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Should I study business management? –
Economics or business studies?

In the jungle of business degrees available today, it’s often hard to keep track of the various distinct programs. Some of the degree names seem to have just been thrown together, and their modules often overlap. So, how is the subject of business management different? What sets it apart from other business-related degrees? How is the program structured? What job prospects are open to you after graduation, and what salary can you expect to make? You’ll find the answers in the following article.
Three students research the difference between business administration vs. business management

Business management – short facts.

Course length: 6 semesters
Format: Full-time studies
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)/ Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
Concentrations: Blend of Business Administration and Economics

What can I expect in a business management degree program?

Business management combines the two fields of business administration and economics, thus offering a holistic program of business education. At the start of the program, you’ll deal extensively with theoretical models for understanding business issues and you’ll learn mathematical-statistical methods and their applications for your own academic work. During the course of your studies, you’ll also have the chance to choose individual areas of concentration and to specialize in a particular direction or sector. Specialized modules are available for this purpose.

General areas of focus:

  • Business administration, e.g. marketing, sales, and accounting
  • Economics, micro- and macroeconomics, econometrics
  • Statistics
  • Business law
  • Economic policy
  • Competition and regulation
  • Controlling

Possible areas of concentration:

  • Event management
  • Sports management
  • Cultural management
  • Industry and trade
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Energy management
  • Business information systems

A degree program in business management offers you a high level of independence and decision-making possibilities, but these liberties also require a degree of personal initiative. You should therefore possess a certain level of self-management skills. Ideally, you enjoy working in a balance between theory and practice.

How does business management differ from business administration?

Business administration focuses mainly on the planning, organization, and mathematical presentation of procedures in a business. Economics, on the other hand, deals more with the economic explanation of human actions. Business management draws on elements from both of these subjects, though it’s usually more closely related to economics in terms of subject matter. As a result, it often appears to be more theoretical, in contrast to business administration and purely management-related degree programs. The stronger focus on theoretical work becomes clear when you see that no internship or semester abroad is required as part of the program.

What are the admission requirements for a business management degree program?

Most degree programs in the field of business management have certain admission restrictions, but often only relating to the numerus clausus (NC) or a set number of waiting semesters. Hardly any universities require a statement of purpose or aptitude test for this program, in contrast to many other business-related degrees. It’s usually sufficient to have an applicable university entrance qualification within a specified grade range. This range is relatively broad in German universities, with the NC averaging between 2.0 and 3.5 on the German grading scale. In this sense, the admission hurdles for a program in business management are among the lowest of all business-related degrees.

For example, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management offers a Bachelor in International Business Administration, which covers all areas of business management and economics. The admission requirements include a university entrance qualification and proof of proficiency in English. The main emphasis is on your personal competencies and motivation, rather than your school grades. You should also already have six weeks of work experience that you have completed in the form of an internship or traineeship. Are you enthusiastic, communicative, and goal-oriented? If so, the Bachelor Program at WHU could be right for you.

International students are also welcome at WHU, and qualifications such as the IB and A Levels are recognized. The course can be completed bilingually or exclusively in English, making it open to all students. WHU believes that this international exchange has a positive effect on the personal and social competencies of our students, and stands for internationality and a cosmopolitan outlook.

How do I benefit from a business management degree?

Business management graduates are able to analyze a company’s complex business issues and their relation to the market economy as a whole, using this as the basis for recommendations concerning the planning, organization, and implementation of applicable measures for the company.

Besides common employment possibilities in various areas of a company – which are very similar to the job possibilities relating to business administration – graduates with a degree in business management can particularly look forward to job prospects in the field of public administration or in an institute. Many business management graduates also go into the field of market research or work in an institute for economic development or a business consultancy.

Combination Bachelor's such as WHU’s Bachelor in International Business Administration offer a great blend of theory and practice, allowing you to keep your options open in the beginning and opening the door for you to a variety of careers in international business after you graduate. In addition to the key mathematical and statistical methods, the curriculum includes special modules from Business Law as well as sector-specific advanced modules. As a result, you will be optimally prepared for a management position within a company.

If you are interested in a combination of economics and psychology, the Bachelor in Business Psychology program would also be very suitable for you. A bachelor's or master's degree with a major in Business Psychology will give you excellent career opportunities in today's business world.