Studying Business Administration in Germany
Business school graduates study how companies work.
An article by Lisa Srikiow in collaboration with Johanna Ritter
That is what it’s about
Be they start-ups, traditional medium-sized companies or large corporations: every company needs the expertise of business school graduates. Business Administration looks at how the departments in a company interact, how the company is managed and what makes them successful in economic terms. To do this, business school graduates assess the conditions that companies are confronted with: how many competitors are there, and which government regulations need to be complied with? Not everything that is important later in everyday business appears on the curriculum. But students "acquire basic skills which allow them to take on various tasks in a company," says Hans Klaus, Business Administration professor at the FH Kiel in Germany. In the first semesters, students get an overview of sub-areas such as production, sales, marketing, management and human resources. They focus on accounting and learn how to create and properly read financial statements. The curriculum also includes basic legal principles as well as mathematics and statistics. Also included is insight into economics. In many degree courses in Germany, specialisations are chosen in the second half of the degree course and students concentrate on a sub-area, for example company management or the fiscal system. Sometimes the curriculum includes practical phases. "But even if that is not the case, it can be worthwhile to take a semester for work placements to gain insight into everyday working life," advises Susanne Homölle from the Board of the faculty conference for Economics and Social Sciences.
suitability, obstacles, misconceptions
Anyone who studies business administration should be curious about everything we encounter on a daily basis as consumers. "If you wonder why a product is placed directly at the cash register when shopping or complain about how the drink prices were set in the pub, Business Administration is the degree course for you," says Bamberg Business Administration professor Thomas Egner. Particularly in the first few semesters, you have to take in a lot of material, motivate yourself and demonstrate your staying power. In return, though, the subject is also quite varied and diverse. There's no way around mathematics and English in the degree course. Students should also be open to new ideas and have good communication skills because, as a business school graduate, you have to work in teams, identify opportunities and convince others of the value of your products and ideas. For some of the Business Administration courses, there are course entrance restrictions which vary depending on the higher education institution. The range is broad: some higher education institutions require grades in the one range, for others a three. There are also many business courses in Germany without course entrance restrictions.