Why Business School is a Joke. Every Business Class I Took Rated.
Hi I’m Andrew. I recently graduated from a California State University I won’t say which one (CSU Fresno cough cough…). I’ve recently entered the workforce as a digital marketer/sales analyst and have been reflecting on how much benefit my college education has provided for me.
I realize right now is the time many of your are going back to university or going to college for the first time. Now I can’t speak to what benefits you get from studying other majors, but I can tell you about attending a state university business school where I studied business administration with an option in information systems (business computers). I went in into school having no idea what I wanted to do or really what I wanted to study, so I picked business because it seemed like a safe bet and really flexible. Thankfully I ended up really loving business, but not business classes. There is so much ignorance and guessing while applying to colleges. So I’m going to go over each class in my transcript and give you an idea of what benefit I can remember from the course.
Please don’t think I’m just lazy. I worked hard throughout college and graduated with honors. I’m just sitting here wondering what else I could have used that energy towards.
DS 71 Quantitative Analysis
This is essentially a remedial course. It covered basic algebra, percents and other stuff you need for the business world, and so football players don’t get kicked out of the school for failing a math class. It was a good refresher for math, but I should have just paid attention in high school.
IS 52 Computer Concepts
This is essentially the history of computers, colleges will tell you its “Computer Concepts”, they want to make sure you the “millennial” knows cool computer acronyms like RAM and CPU and how many bits are in a byte. As if that has any reflection on your day to day ability to use the computer
Rating: Is this 1995?
IS 52 Computer Concepts Lab
A continuation of of the previous course. This time you put your computer skills to the test in simulations of Excel, Word and Powerpoint that I can’t remember a single thing from other than how to use the formatting brush in Excel.
Rating: Even more waste of time.
Econ 40 Principles of Microeconomics
There were some interesting points in here like marginal utility . But ultimately I felt like I could learn the same things watching a series of Youtube videos. Crash Course Economics here I come!
Rating: This is why it’s called the dismal science
ACCT 4A Financial Accounting
This is something that you need to at least have background knowledge of to be in business.
However even though I got an A in this class I realized that balancing books was not going to be my calling. If you are in business you just need to be able to look at profit and loss statements and balance sheets and see what they say about a company.
Rating: 5 Credits / 10 Debits
Decision Science 73 Stat Analysis II
A continuation of the other math class this time with a bunch of boring charts with P values and things I don’t remember.
Rating: 2/10 Confirmed Null Hypothesis
Econ 50 Principles of Macroeconomics
I had learned quite a bit of econ in high school so I knew most of the whole supply and demand thing. I got to make some cool graphs (jokes). I learned that banks literally borrow money from the government. If you know about supply and demand then you’re pretty much good. There are plenty of books on this subject, so just read one of them instead.
Rating: Read a book instead
ACCT 4B Managerial Accounting
This accounting was more interesting to me because it actually looks at the health of the business, and how much its costs you to produce goods or services. Still, I’m not exactly sure what I can concretely remember from this class. But I work in a manufacturing company now so I guess it’s good context.
Rating: 6/10 Ratios
BA 18 Business Law
This was kinda interesting. I had never studied much law when it comes to business. Still, we run into the same concept from earlier. A college course covers too much or too little to really be useful. If I had a real legal question I would ask Google and then a lawyer probably. I did learn that even if your customers sign a waiver you can get sued, so that
Rating: 6/10 Torts
BA 105W Business Communication
This is again the dumb writing class for business majors. It involved such breathtaking writing opportunities such as how to write an email, a memo, a note of discipline to an underling etc etc. Why does everything have to be dumbed down just because you’re a business major. Oh right, I guess it’s because the brothers in Phi Kappa Kappa still need to go on to be congressmen.
Rating 2/10 Poorly written emails.
DS 123 Statistical Analysis
This was the only really good stats course. It helped that it was taught by a really awesome professor. This made me fall in love with stats. I can’t say that I remember everything, but I learned enough to give me a framework to think about all statistics and how to determine if they are lying to you.
Rating: 3 Standard Deviations away from the mean.
IS 51 Programming Fundamentals
This was my first real course in my Information Systems Option. The class gave me a background in programming and we got to make a really simple video game in MS Visual Basic. We made a super basic rip off of Flappy Bird called Runny Bird where you just dodge objects as a bird. I only wish that I got to learn more programming in my field. I also got to meet my best school friends in this class.
Rating 7/10 Code Bugs
IS 130 Management Information Systems
Yet again this was technology for idiots. The gist of the class was “listen up Business Majors, automation and technology are a thing”. Oh well, at least the teacher let us Tweet in class for extra credit.
