Does a business degree help you get a job?
But evidence of work experience does…
According to research conducted in America, by John M. Nunley at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse a business degree doesn’t do much for your chances of getting an interview for a job, however having a strong record of work either before or during your time at University does.
Graduate summer internships and job placement sandwich courses are becoming more prevalent in the UK and this seems to be the best way forward for employers and candidates alike
According to a study led by John M. Nunley. Majoring in business does not improve one’s prospects of landing a job in business — but internships do. In this study the researchers sent about 9,400 fictitious resumes to online job openings in business-related fields, such as finance, management, and marketing. Resumes were randomly assigned one of nine different majors (e.g., accounting, biology, economics, English, finance), and four resumes were submitted to each ad. Resumes with business degrees were not significantly more likely to lead to an interview.
Even more remarkably, those who had a higher results or who had been an honours student didn’t do significantly better than those who hadn’t achieved either distinction. Any benefits, say the researchers, were minor and statistically insignificant.
But resumes listing internship or job placements experience were 14% (2.2 percentage points) more likely to receive an interview request than those without. Internship or significant work experience may signal traits valued by employers, such as innate ability or advanced skills, the researchers suggest.
But why is this the case?
Need to minimise the risk
In today’s economy, hiring the best people is more critical than ever. Businesses can’t afford to lose time, money and results from a bad hiring choice (a recent Forbes article by David K. Williams pegs the cost of a single bad hire at anywhere from £25-50,000). The cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high. Employees also require desks, computers, phones and related equipment, let alone the largest costs of being an employer—salaries, benefits and taxes.
Need evidence of work ethic
Evidence of work experience therefore is one of the most important considerations for any employer. Experience in particular areas such as coping in a busy environment, answering busy telephone lines or handling accounts, for example, can be essential for most staff roles. A strong work background is always a good thing as it exemplifies a good work ethic. Criteria based interviewing ensures the employer asks potential employees questions about results in previous work situations. Applicants who can give you concrete information regarding these results are likely to be experienced performers.