Is Business a Hard Major?

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