Is Business a Hard Major? – Education Exponent (2023)

Many students wonder about the difficulty of a business major. In short, a business major is decently respected and not particularly difficult to pursue.

Before we continue I would like to clarify the difference between business administration and business management. These degrees have many of the same core courses but are not identical.

Business administration focuses on strategic planning and improving the efficiency of a company’s day to day operations. Business management gives more priority to managing teams and dealing with interpersonal relationships.

Is Business a Hard Major?

Business is not a hard major at all. In fact, a business degree is considered to be one of the easier degrees offered by universities and colleges today. Although the business courses are lengthy, they do not require you to study intensive maths nor are the concepts too difficult or challenging.

Instead of diving deep into the minute details, a business major takes on a more holistic approach. As a result, a business major will require you to study basic maths, accounts, economics, finance, entrepreneurship, communication, and marketing all at the same time.

Since a business degree requires you to study so many different fields; the courses are quite lengthy. Studying for tests and quizzes and submitting group projects, assignments, and reading tasks within short deadlines is quite tough to manage for most students.

However, the benefit of such an extensive business syllabus is that examiners only expect you to know the surface-level knowledge and not the nitty-gritty. Therefore you will not be required to apply overly complex mathematical formulas nor read complicated balance sheets unlike maths and accounting majors.

The level of analysis required for most business courses is not very high or advanced. A business major is largely common sense and not particularly difficult. Regurgitation of your textbook and basic critical analysis is sufficient to land decent marks in most of your business classes. This explains why many graduates consider business to be an easy major.

If you are good with applying your prior knowledge in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts then a business major will be easy-peasy. This is because business is a professional major and thus it is not very academic in nature. Understanding the underlying concepts is not very hard but applying them to real-world situations can be a challenge for some students.

How Hard is a Business Degree?

Generally, a business degree is not hard. Most of the classes in a business degree are quite easy, simple, and straightforward. The difficulty of a business degree depends on the compulsory core classes offered by your college, the advanced courses you choose, and the overall difficulty of your university.

You will have to complete 15-20 mandatory core courses for most business majors. The rest of the courses are either general electives or advanced classes required by your major.

A business major will typically include the following courses:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • College algebra
  • Calculus 1
  • Financial accounting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Stats
  • Financial Management
  • Fundamentals of Maeketing
  • Business Ethics
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Foundations of Business Analytics
  • Business Law
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management

As you can see for yourself most of these business courses are introductory in nature. However, the difficulty of a course lies in two crucial factors; the overall difficulty of the university and whether the course is inherently theoretical or practical.

Generally, top tier universities have to make their business classes more competitive than others. They do this by increasing the difficulty of the course, including additional topics, and examining students with questions that require more critical thinking and analysis.

Some students perform better with theoretical and conceptual courses whereas other students prefer courses that are more applied. Searching on google, reading through forums, or asking the alumni of the university will help you determine the style of the business courses at the university you are planning to apply to.

As far as the general electives are concerned you will get a plethora of courses to choose from. Traditionally the bigger the university the more electives to select from. A good strategy would be to take those electives which pique your interest or you have prior knowledge about.

Similar to the core courses, the difficulty of the advanced business classes largely depends on the university and your course selection. If you struggle with numbers then it would be a good idea to opt for marketing and entrepreneurship courses rather than accounting and math classes. You have the power to make your business degree harder or easier.

For the most part, a business degree is an easy one. If you pay attention in class and revise your course material regularly then a business degree should not be too much of a challenge.

Adapting to the more applied style of your business courses will take some time but students generally ease through this transition.

Should I Major in Business if I am Bad at Math?

You can major in business if you are bad at math and not terrible at it. Although majoring in business requires math, the level and complexity needed are not too advanced. Despite that math is an essential component of business and it is highly useful; therefore you should try to become good at math as soon as possible.

The level of maths required for a business major is similar to that taught in middle and high school. You will only need to study more complex mathematics for math courses such as Calculus 1.

If you were encountering severe difficulties in your middle and high school math classes then you should definitely reconsider the major.

However, if you were able to manage your middle school math lectures but had issues in high school then it means your mathematical foundations are strong and you may need some extra help to understand more advanced math concepts.

In such a case you should definitely major in business and devoting some extra time to improve your math abilities will greatly benefit you.

Maths becomes more abstract and difficult to understand as you move into more advanced classes. Nonetheless, the abundance of online resources can be a blessing when it comes to gaining mastery over maths.

If you are devoted and passionate about studying business then you can easily ameliorate your math abilities and pursue the major of your choice.

Coursera, edX, and Youtube are great online resources to experience what a business major is like. You can enrol in some courses and check out the difficulty for yourself.

Is a Business Degree Useless?

A business degree is not useless, but it is not a very useful degree either. This is because business is a broad degree and you don’t learn a lot of information about any particular subject, unlike accounting or finance majors. A business degree can prove to be very useful if you specialize in a particular field and combine it with relevant experience.

