Study: Business majors study less than others

John Hageman

Although business is the most popular field of study in the U.S., students are putting less time into it.

A recent survey found that business majors spend less time preparing for class than any other broad area of study, according to the New York Times.

According to the most recent National Survey of Student Engagement, almost half of business majors spend less than 11 hours a week studying outside of class. About 38 percent of all seniors spend the same amount of time on their studies.

The majors included under business studies account for 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded annually in the U.S. The number of bachelor’s degrees in business awarded in 1997-98 increased by 44 percent in 2007-08, while engineering and engineering technology degrees increased by just 9 percent in the same timespan, according to the study.

“Business education has come to be defined in the minds of students as a place for developing elite social networks and getting access to corporate recruiters,” Rakesh Khurana, a professor at Harvard Business School told the NY Times.

The article notes that students in the best business schools in the country tend to be the outlier in the general trend, sometimes studying for 70 hours a week. The Carlson School of Management was ranked the 21st best business school in the nation by U.S. News.

A little anecdote from the story that may remind you of your buddy:

An accounting major at Radford (He probably chose the school for how often he says “Rad”) told the NY Times he only goes to class to take tests and give presentations. So what does he do with the rest of his time?

“I just play sports, maybe go to the gym. Eat. Probably drink a little bit. Just kind of goof around all day.”

His GPA? 3.3.