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IB Subject Choices for Business Management

Whatever your career ambition may be, every learner needs a basic understanding of business management, because every field requires some business acumen. In the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), which is a pre-university IB course, learners are asked to choose 6 subjects from the 6 subject groups. IBDP is a focused programme and the learner opts for courses that are a prerequisite to the college course they apply to. If you are planning a college programme that is centred around business management, then the IB has provisions to opt for courses that are relevant to the degree programme.

Choosing Subjects for College Business Management Courses

Usually, there are no prerequisites for business management programmes in college, so learners can opt for any subject and still gain admission to a bachelor’s programme, based on their final grades, application, SAT/TOEFL/IELTS/CAT scores, and recommendation letters. However, if you feel the need to have a foundation, or you have a strong interest in the subject, then you can choose the following core Business Management or Commerce IBDP subjects -

  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • Digital Society
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches or Applications and Interpretations)
  • Language and Literature
  • Global Politics
  • Second Language (French, Hindi, Spanish)

Learners can opt to choose any of these subjects in Higher Level or Standard Level, depending on their aptitude.

If Business Management isn’t your main undergraduate programme

You may be looking at courses in engineering, media studies, performing or fine arts, or medicine. A Business Management programme is relevant to all these fields especially if you are planning to become an entrepreneur, work for a multinational company, or be in a customer/client-facing role. The Business Management subject in IBDP covers the main business topics, which are-

  • Business Finance
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Business Communication
  • Business Finance
  • Business Economics

At the IBDP level, the learners are familiarised with the main concepts of business and management studies, which will help you professionally, even if you do not opt for these courses at the college level.

Communication for Business Management

For every business management aspirant, communication is a key skill, hence, it is advisable to push oneself out of their comfort zone and participate in debates, presentations and other activities that put one on the centre stage. Thankfully, the IBDP course has a Creativity, Activity and Service component through which learners get ample opportunities to participate in these activities. Each subject has its project component which also requires the learner to explain concepts, write essays and make presentations.

To improve communication, and be prepared for the global markets, one can choose an international language such as French or Spanish, which are widely spoken. These courses introduce the learner to a larger international culture besides familiarising them with a new language. Also, the stress on the application of real scenarios at a global scale shapes a learner’s worldview and prepares them to stay abreast with international socio political and economic events.

Mathematics is required

Mathematics isn’t a strong point for everyone. However, for business management aspirants, basic mathematics is important to understand bookkeeping and accountancy, financial modelling, costing, market and sales research and statistics among other things. Knowing basic mathematical concepts and understanding their business application can help one make informed decisions. If you are good at Mathematics, then take it at HL, if not, even at SL all the main mathematical concepts are covered.

Business management is a very interesting programme and IBDP offers many avenues for those with an entrepreneurial flair and interest in business studies. The emphasis on soft skill training in IBDP such as communication skills, time management, organisation skills, research skills, presentation and documentation skills all contribute towards building one’s business management skills too. Also, there are internship and externship opportunities, guest lectures with eminent personalities, and field visits that broaden one’s perspective. It is up to you to choose correctly and take advantage of the various opportunities.

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