The Ugly Truth About Earning a Business Degree

Is earning a business degree a waste of time?
That’s essentially what I said in a piece that The New York Times published today. Here is my post:

But Can They Write?

The Times asked me and some higher-ed experts, including biz school deans, to write about the value of a business degree because of a story that ran in the newspaper’s Sunday edition entitled:

The Default Major: Skating Through B-School

I think it would come as a shock to parents, who often encourage their children to get a vocational degree like business, that any problems exist with this major, which is the nation’s most popular. About one out of five undergrads is a business major.
Here are just a few of the problems with business degree programs:

  • Testing indicates that business majors experience the weakest educational gains in the first two years of colleges.
  • Biz students spend less time preparing for classes than do students in any other broad field.
  • Many biz students don’t seem curious about learning, they just want to make money.
  • Business classes are often not rigorous and assignments are typically group based, which benefits slackers.
  • Business majors graduate without knowing how to write.
  • Many business classes, which are typically cash cows for universities, are conducted in large lecture halls.

I also wrote about this issue for my CBS MoneyWatch college blog months ago. Here is that post:

8 Reasons Not to Get a Business Degree

Next time you are tempted to nag your kid about majoring in business, stop yourself. Your child’s best bet might actually be philosophy. No joke!
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch and another for US News & World Report. Follow her on Twitter.
Business degree image by epicharmus. CC 2.0.

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