Business is one of the most popular degrees in today’s time. However, many potential students feel that their business degree itself will land them a high-paying job. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

A business degree is a very versatile one. You will study many individual disciplines but master none of them. As a result, you will not have any in-depth knowledge about a particular field. Hence, you will have to back up your degree with relevant industry experience and specializing in other subjects such as Marketing, Finance, and Accounting.

Moreover, you can double major in business and another in-demand subject. If you decide to double major early on; you can do so while taking almost no extra courses. A double major can dramatically increase the number of jobs you can apply to. You can read more about how difficult it is to pursue a double major here.


Business is a great major to pursue. A business degree is relatively easy to study for and it will provide you with a broad outlook on a number of subjects.

However, a business degree in isolation will not necessarily land you a high paying job particularly because it is a very generalized degree. A business degree along with relevant experience and specialization can greatly advance your chances of finding a lucrative job


Is business Considered a hard major? ›

Generally speaking, a business degree is not the hardest one out there but is not the easiest one either. The level of difficulty depends on your program and university. It is not a secret that some business programs and schools are harder than others.

Do business majors take a lot of math classes? ›

For many aspiring business students, the most harrowing component of the entire experience is the math coursework. The business degree track requires students to take calculus, often a dreaded and difficult experience for many.

Can I study business if I'm bad at math? ›

Don't let the fact that a bad math teacher convinced you you can't learn deter you from the right career path. A degree in business administration requires less math than you think.

Is a business education degree worth it? ›

If you are a working professional who wants to advance your career in business, a business degree can be a gamechanger. A business degree can increase job prospects, create advancement opportunities, and increase your salary and lifetime income. It's a worthwhile investment in your career—now and into the future.

Which majors are most difficult? ›

Top 15 Hardest College Majors Table of Contents
  • Chemistry.
  • Environmental Economics and Policy.
  • Environmental Earth Science.
  • American Studies.
  • Nuclear Engineering.
  • Energy Engineering.
  • Astrophysics.
  • Applied Mathematics.
Mar 3, 2023

What's the hardest degree? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects? The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

Can I do finance if I'm bad at math? ›

Believe it or not, mastery of advanced math skills is not necessary to have a career in finance. With today's technology, all math-related tasks can be done by computers and calculators. That said, there are some basic math skills that would certainly make you a better candidate in the finance industry.

What level of math do you need for business? ›

Calculus is essential for business majors. Usually, the prerequisite is that students complete a calculus course at the college level, added is a similarly leveled statistics course. Business majors with plans to focus on finance careers need a strong calculus backing.

What type of math is required in business? ›

Mathematics typically used in commerce includes elementary arithmetic, elementary algebra, statistics and probability. For some management problems, more advanced mathematics - calculus, matrix algebra, and linear programming - may be applied.

What major has the least math? ›

Online Degrees That Don't Require Math
  • Anthropology.
  • Communications.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • Culinary Arts.
  • Education.
  • English.
  • Foreign Language.
  • Graphic Design.
Nov 14, 2022

What business degree uses the least math? ›

Business Majors That Require Less Math
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership.
  • Master of Science in Management.
  • Master of Leadership.
Mar 5, 2020

What business major does not require math? ›

That said, if you're truly opposed to math then you would want to aim for marketing or management. Those have the worst business prospects of the bunch and you're better off with a major in finance, accounting, risk management, or supply chain management.

What is the easiest degree to get? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2023 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
Nov 1, 2022

Do business majors make a lot of money? ›

How much do business majors make? PayScale reports that business majors earned an average annual salary of $69,000 as of September 2021. A professional's salary varies by specialization area, education level, and experience.

Is it smart to go to business school? ›

In The End, Is Business School Worth It? For many, the answer is a resounding yes. The time-tested, cross-functional and leadership-focused curriculum of an MBA transcends business trends to arm executives with skills to move business forward.

What is the #1 hardest major? ›

20 Hardest Majors: The Ultimate Guide
  1. Chemistry. At number one on the list is chemistry.
  2. Architecture. ...
  3. Chemical Engineering. ...
  4. Computer Science. ...
  5. Aerospace Engineering. ...
  6. Biomedical Engineering. ...
  7. Materials Engineering. ...
  8. Petroleum Engineering. ...

What majors have the lowest GPA? ›

10 Hardest College Majors by GPA
  • Environment Economics and Policy – 2.96 GPA.
  • Engineering Physics – 3.1 GPA.
  • Chemistry – 3.13 GPA.
  • Data Science – 3.24 GPA.
  • Legal Studies – 3.28 GPA.
  • Architecture – 3.33 GPA.
  • Urban Studies – 3.35 GPA.
  • Chemical Engineering – 3.37 GPA.
Jan 15, 2023

What majors are dropped the most? ›

Computing is the major with the highest college dropout rate — 10.7%. The number of dropout college students varies across degrees and majors. After computing, advertising is another field of study that many students give up on — 7.7% of them.

