Perception Vs Reality In Business Degrees

Imagine walking into a new job with a feeling of intelligence and self-worth, within days this feeling is jarred from your ego and replaced by nothingness, confusion. You just completed your business degree and your perceived experience in the work force was much different. A feeling of being lost like you’re a young child learning to crawl again. Imagine every day is a new task that you haven’t faced that you’re expected to complete and have no idea how to complete it. Everyone around you seems calm and focused you are frantic and disheveled.

One of the common themes of Business undergraduates is they are underprepared for the work world. Undergraduates with higher GPAs also have higher employment rates, although this does necessarily mean they are the top performers in the work world. Students with higher GPAs may have an easier time applying concepts from the classroom, but still there is a very steep learning curve. When learning a new concept, the first thought is how is this going to be tested, instead of how it can improve an organization or business. In a way, students are sheltered from actual application or knowledge testing. For example, if you take a multiple choice test you are usually given four options, from which you are to select the correct answer. The idea behind this is to show your application of knowledge and select the best choice. Although, if you take a similar scenario outside of the university testing environment: there are no alternatives, you have to create and understand the possible solutions to problems. Select the correct solution, and you do not receive feedback on the quality of your decision for an extended period of time.

Students work very hard to get the best grades they can, in consequence of the time dedicated to learning technical skills, students can forget about the soft skills that need to be developed to succeed in the business world. Working in the accounting field as a student, you quickly realize that what you have learned in school doesn’t help you as much as you thought. Many of the business terms used while working in the accounting field were understood, but the work itself seemed foreign. Many of the concepts learned in school seem to be much easier than what was experienced in the work world. The concepts are easy to apply in the classroom because there are in an ideal scenario never the case in the work world.

Being in the school of business does not necessarily equip you with the skills to do business, it is the study of business and how it works, which means you won’t necessarily know how to be a good businessman. This is the misconception about university that many people believe.  Working hard does not always lead to success. Networking and great negotiation skills also play a big role in a successful businessman. The perception of students in university is that what they are learning will help them succeed outside of school, although the reality is, university serves as more of a foundation then the actual structure to a business professionals success. The foundation is very important, although university should not be relied on solely to propel a student into the workforce. In many cases university students do rely solely on the classroom component of their development, which creates a one-dimensional individual. The university student lacks essential skills of person-to-person communication, salesmanship, as well as critical thinking skills…

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