a major.

What business major should I choose?

  1. Choose a highly transferable major. Your career may go in many different directions over the years. An education that’s relevant outside having one specific niche is highly advantageous.
  2. Choose a major you love. In fact, choose THE major you love! You’re going to need to commit for a few years. There will be a lot of stress involved. If you don’t love it, you won’t get the most out of it. Be your best self. There is no advantage in trying to be someone else.

What business major should I choose?

A good business program will prepare you with all aspects of business core knowledge. The concept of a major in Business is not as significant as it is in other disciplines (science or engineering, for example). Business majors tend to be “concentrations” where you take a few additional courses in your chosen area of focus. My undergraduate business diploma states that I graduated from the business school … but does not list my “major” (Management Science).

Beyond this, you need to understand who you are … and what specific traits you possess that differentiate you from your peers. Many business programs will not allow you to declare a major until you have completed core courses in each area. This way, you will be able to make an educated decision based on what you like and can perform well.

Many schools have “capacity limits” for specific majors (that everyone wants to study … like finance at Penn State). Don’t let that stop you. One of the students who I mentored at Penn State was not able to get into the marketing major due to not meeting the GPA “clip level”. She ended up in Supply Chain Management. She has done very well in her career and is on the fast track at the most sought-after consumer products company.

The bottom line is to make sure that you are confident about studying Business and make the decision on a major after you have received the perspectives to be satisfied with that choice.

Why is a Business major the best?

A Business Major is not always the best.

I would say that a Business Minor is usually the best — because it supercharges any other academic field, including the Arts, the Sciences, Media studies, Information Technology, Sustainable Energy, and so much more.

It’s sad to see so many talented Liberal Arts graduates of fine Universities find Unemployment upon graduation. They trusted the System to “give” them a job. They should have thought deeper about that problem — they should have minored in Business — then they would have soared upon graduation.

A Business Major is only “best” when it comes to economic survival. If money is an urgent issue in one’s family — one should consider a Business Major. (Otherwise, business principles can be so dull. They are so monotonous. They have hardly changed in 300 years.)

Seriously, consider a Business Minor for every other Major. There is Music, but there is also the Business of Music. There is Art, but there is also the Business of Art. There is Writing, but there is also the Business of Writing. There are Sports, but there is also the Business of Sports. There is Education, but there is also the Business of Education. And so on.

As a way to fully resolve Unemployment and Poverty in only one generation — a Business Education is the “best” way — not only for college kids — but also for Kindergarten, Grade School, Middle School and High School. I maintain that this is the only workable way.

Everybody should know Business principles like reading, Writing and math.

That’s my opinion.

What is it like to major in business in 2024?

Majoring in business is definitely not something that is meant for everyone. If you want to be successful at it, you need to be social (networking), a hard worker, have a high aptitude for learning quickly, and be a team player.

From a personal perspective, I am currently majoring in Supply Chain Management and Accounting. I chose these due to my interest in Operations Finance.

Accountancy teaches one about the concrete numbers and analytical numbers of business, while Finance focuses more on analyzing those numbers. With a strong background in Accounting, it leads to skills in entrepreneurship, consulting, and financial analysis. It is an extremely versatile degree.

Supply Chain Management is interesting from the perspective of learning a whole new realm of business. It is rising in importance within the business world. Ten years ago, Supply Chain Management was not a discipline; former engineers ran the jobs.

When it comes to business administration, I will be plain honest. It is too vague. No offence to anyone with the following comment: when a person does not tend to have direction as to what they want within the world of business, they end up as a Business Administration major. You want me to be able to differentiate myself from the hundreds of thousands of other business graduates through having a skill set. That being said, Business Administration can be a great major when paired up with another business major. It teaches you both the management skills of business while you also learn a select skill set.

Concerning entrepreneurship, this is more meant for people without backgrounds of what it actually takes to run a business. Most people do not go out of college and say, “Hey, I am going to start my own restaurant.” You want to be able to have a selective skill set in the form of Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Management Information Systems or Economics, as you can learn with time what it takes to run your own business. True entrepreneurs will naturally be inclined to start their own business; they will not need to major in it.

To conclude, I would take a look at the majors that your selective business school offers and choose something that gives you a concrete skill in the workforce. Once you have done this, work at it. Ace your classes. Expand your network. Take the opportunity to meet new people, both your peers and professionals.

Most importantly, get involved. Take the time to make an everlasting change on your campus. It will definitely benefit you, your peers, and the community in the future.

21:What is it like to major in business?

I can provide a perspective on going from a Biology Major to Business Economics.

