Studying Economic Sciences
Business school graduates study how companies work.
An article by Lisa Srikiow in collaboration with Viola Diem and Friederike Lübke
That is what it’s about
Whether setting up a start-up or restructuring an old company with a lot of tradition: 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. 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? Business Administration or an economic subject related to Business Administration is offered at most universities and universities of applied sciences in Germany. "In the degree course, 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 the first semesters, students get an overview of important sub-areas such as production, sales, marketing, management and human resources. They focus on accounting and learn how to create and interpret financial statements. The basic principles of Business Administration also include legal fundamentals, mathematics and statistics. Also included is insight into economics. In the fourth semester, students can choose their areas of specialisation and focus on a sub-area, such as the fiscal system or company management. "Two important issues are currently medium-sized companies and working in networks," says Thomas Egner, professor of Taxation at the Uni Bamberg. Sometimes the curriculum includes practical phases or projects. Regardless of whether they are compulsory or not: work placements help to orient students professionally. This helps students decide in which department they find the work most interesting, for example.
suitability, obstacles, misconceptions
Anyone who wants to study Business Administration should be curious about the processes behind things that we are faced with daily 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 Thomas Egner from the Uni Bamberg. There is a lot to take in, particularly in the first few semesters. But there is something for almost everyone thanks to all of the different specialisations: if you like mathematics, you can focus on finance or accounting; creative types go into marketing. There's no way around mathematics and English in the degree course, though. It is also advantageous to have good communication skills: "As a business school graduate, you have to be able to convince others of the value of your products or ideas – be they employees, customers or partners," says Hans Klaus of the FH Kiel. Many Business Administration degree courses have course entrance restrictions which often lie in the two grade range. Some higher education institutions require proof of English language skills. But because there are so many degree courses, everyone can find a place.