The Education of American Businessmen: A Study of University-College Programs in Business Administration

By Frank C. Pierson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATION FOR BUSINESS

Preparation for careers in business has a legitimate place in undergraduate and graduate education. Whether a particular school's program does so depends on whether the work is maintained at a sufficiently high analytical level.

Some of the more important implications of the preceding chapters can be brought together at this point to provide a framework for the review of existing business school programs in Part 2. Chapter 2 examined the relationship between career preparation and higher education in a number of fields and from a variety of viewpoints. Seen in the light of this discussion, the issue confronting colleges and universities is not whether they should offer such preparation but rather the form and direction it should take.

The chief purpose of any institution of higher education is to help the individual student achieve the highest intellectual and personal development of which he is capable. Career needs are certainly an integral part of the individual's growth just as are his responsibilities as a citizen and his potentialities as a person. Career preparation presents no problem in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum as long as it is conceived in broad terms, is related closely to the student's general studies, and contains considerable analytical content. Difficulties arise when education is offered for careers which do not require extended academic study or which entail knowledge of a highly detailed, technical nature. In the first case, the work tends to be little above the high school level and, as an intellectual experience, adds little or nothing to the student's total development. In the second, the work may be quite intellectually demanding but nonetheless narrowing, tending to cut the student off from important learning experiences. Unless kept under severe control, both types of preparation can prevent the student from achieving his maximum potential.

As fields of activity like medicine and law have moved toward complete professional status, the pressure on the student's time has increased

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