What is business and management?
Business can be defined as all forms of trade, the exchange of goods and services with the intention of making a profit.
Business is closely intertwined with ethics. Individuals, companies and governments are in a constant state of flux regarding what is best for an economy and the movement of capital, and how to stop events such as the 2008 financial crash. The role of management is defined by these ideals of what is best for people and what is best for the company, and requires the skills of understanding human behaviour and establishing an effective style of leadership, as well as the need to ensure continuing financial health for the business.
What do you learn on a business and management degree?
What you may find in a business degree covers a broad range of subjects, such as economics, accounting and entrepreneurial training. A business undergraduate degree may start with learning the core concepts in all of these fields, so as to ensure there will be no significant gaps when starting a career. In later years compulsory modules can be combined with specialised areas of study, for example company law or consumer behaviour.
In a globalised world, the ability to speak a second language and appreciate the cultural differences when approaching business is becoming increasingly important, and more and more universities worldwide are offering year abroad opportunities to business students.
Three-year undergraduate degrees can also be adapted into a four year course with a one year work placement at some higher learning institutions, who will usually offer the opportunity at the third year of study. This opportunity to work inside a company can provide a student with personable and pragmatic skills, and will be a useful addition to a CV. Furthermore, many companies who take students on placements will employ them full time after graduating if they are impressed by their contribution.
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What should I study if I want to study business and management?
If you are able to study either business and economics at school then you should consider doing so, but it is by no means the only preparation for a degree in business.
Traditional subjects such as maths and physics can be advantageous towards studying business at university and many institutions will recognise this.
Another key area that you could study is language, and the ability to debate and construct a commanding professional persona - another first step to a life in management. If you are attending a university in which you can select your major at a later point in time, ensure not only that you attend introductory business and economic courses, but are keeping a close eye on current developments in the business world.
What do people who study business and management do after graduation?
The possibilities for a business graduate are almost endless. Positions as a stock market analyst or trader may be appealing, though a student must be aware that there will be need for further training and is a very high-pressure role.
A job in retail management is a popular position for those leaving university, and larger companies can present regular opportunities for advancement. Retail is also a wide field, allowing those with experience in one particular sector to pursue job opportunities elsewhere with relative ease.
The relationship between business and information technology is a strong one, and if the student also has experience in computer science then a position in a software firm can be a possibility.
The more entrepreneurial of students can make a go of building their own business from scratch, although there is a steep learning curve, a need for investment, and the changing market to contend with, which all means many budding businesspersons will see companies go bankrupt on numerous occasions before creating a model that flourishes.
Student experience of studying business
Which famous people studied business?
Businesswoman Wendi Deng is a graduate from Yale School of Management - as is the CEO of the PepsiCo organisation, Indra Nooyi.
Some celebrities who have business degrees are actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (international business, University of Wisconsin-Superior) and Sir Mick Jagger, who dropped out of a business degree at the London School of Economics to focus on a burgeoning music career as lead singer of the Rolling Stones.
Read more: Best universities for business degrees
Why study business and management? Find out all you need to know about getting on a degree course, and what you might learn if you opt to study business and management