Jaggar DeMarco: Mandate a business course for non-business students

At colleges and universities across the country, business is emerging as one of the most popular majors.

But there’s been a campus dialogue as to whether or not business students are getting a well-rounded education.

As a result, GW has begun to rethink the business school curriculum and will consider offering a Bachelor of Science in finance. With this change, which The Board of Trustees could vote on later this year, business students will have the opportunity to take a broader range of classes sometime in the future.

But in the same vein, liberal arts students should have an opportunity to expand their horizons as well.

All students should graduate from GW knowing something about business. That’s why the University should consider mandating that all students take a business course before they graduate – even if it isn’t their major.

The University is beginning to make strides in this area. In the fall, the Center for Student Engagement will start to offer weekly seminars called “Big Adult Topics” which will cover issues like how to file your own taxes and plan for retirement. For some, these seminars may be unnecessary. But it’s encouraging to see University administrators trying to help prepare students for the financial realities they will face in their adult lives.

Although GW is an institution that prides itself on providing students a global perspective and comprehensive understanding of the world, it’s still possible for students to graduate having never learned anything having to do with the economy. As the University reorganizes itself under a one-college model, GW should ensure that every student graduates knowing something about the economy and world markets.

To do this, GW could designate an introductory business course required for all students. The central goal of the course would be to expose the basics of the business world to students who are not necessarily familiar with financial investments or even the process of doing taxes.

There’s a lot to admire about business courses. For example, they don’t simply teach students the intricacies of markets but also place students in positions where they must collaborate with their peers. Business degrees, maybe more than any other degree, teach students problem solving skills and how to work in groups – both of which are necessary in most fields.

There are a number of higher-level economics courses taught in the business school that would not apply to the average student. And the general student body is not interested in studying financial markets and product placement.

However, everyone, no matter their major, could benefit from a basic understanding of the business world if for no other reason than that having taken a class in finance or economics.

Getting a job is ultimately what we’re here for, and this simple addition to the curriculum could give all students a leg up when searching for full-time employment.

–The writer is a freshman majoring in political communication.

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