April 22, 2019
Writer: Laura Hancock
BYU-Idaho’s Department of Management has changed the way they do business this semester.
Prior to Spring 2019, students within the department working toward a bachelor’s degree in business management would earn the same degree with an emphasis in one of five areas. Now, students will graduate with a specific degree tailored to their career goals.
The five new degrees offered are:
•Business Supply Chain
The new degree offerings will provide courses from three different departments within the College of Business and Communication. The Department of Finance will teach supply chain, finance, and business analytics courses. The Department of Marketing will teach courses related to advertising, digital marketing, professional sales, social media marketing and brand management. The Department of Management will offer classes related to general management.
In January 2018, the Department of Business Management split into three new departments: the Department of Finance, the Department of Management, and the Department of Marketing. This launch of the new degree offerings finalizes the adjustments laid out with the new department organizations.
One of the greatest benefits these changes offer students is faculty mentorship. With more-focused degree offerings, students will be able to work closer with faculty that will better prepare them for the specific jobs they seek after graduation.
“With the smaller department groups, there’s different energy, different ability to innovate, a better ability to get around a table and get together. And that has been a huge advantage to this split,” said Casey Ann Hurley, who chairs the Department of Management.
The new degree programs were created with the goal of helping students take the classes that will be most relevant to their career. The added flexibility will allow students to make more of the decisions as to what courses will prepare them for the their desired jobs.
The new degrees all have less requirements than the previous degrees offered, with 5-10 less credits required for the major. Some required classes, like Econ150 would also double-count as General Education credits under the new programs. This gives students 6-9 extra credits to choose courses outside their major program that will supplement the skills they learn in their major classes.
Fewer required credits will give students more opportunities to take elective credits to explore what President Eyring discussed in his Spring 2018 Devotional as “the business of what?”
President Eyring said, “Let’s suppose, though, that you’re interested in business as a major. If you want to excel in that field, try to answer this question: ‘The business of what?’ Lots of people can say they majored in business. But you’ll have an advantage if you can say, ‘I know the business of healthcare,’ as does Professor Matt Dixon, a former hospital chief executive officer. Or, ‘I know the business of creating software,’ as Professor James Helfrich does. If you can say something like that, your resume will come to the top of the interview pile. You’ll also be more likely to rise quickly in the organization for which you ultimately work.”
Following President Eyring’s counsel will allow students to become distinguished in their careers with a more diverse set of skills and make them more employable, especially as they use their elective credits to develop “soft” skills.
“You are more likely to be recognized as a natural leader if you complement that set of ‘hard’ skills with crucial ‘soft’ ones, such as empathizing, brainstorming, negotiating, and coaching. You could develop these skills with classes in humanities such as music, dance, and foreign language or recreation management,” Eyring said.
While giving students more flexibility can be a tremendous benefit for some, others may be tempted to take the easy road that offers little value, something Hurley warns students against.
“There is the added danger that students will only take classes that aren’t going to be a ‘value add,’ or just a class that would be the easiest thing a student could take. Then you haven’t done yourself any favors because you burn all those credits and now you don’t have value to add to get a good job. And that’s something you would really regret,” Hurley warns.
To help students make wise choices for their future careers and steer them through the changes, Academic Advising is working to help students understand why it’s important to plan their elective credits ahead.
“Ultimately, this split is allowing us to do our jobs better. And as we are able to do our jobs better, we’re able to think of things like how we can help students with intentional learning,” Hurley said. &