Macro and Microeconomics are entirely easier than both General Biology and, most certainly, Organic Chemistry. The volume and pace at which the material in these classes is given is greater than any business class I have taken.

6-months before graduating, a degree in business is very general in that it can lead to careers in a wide variety of fields; commercial or investment banking, retail, manufacturing, government jobs … etc. Because of this belief, the internship(s) you obtain have more to do with what field you will ultimately end up in rather than the preferences you get during your time at college.

I have learned a couple of things that are invaluable from going to meetings held by the Economics Honor Society.

Do not pursue an MBA immediately. You may price yourself out of a job if you have no experience. Get experience, maybe even a few years.

Microsoft Excel is an absolute necessity.

If your time is short, do not waste it learning skills you “might” need. Any skills you need will be taught to you upon employment, except Excel.

80 to 90 % of what you learn in school you do not use. The purpose of school is not to remember all the mounds of material. It is about enhancing your ability to learn. The more you teach yourself how to learn, the more prepared you.

Be humble, there is a lot left to learn.

Should I go to college and major in business?

I attended NYU for a total of 11 years studying mathematics for my undergraduate degree and dropped out four times. I never completed my degree.

In that time, I have cofounded three businesses. One failed (the second one). The third one was DigitalOcean, which now has close to 300 employees and hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide, and we’ve raised $123 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, IA Ventures, and Access.

Do you need to go to college to start a business?

The short answer is no. Business requires a few ingredients: Experience, knowledge, hard work, and people skills.

Now, college isn’t a requirement, but it can be additive to the above. For example, if you attend a great school like MIT, Stanford, or Harvard, you will be surrounded by other great students who can ultimately become your cofounders. Also, you may run into a problem that begins to occupy the majority of your thinking, which eventually becomes the business you create.

Do you need to study business?


You can find success without it, but your success will be more tremendous if you study business. Now, by looking at business, I don’t mean that you have to go to college. All you need is to read books.

I never even applied to Harvard because I knew I wouldn’t get in, but if I read Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, it’s as good as sitting in on his lectures.

Knowledge isn’t locked away behind closed doors. Instead, it’s accessible to everyone who picks up a book.

The main difference between the first business and the third was the amount of books that I read in between. By applying those books and their lessons, the third business took off much more dramatically.

23:How do people get into a business major in college?

Do you need experience?

Yes, absolutely.

But to get experience, you have to get out into the world. Part of the experience is, of course, making mistakes. Other parts are absorbing as much information as possible from as many disparate sources as possible. Because this is where creativity is born, synthesizing new ideas is about combining elements that don’t go well together but figuring out how to do it.

What’s in your way, really?

That’s easy, you said it yourself, you have many business ideas. People who have many business ideas often fail. People who succeed are often obsessed with one idea. Or at least one idea at a time. If you have many ideas, especially with little to no experience, it means that you aren’t thinking about one thing.

Though the third business has been successful, it took 18 months to find our product market fit. If there were other businesses that I was working on or thinking about, that 18-month process would have been longer. 24, or 36 months.

Lastly, if I had been working on numerous ideas, would I have continued to struggle through 18 months trying to make the first business work?

Constraints are an excellent forcing function.

Should you go to college to study business?

Unless you want to learn an MBA eventually, I wouldn’t recommend it. I learned everything I needed to know about business through books, so you won’t get much out of it. And if you look at most founders who attended college, very few of them attended business schools. Most of them were in other fields because business for business is called banking or consulting.

Otherwise, studying engineering, design, product, or even art can be more helpful in exposing you to influences, ideas, and experiences that can ultimately lead to your business.

Also, consider that life happens outside of college. Bill Gates got his start because he was close to colleges that had computer labs back when no one had computers at home. He was also highly gifted and was able to get ahead of all of the other students when he went to college because he had already been playing with computers in high school. So, when a new industry was born around writing software, he saw his opportunity and seized it.

A similar story plays out for Steve Jobs.

What’s the lesson?

The lesson is that anyone who tells you should go or shouldn’t go is ultimately wrong. This is because there is no single answer to this question. What’s important is the context, what you are trying to achieve, and what your fallback plan is if you fail.

And to prove that, consider that I said earlier that no one goes to business school to start a business. But in reality, FedEx was started in business school, as was Warby Parker.

Ultimately, this is your path in life, and your decision to go to school or not is not what is going to affect your future as much as your determination, thirst for knowledge, commitment to hard work around a singular idea, your creativity, and your ability to connect with others.

23:How do people get into a business major in college?

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