Should You Major in Business If You Plan to Pursue an MBA?
The short answer to this question is yes. When you earn a bachelor’s degree in business, you will find yourself well positioned to enter an MBA program, armed with appropriate prerequisite courses and the knowledge needed to take your study of business to the next level. That said, you don’t necessarily need a business degree in order to pursue an MBA. There are a variety of undergrad programs that can influence the course of your MBA program and indeed, your career after college. So the question remains, should you major in business if you plan to pursue an MBA? Here are a few factors to consider before you decide.
Are you interested in language, art, music, humanities, social sciences, or subjects that focus on creativity and human interaction? Or do you prefer science, math, and other technical pursuits? Your interests will not only play a role in your career path, but they could have something to do with the degree program you initially choose. The good news is that you are unlikely to be turned away from an MBA program because of obtaining a BA or BS degree that is not a business degree, per se. Even better, when you’re interested in a subject you’re bound to do better in school, increasing your odds of gaining entrance to a master’s program.
Just because you have an interest in something does not necessarily mean it will make a good career or that you’ll excel in that field. For this reason, you need to consider not only what you enjoy, but also what you’re good at before you select your undergraduate major. By the time you graduate high school you probably have some inkling of which subjects you tend to excel at. If you’re still not sure, though, consider taking aptitude tests to determine where your strengths lie so that you can choose a suitable degree program. Again, it will help you to succeed in your undergrad coursework and pave the way to pursuing an MBA later on.
You probably know that you have to achieve a certain GPA and GMAT score in order to gain admission to top MBA programs. While many of these institutions do not necessarily demand that you obtain a business degree beforehand, you will have to complete your bachelor’s degree in order to enter any master’s program. You might also have to complete certain prerequisite courses. Most or all of these will be included in an undergrad business program, which is designed to prepare you for MBA or other continuing master’s education.
Other degree programs may not provide you with mandatory prerequisites for an MBA. So if you’re earning an online bachelors degree in accounting, English, or engineering, just for example, look into requirements for MBA programs you’re interested in well in advance so that you can add in appropriate prerequisite courses before graduation.
Harvard Business School reported in 2011 that only 26% of MBA applicants accepted to the program had a business degree going in, whereas 33% had degrees in engineering, and a whopping 40% held humanities and social science degrees (2% had other majors). Researching the preferences of the schools you’re interested in could help you to figure out whether or not you should get a degree in business or another major that interests you prior to applying for an MBA program.