There seems to be an interesting trend happening amongst undergraduate liberal arts programs all across the country. While it seems a course in finance or general business was hardly what undergrads were looking for, there is now a higher demand for such courses.
Business Week’s reporter Adam Fusfeld claims: “For liberal arts students, a little bit of business knowhow is a powerful thing, giving them the confidence they need to work in a business setting.” For students vying for full-time jobs after graduation, schools don’t want them to appear at a disadvantage. Hence, courses like Introduction to Accounting, Business Management, Human Resources Management and Business Communications are becoming options for Philosophy, English and History majors. Why the sudden interest in business courses? Could it be the recent ongoing economic recession?
Some schools, like Northwestern, which terminated its undergraduate business program 41 years ago, are offering certificate programs for students who have fulfilled a certain number of credits with a B-average GPA. Such types of certificates appear to appeal to students, as it’s something they can add to their resumes when applying for internships and full-time employment. Since the start of the economic downturn in 2008, there has been an increased interest in such business certificate-like undergraduate business programs all over the country.
While the United States still holds a firm stance on the importance of a broad liberal arts education during one’s undergraduate years, perhaps a basic understanding of finance and business would be advantageous to all students, no matter what their eventual focus may be. While the recession has certainly caused some negative effects on the workplace, perhaps this is an unusual advantage for all undergraduate-bound students in the future.
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