Rating 3/10 #collegesucks
IS 158 Database Systems
I didn’t think this class was all that great at the time. I got carried by my super genius girl coder friend. But now I use SQL in my job everyday and I love it. Making a specific database query is like putting together a puzzle and when you get it right it feels awesome.
Rating 8/10 SQL Errors
Management 110 Administration Organizational Behavior
This class had interesting subject matter because I find company cultures and management styles really interesting, but just buy read a few books on the subject matter instead.
Rating 5/10 People Focused Company Cultures
IS 166 Information System Analysis and Design
A broad overview of how to think about computer systems and processes in general. The theory behind this class was OK, but the execution not so much. A lot a drawing diagrams and writing pseudocode instead of studying real world processes and historical process failures.
IS 181 Computer Network Management
Another great course in theory. Mostly it was monkey see monkey do from an 80 year old professor who was questionable if he really knew what was going on. He did teach us about vacuum tubes in the first lecture. That was definitely his area of expertise.
IS 183 Advanced Website Design
Our entire class did almost every PHP lesson in our textbook which was mostly just copying the code straight out of the book. While the same 80 year old professor from above did nothing.
Rating: Oh god why am I paying for this?
Marketing 100S Marketing Concepts
A course that I really loved and made me fall in love with marketing. We also had to actually apply our marketing skills to help a local non-profit. I led my team in redesigning some flyers and making a selfie station for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I loved the professor who taught it because he was real world knowledgeable, and made the material come alive. It was his first and only semester at Fresno State. Because the upper division classes he taught did not get enough enrollment Fresno State decided not to hire him full time. Shame on you Fresno State. This was a man who literally gave us his personal cell phone number so that we could call or text him anytime. He had even given rides to students who were drunk. It really jaded me that he was let go.
Rating: 4/4 P’s of Marketing
Fall 2015- Spring 2016 Study Abroad Year
I spent a year in China to study Chinese. I’ll probably write an article on this or make a video later. But for now let’s just fast forward to my senior year
Finance 120 Principles of Finance
We learned a lot of formulas of finance and I do not remember any of them. Relearned the time value of money. You know, the concept that says a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow because you can use it to make more money in the meantime. We also played a stock market game that was way too short term to be of any real value. Remember kids, put your money in index funds.
5/10: Shorted Stocks
IS 153 ERP Systems
Mostly just more monkey see monkey do in SAP, the giant bloated German software for managing every single minutae of your company. Some good background but ultimately just another week long intro class stretched into 3 months.
Rating: Please Help
IS 186 Project Management
Taught by a professor who works for the city of Fresno as a project manager and he decides to just read out of the textbook instead of giving his real thoughts on the subject. What kind of world are we living in?
ENTR 189T Entrepreneurship Mentorship Program
Probably the best class I ever took at Fresno State hands down. While I was traveling a friend from Fresno State recommended me to it. More of a club and lecture series than a real class, every student is matched with at least one mentor who is fairly successful in business in the Fresno area. It was really insightful to hear from people older and more experienced people than you talk about setbacks and strategies that helped get them to where they are. I also got to meet a lot of great classmates who were also interested in entrepreneurship. We would hang out and just drink and talk about business ideas. They say you are the average of the five people around you, so this definitely solidified my desire to be an entrepreneur, as well as giving me a new friend group after so many of my friends in Fresno had moved away.
IS 187 Information Systems Practicum
Hey look its an attempt at putting your skills to use in the real world! Every team is selects a client from the community who wants some young IS/IT students to do work for free. We ended up making a Wordpress site for some MBA students who wanted us to make a site that you could order custom tailored shirts. My team didn’t have the heart to tell them that someone had already made Indochino.com. What could have been fun, was turned into a grueling experience by the college system due to the fact that you have to write 3 pages of documentation for every action you take.
IS 195 Internship
Through the entrepreneurship mentorship program I was lucky enough to have my mentor offer an internship after my original offer at another company fell through. I learned so much more working everyday in digital media and sales analytics than I did my entire time in school. I now work full time at this company, although I don’t intend to stay forever. The ever close but elusive dream of freedom and being my own boss calls to me. I just don’t know how long that will take.
Rating 9/10 Early Morning Coffees
So I did learn some things at university. It was just not a great ratio of time + money to benefit. If you are a college freshman, sophomore, or a high school senior there still is some time to think about alternate routes. College is the right decision for some people. Just don’t think of it as the only decision. I hope at least you learned how over hyped business school can be.
For those of you who will probably say I just didn’t go to a good enough school, Fresno State was just ranked № 17 in the nation by Washington Monthly.