Undergrad Business school overrated?

I'm having a hard time understanding the pros of business school instead of a regular CAS degree for undergrad. I understand the benefits or Wharton or Stern, or any school where OCR is solely for the business school. For schools like Georgetown, OCR is open to everyone. I really feel like a math/econ/government/cs major in the regular college would be much more beneficial. Like it would have more rigorous classes where you learn more, are smarter, and have a larger field of choices in classes in classes and careers (phds, government etc.). The only benefit I see is that it's easy to get a high GPA. But it also seems you don't learn that much. Maybe I'm wrong but everyone in my family looks down upon business majors. This is similar to the Harvard english literature majors being better than a normal business major from a semi-target. Any thoughts on this?

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Comments (7)

May 1, 2021 - 4:08pm

CEO of Uber: "Even though I went from engineering to finance, engineering taught me how to break down problems and how to build them back up again." I think the whole reason Math phds and physics phds become high paid quants (even though their phd has 0 application to the real world) is because they've basically proved they can solve the hardest problems in the world. And a business major doesn't teach you any advanced problem solving.

May 1, 2021 - 5:30pm

There are a few reasons for this. Most of the first colleges in the US were based on the Oxbridge system of education. This is why there are so many old liberal arts schools on the east coast. Many now research schools ie Harvard, Princeton, Yale were liberal arts schools 200 years ago; and thus continue to teach a liberal education. This means they prioritize a well-rounded education over professional skills development in their undergraduate programs. These schools believe that professional skills development should occur in graduate programs like Med school, Law school, and Business school. 

For this historical reason, many top universities do not have UG business schools. It is not that they are overrated; it is that many of the top students simply do not have the option to enroll in undergraduate business classes because they are not offered at liberal education-based schools (where the majority of top students apply to). 

Edit: (This part might come off as classist)

One should also keep in mind that outside of the top 50 schools in the US. Many have UG business schools. This is because most of the people applying to these schools end up working at a local firm doing something in the realm of business. For this reason, marketing and accounting are very popular majors for people who are going to these non-target schools. These majors will pay above average and will provide them a decent living. 

Look at the admission profile for any top PHD program or top MBA program. About 80% of the class went to the same 20-30 schools. Many undergraduate business majors at these lesser-known schools have no intention of getting a PHD or MBA even when they have perfect GPAs. (Many are content living their lives oblivious to the prestige chasing world of finance and academia) 

May 1, 2021 - 6:24pm

If we remove finance courses on corporate finance and fixed income (mostly) you don't really learn anything that will directly help you in your day to day job. Some thing that's a sufficiant reason to take the easiest courses and get a great GPA but honestly I think you're wasting four years of your life if that's what you're doing. Going to university is the perfect moment to discover new things and challenge yourself intellectually and I don't think you get that with a general business degree.

Personally I double majored in finance and econ (very math heavy program) and I've gotten a lot more out of my econ courses.

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May 1, 2021 - 6:32pm

I went to an undergrad business school and didn't feel that challenged. I took an econ class through the college of arts and sciences which was more challenging and therefore more rewarding. Engineering and Computer Science are the way to go IMO. Much more practical then physical sciences and math unless you're set on teaching or research. I started on a engineer track but was too ignorant to get a tutor for calculus-based physics and switched to business. Big mistake

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