What are the best undergraduate business programs?
I know of NYU’s Stern and UPenn’s Wharton but how many more are there? I’m planning on getting an undergraduate degree in business because that’s what I’m genuinely interested in and the activities that I’m pursuing line up with that but I don’t know whether I should pursue something else for my undergrad and then get an MBA? #business #mba
The best way to get info on the top business programs is to look at the lists compiled by one of the main business publications: US News and World Reports, Fortune, Business Week. All 3 of these magazines do a top business school article. They all rank schools based on multiple criteria.
The 'best' really depends on your intended major and what options are important to you. In addition to Stern and Wharton, there is always Harvard (HBS), Stanford and Univ. of Chicago (Booth). If you are interested in working for Google, Facebook or Apple, then Stanford is right there where you live and the big social media companies recruit heavily from there. If you want to work on Wall Street, then Stern or Harvard or Wharton would be your top choice. If you want to work internationally, then London School of Business.....
Keep in mind, some of the top business schools want you to have a couple years work experience before you apply to grad school. That will help you to be more marketable when you are looking for your internships or permanent jobs. So do you research on the best program before you decide.
Lastly, the cost of school may determine where you apply. Grad School tuition is between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. So you may need to look for schools with scholarships, or schools that pay your tuition if you are low income. I think Harvard has a low-income program, but if you (and your parents) are middle income, you may end up having to borrow all the money for school.
I am so excited that you are interested in business. A business degree (undergrad and MBA can be combined in so many fabulous careers because the language of business is spoken by all industries, the arts, sports, international organizations, NGOs, government, and start ups. You can own your own company or work for one that already exists.
Have you considered a double major? If you major in business you may be able to complete your MBA more quickly because you will already have the required courses.
Business can be combined with many majors, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)
So the right school for you is that one that helps you start to create a network in the area where you hope to work OR opens up opportunities related to your interests.
I think it is very important to visit schools and talk to alumni in your area if you can’t get to the school in person. Go to their websites, follow their social media, see what their professors are doing, and see what their grads are doing. There will be more than one school that is right for you. Think of your choice as a total packet: where will you thrive, what do they have to offer, and where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years.
I started taking business classes because I was working at a major NGO-nonprofit and needed business, finance, and database skills. I was offered a scholarship by the Dean to finish my MBA. I was then able to work in both sectors on some very cool international and national projects. I studied both public sector and private sector finance initially. I went back later for information systems since there is a huge shortage of people in this area. The great thing is that you can go back for additional training later if you need to. Degrees are much more flexible with many online options now.
Victoria recommends the following next steps:
* School setup (is having a large campus and true college-like experience important (e.g. Duke) or you'd rather be in a big city in a more urban environment (e.g. Stern)
* Geographic location (where would you like to be based during / post-studies)
* Class size (some people prefer smaller and some larger classes)
* Target job / industry / role / company post-graduation and what is school placement like there
* Other factors (sports, extracurriculars, weather, etc)
An undergrad business degree is not a prerequisite for an MBA, so you could absolutely do something completely different (to the extent you find something else that excites you) and always have an option to do an MBA as a post-grad.
As for best undergraduate business programs - Wharton (UPenn), MIT, Cornell, UMich, UVa, UChicago, etc.