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Business Studies and Economics - a discursive essay on todays managers.

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Introduction

"Tomorrow's managers need something extra. Employers expect graduates who join them as potential managers to have more than a degree. They also expect them to have the commercial awareness and personal skills to enable them to make a useful contribution from the start." (Sunday Times) The Management Charter Initiative, a body of leading British employers, have defined management as "the process of getting activities completed efficiently with and through other people. The functions or primary activities engaged in by managers are ... planning, organising, leading and controlling." Bangor degrees enable you to develop the vital skills required to manage people, manage information and manage finance. All of our courses relate theories and techniques to practical, 'real world' issues and situations. Case studies involving businesses of various sizes operating in a range of sectors, in both domestic and global markets, form an integral part of all of our courses. You will work through some of these individually, while others will be tackled in groups. As well as illustrating principles of management in a realistic and up-to-date setting, the case studies help you to develop commercial awareness, as well as leadership, communication, teamwork and presentational skills. Business Studies and Economics. The BA (Hons) Business Studies and Economics degree offers you the opportunity to combine a broad programme of study in business with a specialism, which focuses on the economic context of business decision making. Almost all questions of government policy involve some economic dimension and can be analysed using economic techniques. As well as the big issues of government policy, economics also analyses the motives and behaviour of individual households and businesses. Indeed, many economists argue that an understanding of economics at the 'microeconomic' level is essential before the larger 'macroeconomic' issues can be addressed properly. Business Studies and Economics will appeal to anyone who combines a desire to develop practical skills for a career in business, with a broader interest in how the economy works at the local, national and global levels. ...read more.

Middle

Simon Midgley reports Monday August 19, 2002 The Guardian Business studies graduates often have an edge over humanities graduates when it comes to getting a job. "They are probably ahead of the game," says Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). "Business studies graduates are seen as having good employment prospects. "They have generally done quite rounded degrees and they will have picked up a lot of skills, as well as knowledge that can be applied in the workplace. They are going on to a wide range of jobs both in the private and public sector." A survey of 10,500 men and women with business studies degrees in 1999 showed that 78% got jobs within six months of graduating. Of these 13% were in marketing, sales and PR; 23% in the commercial, industrial and public sector; 7.5% in business and finance; almost 5% in IT; and 18.5% in clerical and secretarial. These statistics, drawn from What Do Graduates Do? 2001 (published by the Central Services Unit), are quite positive compared with those of some other degree disciplines, says Gilleard. "Employment rates are high. Often their degrees have fairly obvious relevance to the careers they choose to follow." Business studies graduates are sought after by employers. The kind of person who enrols on business studies courses quite often knows what they want from a course and has career goals in mind. While getting a degree is important, it is as important to develop skills, get some work experience and be able to demonstrate personal qualities such as leadership and taking responsibility. "I don't see employers seeing a theology degree and saying 'oh, bin this one', but they might say 'what does this person think they can bring to our organisation?' and they would be looking in the application, the interview or the assessment centre for evidence of that," Gilleard says. "You can develop skills in almost any experience. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some inroads are being made, but slowly. There is, at last, some recognition that business as a subject exists but activity is generally aimed at schools rather than colleges. Here it does not receive, however, the same status as geography and history even though, for 14- to 16-year-olds, busi ness studies has an equal place in the curriculum. What makes it stranger is that Tony Blair has been talking about business studies in recent weeks. His statements about education included plans to set up specialist schools for business and enterprise. In further education there has been no such progress. A student of A-level psychology brings more money to a college than one taking business studies. Does the former really cost more than the latter? Most lecturers would doubt it. Business is the biggest area for GNVQ and vocational A-levels. It has provided a successful route to higher education and employment for many students. Turning GNVQ Foundation and Intermediate into a vocational GCSE leaves many students with no route forward from school. Half the population achieves less than C grades at GCSE and they really don't want to go to college to resit. Young people want something new. If they have achieved a foundation pass at school, they could move to intermediate at college. Will these students really want to start a GCSE, with its school-based image, which they will "fail", as a C grade is probably beyond their expectations? Foundation GNVQ motivated many because they could receive a positive outcome. Why take it away? There is a shortage of business teachers. Adverts for business lecturers elicit few responses in the college sector. Graduates see enthusiastic employers who offer tempting packages in return for their skills. Maths teachers, among others, will get their student loans paid off and be given golden hellos but business teachers are never included in these deals. Business students and lecturers in colleges do not get a fair crack of the whip. There is a mismatch between the perception that business education is economically important and the reality of the lack of support for it. We must all shout louder. ...read more.

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