Top Class
All Encompassing
FAISAL SHAH | 10 Mar 2017 00:30
A degree in business studies often sounds like a qualification pursued by students who either can’t decide on a specific area of study or are looking to get a general degree so that they have something to show their parents after spending three years in a university. The reality though couldn’t be further from the truth.

“The business studies degree has evolved extensively over the years as the subjects taught also to take into account the changes we’ve seen in the business environment. So, while core subjects like Economics, Financial Accounting and Marketing remain as component modules, the contents of these subjects has changed to suit the times,” says Dr S. Sugumaran, dean for the faculty of business for SEGi University.

“For instance, as recently as a decade ago the business model for retailers still revolved around having brick and mortar shops to physically store, display and sell items but these days a huge percentage of purchases are done online with the customer never interacting with the seller or even touching the product until it’s been paid for and arrives at their doorstep,” he adds.

These changes are coming thick and fast due to the use of information technology and increasing levels of global connectivity, so how then do universities ensure their curriculum remains current?

“At SEGi University’s faculty of business, we ensure that the curriculum taught isn’t just relevant to the current business environment but we also incorporate elements of future trends that are on the horizon. So a student who is studying for three years doesn’t just learn theoretical knowledge but via real world experiences and visits to companies they’re learning about the current way business is done too,” says Sugumaran.

“We also invite industry leaders to speak to our students so that they may gain insights not usually available in study materials and they get a feel of the challenges awaiting them after graduation,” he adds.

What about the view that business studies students lack the technical skills to be true business professionals and require a second more specialised qualification?
“SEGi University offers many Bachelor of Business degrees with specialisations in a number of areas. For instance, students who study for a Bachelor of Business Management (Hons) degree are awarded a double degree from SEGi University and Abertay University and will study subjects ranging from law to economics, entrepreneurship and business-government relations.

“Another educational partner of the business faculty is Keele University, which ranks in the top 4% of the global university rankings. Keele has also been ranked first for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) for three years running and are also tops for graduate employment in the UK according to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) numbers for 2016. We currently offer BA (Hons) International Business & Finance and BA (Hons) International Business & Marketing degrees from Keele University where students are exposed to a wide range of modules that will prepare them to work in an international business environment.

“Therefore, while a business graduate may not have the same level of in-depth knowledge about business law as a law graduate or have the same financial accounting skills as an accounting graduate, he will have been exposed and gained experience in numerous other competencies that are required to become successful business owners and managers. Furthermore, if a professional qualification is desired, most of our degree holders will gain exemptions due to the course credits they have already earned,” Sugumaran says.

The business faculty currently has students from more than 85 countries, which highlights how respected and globally recognised a degree from SEGi University and its partners is. It also offers masters programmes, MBA programmes with a number of specialisations and DBA and PHD qualifications awarded either by SEGi or one of its partner institutions.

“Ultimately obtaining a business studies or business degree at SEGi University offers a springboard into the business world. Aside from the knowledge gained from modules taught, we also ensure our students are well versed in areas of analytical and critical thinking, communications skills and entrepreneurship. We will also give them a global perspective, leadership and management skills to ensure their job readiness when they enter the working world,” he says.

So, just like how the business environment has changed over the years, the notion that business studies graduates only have a shallow level of wide ranging knowledge also needs to change because clearly these students graduate with a head start towards becoming future business leaders. 

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