Business studies at GCSE, worth doing or choose something more academic?

(38 Posts)
NotMostPeople Tue 05-Feb-13 17:06:11

DD1 only gets two options, she knows she wants to do art, but isn't sure if she wants to do business studies or RS for the other. My initial reaction was to choose RS as it's more academic, but rather than dismissing it out of hand I thought perhaps I ought to do some research. Back in my day business studies was mostly about learning how to use carbon paper, so not really worth anything.

Copthallresident Wed 06-Feb-13 08:48:41

I'm sorry, it isn't just on MN, it is also in the business world. A few graduate programmes now favour Business Studies degrees but most, and the best still want solid academic degrees from solid academic unis to demonstrate that you have developed your intellectual capabilities in studying challenging intellectual subjects, as well as of course having the personal qualities www.unilever.co.uk/careers/careeropportunities/graduatesandstudents/graduateprogamme/index.aspx. Once you are in a business and learning management skills then you will gain so much more from studying business skills through a postgraduate qualification.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 09:00:07

@BIWI many universities look at GCSE results. Many don't, but many do. None of them look favourably on BS AFAIA. They are either neutral (to be fair, the majority) or dislike it.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 09:07:21

Copthall The very top business degrees have always been well regarded. But none of them would be impressed by a BS GCSE.

BIWI Wed 06-Feb-13 11:18:12

Russians - I wasn't going to get into that debate!

NotMostPeople Wed 06-Feb-13 13:13:06

Thank you Cricketball that's great information, Dd's school is not one to offer 'useless' subjects (super selective grammar) it does sound like a great course. At this stage dd thinks she wants to do an art based degree, as a precautionary measure I think it's best that her second option is more academic so RS it is with BS as our backup option.

OneMoreMum Wed 06-Feb-13 13:15:00

Russians
You don't need any specific subjects to study accountancy, 2 A-levels I believe will get you onto most of the accountancy bodies training programmes I believe. Does that mean that all the other subjects are useless too?

OneMoreMum Wed 06-Feb-13 13:17:35

Sorry about the two 'believes' - not concentrating!

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 13:22:22

Onemoremum If we leave aside for a moment the fact that we are talking about GCSEs and not A levels, most of the other subjects are regarded as useful by someone. The so-called facilitating subjects are regarded as useful in and of themselves. Vocational subjects are regarded as vital to actually then follow the relevant degree (so, music, art. Possibly not drama). Business studies is one of the few subjects that I can think of (in common with law, economics (O level, not so much A level), accountancy) where nobody wants it or requires it not even the degrees or careers which it is supposed to lead on to. People are at best neutral. Many recruiters would be actively discouraged. Anyone looking for a career in business is far better advised to get solid academic GCSEs and A levels than to pursue business studies at those levels.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 13:25:20

Incidentally - I have taught (and continue to teach, and write) business related courses at post graduate level and I am involved in recruitment too some years. I'm not just making this up as I go along. smile

JenaiMorris Wed 06-Feb-13 13:43:59

If they're doing the best part of a dozen (or more!) GCSEs, does it matter if one or two aren't in traditional, MN-approved subjects?

That's not a rhetorical question btw.

OneMoreMum Wed 06-Feb-13 14:07:38

Russians I was just pointing out that the entry point is 2 A-levels in any subjects, I imagine you'll also need GCSE A- C maths and English too, but then you seem to need that for serving in McDonalds these days.

Jenai I love the idea of MN approved subjects, far more stringent than the Russell Group ones I think.

I absolutely think if you have a good core set of academic subjects then Business Studies would do you no harm, you may actually learn something that's useful to you in the real world...

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 06-Feb-13 14:11:52

If you're thinking of doing it purely to fill a timetable slot, then sure, why not. If you actively chose it because you think it will further a career in business or you want to do a business related degree or post graduate professional qualification then you are better advised to do something else. To be honest, the best thing would be a second mfl (and I personally hate, and am rubbish at, languages - but this doesn't change the truth of the matter which is that a well chosen mfl would be far better on paper and in practical terms for almost any career)

Copthallresident Wed 06-Feb-13 14:36:05

Russiansonthespree Good advice, DHs company actually screen out applicants for their graduate recruitment programme without two MFL at some level.

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