Business Degrees A Foundation for Career Success



Dr Paul Hopkins
Professor Paul Hopkinson discusses the advantages of pursuing a business degree

Students continue to hear recommendations about why they should study business. Fortunately, this is not yet another article convincing you of the reasons you should. If you are reading this, chances are you are already interested in pursuing a business degree. This article will address how developments over the last few years have expanded opportunities within business degrees and are expected to attract a larger pool of talents. A survey carried out by ZipRecruiter of over 5,000 jobseekers in June 2019 in the US shows that business is the second least-regretted college major. In Dubai alone, close to half of university students are studying business degrees — as reported by the Dubai Statistics Centre in 2019. This is due to multiple factors ranging from the diverse job opportunities within business degrees that increase the likelihood of landing well-paying jobs, demand for business degrees across different fields and more.

According to a report by the MIT enterprise in 2022, entrepreneurship is on the rise in the Middle East. As one of the most youthful regions in the world with over 108 million young people and a relatively high level of digital connectivity, the rise of entrepreneurship is encouraging more young people to pursue business degrees. Luckily, the region does not fall short of entrepreneurship initiatives and allocated funds.

The intersection between business and other fields is not news, but there is no doubt that business is greatly overlapping with other fields. For example, due to the digital shift that we have witnessed over the past couple of years, business graduates are able to venture into digital technologies. In fact, through AI, metaverse, VR and AR, technology is revolutionising business marketing. According to Digital Marketing World Forum, the role of technology in digital marketing will increase by 30 per cent in 2022.

Aside from overlapping with other fields, business is playing a substantial role in advancing them. For example, with sustainability and green finance taking centre stage, the demand for leaders with a business understanding who can make an impact in preserving natural resources and biodiversity is becoming more critical.

On the other hand, there is a considerable shift in how organisations think about value, with ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) strategies not only being at the core of companies but are also leading to growth and profitability. As such, companies are increasingly looking to business students to assist with market and financial analysis.

The Edinburgh Business School (EBS) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai offers a range of programmes designed to combine business with other fields of study. This includes MSc in Digital Leadership, International Business Management with Finance, International Business Management with Marketing, HRM and more.

Business schools are an ideal choice for students who are interested in different fields such as technology, sustainability, natural sciences but still want to develop a fundamental understanding of leadership and business. Moreover, the skill transferability of business degrees and potential for well-roundedness makes it attractive for students who are not afraid of venturing into different fields.

Interdisciplinarity is a fact of our current market. In fact, most students want to combine a passion they have with the business world, whether it is environmental awareness, health and well-being or technology. It is therefore safe to say that business degrees are a byproduct of combining your passion with a career you love.

by Professor Paul Hopkinson,Head,Edinburgh Business School Dubai