Business Studies, over the past twenty years or so, has fast become one of the school’s most worthwhile subjects for students. In today’s competitive climate, more and more employers are looking for school leavers with a Business Studies GCSE or A-level qualification. Furthermore, universities receive more applications than for any other subject group. In 2009, out of the 2.4 million higher education applications to UCAS, a staggering 286 thousand (12%)* were for Business Studies courses. To put that into perspective, in the same year, Subjects Allied to Medicine, the closest rival received 248 thousand applications by comparison (only 10%).
GCSE and A-level subjects in school are still in their relative infancy with specific business related subjects are only coming into the curriculum in the early 1990s. Of course, the more traditional typing and secretarial classes have been on offer since many years previous but it’s only in these more recent times that subjects like Marketing, Finance, Human Resources and Economics have been taught.
Students studying both GCSE and A-Level Business Studies leave school with a set of attributes which are being asked for time and time again in job advertisements at any level of the career ladder.
This subject seems to be the way ahead for any student who wants to embark on a career in business. It’s a dynamic subject, equipping students with vocational skills necessary for the next stage of a student’s life, be it higher education or finding work straight after school. Skills that other subjects, while of equal academic importance, simply do not offer.
Business Studies revision can be quite a challenge for a student due to the wide array of topics that are covered but there are plenty of resources online and available in schools to assist teachers in helping pupils manage their coursework and study patterns through GCSE and A-level.
GCSE Business Studies takes students on a broad journey through the typical workings of an organisation, covering subjects like Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Production and Organisational aims, objectives and Mission Statements. The web is full of resources to help students, with videos from industry leaders like Lord Sugar and Deborah Meaden, as well as Mock exams to help students prepare for the big day.
A-Level Business Studies involves a deeper analysis of the areas already taught at GCSE but also expands even further, offering students a taste of the more behavioural aspects of business like management, motivation, leadership and decision-making, and in some curriculums, the opportunity to start developing their analytical skills.