Should I major in business studies at university?
This is the first of two chapters about English for Business Studies. To complete this reader, read each chapter carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.
– Discuss the benefits of studying Business Studies
– Highlight some of the key topics which are likely to be discussed during an undergraduate degree in IB
– Provide examples of the most common career paths available to IB graduates
Choosing a subject to study at university can be one of the most dauting decisions a student has to make. While some may know exactly what degree to take, others will find choosing the right course tough. Deciding a major may be mostly decided by the grades you’ve achieved and the classes you took in high school or college. For others though, their university might have a higher level of course-enrolment freedom, or it might allow them the opportunity to switch majors at the end of the first semester or year. Whatever your situation is, studying Business Studies in English (particularly if English is not your native language) can be overwhelming. To help students familiarise themselves with the subject, we discuss some of the key business topics in Chapter 1 before introducing in Chapter 2 the top 100 subject-specific vocabulary items.
What is Business Studies?
Whether the subject is called International Business (IB) or Business Studies (BS), the topics of your course will usually be quite similar. Whether focussed on a domestic or international setting, these courses generally cover elements of accounting, finance, marketing, management, operations, organisational structures, production, goods trading, services and technology. This discipline aims to prepare students to conduct business successfully as responsible and effective future managers and entrepreneurs, and it has become increasingly popular in the globalised economic environment of the 21st century.
Which students suit Business Studies?
Students who are interested in trade, management or entrepreneurship would make for an obvious choice for this major. Those with a knowledge or interest in economics, politics or even design and technology may also find this degree worthwhile. More generally, if you wish to have a competitive edge in the international job market and see the benefit of honing both general and specific business skills, then this major could be a great option. Business Studies is often offered in English to non-native speakers, and as such, really attracts those with the international business market in mind.
Which job opportunities are likely?
Business students acquire a number of transferable skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different types of job. Within almost every industry are management structures, human resource and accounting departments, as well as the need to understand cultural sensitivities and ethical business practices. Therefore, regardless of what the sector is, Business Studies students have a number of different job opportunities. These can include:
- Account executives
- Advertising assistants
- Data scientists
- Financial traders
- HR officers
- Managers / Assistant mangers
- Media planners
- Operations analysts
- Public affairs consultants
- Recruitment consultants
- Sales executives
- Supply chain managers
Does IB have subject-specific vocabulary?
As with most majors, being successful at Business Studies requires learning lots of subject-specific vocabulary – also known as jargon. Whether you are native English speaker or not, the subject specific vocabulary of your major will prove challenging at first and it will take time to learn. To further complicate things, you may also discover that some of the vocabulary you already know needs to be learned again as those words now carry different meanings when being used in specific business contexts. Be prepared for that and plan ahead to overcome it. The best method for doing this is to use dictionaries with frequency, to keep studying diligently, and to read lots of sources related to your field. Do those three things on a daily basis and you’ll soon start to become more confident and competent as a Business Studies student.
To help you with learning the subject specific vocabulary of a degree in business, Chapter 2 of this short reader on English for Business Studies provides 100 of the most useful words in this field. You may also wish to unlock, download and complete our related worksheets to check your understanding of these terms.
There are currently no PowerPoint activities, additional teacher resources or audio and video recordings created for this topic. Please come back again next semester.
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