What majors are not hard? ›

Based on this, some of the easiest college programs include:
  • Business / Management. ...
  • Communication / Media / Journalism. ...
  • Criminal Justice. ...
  • Education. ...
  • History. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Social Sciences / Sociology. ...
  • Hardest College Majors.

What is the richest degree? ›

Fittingly, the most common subject matter for higher education was economics and finance, suggesting that when you know money, you know how to make money! Billionaires such as Warren Buffett, Alice Walton, and Elon Musk have degrees in economics.

Does finance use calculus? ›

Stochastic calculus plays a large role in financial forecasting, and it is notably implemented in options pricing models such as the Black-Scholes model and the binomial model.

What level of math do finance majors take? ›

For business majors, courses like the introductory Calculus I or, if offered, a more specialized Business Calculus that focuses on practical application are often the best choices. Depending on your business school and finance programs, you may also take a college-level algebra course.

What math is used most in finance? ›

Algebra. Many banking and investment financial models require a financial management professional to solve for variables. Today, programs like Excel take most of the work out of this process, but a sound understanding of the basic principles of algebra is still widely considered to be extremely helpful.

Do you have to be good at math to succeed in business? ›

Understanding basic business math is necessary for profitable operations and accurate record keeping. Knowing how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, round and use percentages and fractions is the minimum you need to price your product and meet your budget.

What business majors have the most math? ›

On the other hand, business disciplines like finance and accounting are what The Washington Post refers to as “math-focused” business majors. The coursework in these programs involves more in-depth quantitative analysis and manipulation of numbers.

What majors don t require calculus? ›

The following majors do not require Calculus
  • Anthropology.
  • Art and Art History.
  • Classics.
  • Communication.
  • English.
  • Environmental Studies.
  • Ethnic Studies.
  • History.

What type of algebra is used in business? ›

Elementary algebra is often included as well, in the context of solving practical business problems. The practical applications typically include checking accounts, price discounts, markups and markdowns, payroll calculations, simple and compound interest, consumer and business credit, and mortgages.

Is it good to major in business? ›

Demand for Business Graduates is High

According to a recent Job Outlook Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 8 out of the top 10 degrees in-demand with employers right now are under the business umbrella. These degrees include finance and accounting, marketing, business management, and more.

Is business studies hard or easy? ›

No, it is not hard. Like any other subject, it can sometimes be challenging and other times you will understand something very easily. It is a subject where you need to understand the working of a business.

Is business an easy study in university? ›

How difficult is it to study Business? Business ranks among some of the hardest degrees you can do. There's a lot that you will need to learn about the subject and the world of work, regardless of whether or not you plan to open your own company or work at an existing company.

Is business a competitive major? ›

Business-related majors, such as business administration, accounting, and finance, are some of the most popular majors for undergraduates, so spots for them are often in demand. This is especially true at schools with highly-ranked business programs, where students from all across the country will be vying for a spot.

How do you pass business studies? ›

5 Crucial Study Tips for Business Students
  1. Get Organised. One of the most important aspects of being a business student is organisation. ...
  2. Research Styles. There are a few different research styles that business students should be aware of. ...
  3. Manage Your Time. ...
  4. Take Practice Exams. ...
  5. Ultimately.

Is business studies hard in college? ›

As long as you're adept at extended writing and interpreting data, A-Level Business Studies will not be too much of a struggle for you. The A-Level's mild difficulty is shown by it's pass rate – which is 98%.

Why do people want to study business? ›

Choosing a business degree will give you a good understanding of basic economic principles, how markets are affected by world events, and how to assess a firms' financial health. Combined, this can help you make better-informed investment decisions and ultimately, how to achieve a higher ROI.

What majors to avoid? ›

You might want to avoid the following majors if this empty wallet makes you sadder than it would the average person.
Majors With the Highest Unemployment Rates.
MajorUnemployment Rate (2021)
Ethnic studies5.9%
Computer science5.2%
Political science5.2%
6 more rows
Aug 25, 2022

What is the easiest degree to get in business? ›

Easiest Business Majors
  1. Human Resources. ...
  2. Marketing. ...
  3. Organizational Leadership. ...
  4. International Business. ...
  5. Business Administration and Management.
Sep 8, 2020

Which degree is best for business? ›

Most in-demand business majors
  • Finance.
  • Accounting.
  • Business administration/management.
  • Logistics/supply chain.
  • Management information systems.
  • Marketing.
Jan 9, 2023

Is business a good major if undecided? ›

Business – Regardless of where your career may take you, you can't go wrong by having a business degree on your resume. A business degree offers the opportunity to specialize in areas such as finance, accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing, economics, management, and international business, among others.

Do business majors write a lot of papers? ›

Business majors have to do quite a lot of writing, both in their college courses and in their future career. Fortunately, you won't always have to do literary analyses, expository essays and annotated bibliographies.

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