Rethinking The Business Major

I am pretty excited. I have been working on a new degree for Warner Pacific College. It is one that will combine the technical skills of business and entrepreneurship with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for creating positive social change. This degree will help students develop the critical thinking skills needed in this modern era not only related to free enterprise, but also expressing social responsibility in new and dynamic ways. An article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal reinforces my resolve in this matter.

The article by Melissa Korn starts out with an incredible statement. “Undergraduate business majors are a dime a dozen on many college campuses. But according to some they may be worth even less.” Needless to say this got my attention. More than 20% of undergraduate students are studying business, with social science holding a close second. The problem  with the business degree, or so say business leaders, is that the degree focuses too much on technical skills such as accounting and finance, and not enough on critical thinking, problem solving, and people skills. Commerce is saying it needs flexible thinkers, who are innovative, with broad based thinking skills that come from being exposed to a number of different disciplines. This is why business should be taught in a liberal arts environment.

Often my students don’t see the purpose of a topic paper, or the need to discuss business ethics. Students don’t want to think they only want to do. But if business is the most dominant social institution today, then how we do this endeavor is critical. This means we need to think about consequences, duty, and virtuous actions within commerce.

I truly enjoy teaching business. However, I am blessed to be able to teach the subject in conjunction with the many professors at WPC. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the men and women at WPC who are having an impact on our students, and in my case business students. We are teaching them to think, as well as have the technical skills associated with their disciplines.

The Business Degree at Warner Pacific College is not a waste of time. It is valuable, because of the breadth of information and skill that our students are developing.

And that is my thought for the day!

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