What are the sources for an economics degree

Can the costs be reduced? Does the profit meet expectations? What influences customers when they shop? Business economists deal with these and similar questions in the context of our economic life. Anyone who would like to support our daily exchange of goods and services at home or abroad with their considerations can qualify for this with a degree in business administration.

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Optimizing, calculating, presenting: In addition to dealing well with numbers, social skills are also part of everyday life in business administration

1. What do I learn in a business administration degree?

Business economists are involved in many areas of our economic system. The colleague at work who runs sales is likely a business economist or the colleague who does the finances. Business administrators have even contributed to a cozy evening watching TV at home: Engineers and designers developed the TV and the couch. Business economists participate in or coordinate the manufacture of such products with market research and strategic planning. They calculate prices and plan the logistics chain so that the TV and sofa also find their way into the living room.

In business administration, as in other economics, there is a controversial debate about the content and structure of the course. At most universities, the analysis, planning, implementation, marketing and control of processes in companies is taught in business administration. The incentive is to use resources such as money, time and manpower as optimally as possible.

But what is an “optimal” use of resources? Most institutions would probably translate this question as “profit maximizing”. Is profit maximization always an advantage or is there too much? To what extent does excessive profit-making have a detrimental effect on employees and the preservation of resources or the environment? Whom is profit maximization useful and who might it harm? Those who are concerned with questions of this kind will find critical initiatives on the subject of profit and benefit in the appendix.

Which contents of other subjects are also touched upon

In business administration, students often deal with optimization tasks and modeling scenarios that are solved mathematically. Mathematics, like statistics and computer science, is therefore one of the most important auxiliary sciences that no business administration student can pass by who wants to master these contents. Most courses also require elements from law, political science and sociology.

Economics courses are part of the social sciences, even if they are often not listed as such. They essentially deal with the relationship between people. In contrast to other social sciences, the degree in business administration focuses on professional activity in a company.

Which focal points and specializations do business administration courses offer?

Most business studies require you to choose a specialization. This happens either from the start by choosing a specialized business administration degree (e.g. business administration for resource management) or by choosing a specialization or an elective.

The most important areas into which classic business administration is divided can also be found as departments in large companies:
  • Marketing,
  • Human Resource,
  • Finances,
  • Controlling,
  • Production or
  • Corporate governance
There are also events in alternative business administration courses
  • Ethics,
  • Common good orientation,
  • intercultural communication or
  • Sustainability.
Everyone has to learn a little from these areas, but can also choose them as a specialization and thus make it the main content of the course. In addition to these specializations, which students very often come across, there are also others, such as tourism, real estate or insurance, e-business or international management. Such a specialization can be helpful when looking for a job against the backdrop of the mass of graduates. On the other hand, there is always a need for generalists who deal with people and issues from very different contexts. So don't be afraid of a general degree.

Specialization vs. broad knowledge

When converting the diploma courses into the shorter bachelor courses, both directions have been taken: Some universities have created very special courses that are tailored precisely to a certain niche. However, many bachelor's programs have mainly adopted the content of the pre-diploma at the time, where studies are mostly not yet specialized and, for example, in business studies, a lot of economics knowledge is imparted in addition to business administration.

Some universities also offer programs such as the Studium fundamentale or the Studium Humanitatis to open up a space for the students' personal development. So if you collect basic knowledge during your studies, “learn to learn” and take time for biographical questions of meaning, you are already very well prepared for the time afterwards.

Study from the comfort of your home - 100% online

Do you want to become not only a generalist in business administration with your business administration degree, but also gain extensive specialist knowledge in certain industries? Then it could Distance learning in business administration (B.A.) at the IU International University be something for you!

With a bachelor's degree you set one important milestone for your career. In six semesters you will deal with financial aspects of business administration and will be in the following areas marketing and Human resource management introduced and deals with the topics Corporate law and governance. In addition, you will discuss questions about business ethics and, depending on your area of ​​interest, you can specialize in certain industries.

The IU is one State recognized and accredited distance learning university. In other words, we attach great importance to high quality and state-of-the-art content. Our wide range of Bachelor, Master and MBA courses fits in well individually and with maximum flexibility to your everyday life. Thanks to selected specializations, you will deepen your know-how and be optimally prepared for your goals.

2. At which universities and in which types of study can I study business administration and with what length of study?

The majority of the students will attend Universities educated. But especially when it comes to studying in a smaller group, the other possible types of university must also be mentioned: Fachhochschulen (FH), today often as college for Applied Sciences (HAW) and Professional academies or. Dual universities (BA / DH). All of them are more practice-oriented than the universities, but are therefore less suitable as an introduction to an academic career. In a greatly simplified way, these three providers can be put in the order BA / DH, FH / HAW, Uni, with the practical orientation decreasing from left to right and the scientific orientation increasing (compare the following table). Nevertheless, the practical relevance in business administration is comparatively high even at universities.

BA / DHFH / HAWUniversity
High practical relevance through direct connection to companiesMedium practical relevance, e.g. through compulsory internships integrated into the courseLowest practical relevance, possibly mandatory internships during semester break
Scientific relevance is low, as practice is the focusMedium inclusion of the scientific componentScientific orientation high
Mostly small programs with few students, where a lot is done togetherLimited study places and often close contact with lecturersIf there is limitation, then usually at a high level, more anonymity
Highly schooled studies with given contentMany requirements for the course of study, but also optionsMany options, also interdisciplinary, initiative required

table: Typical characteristics of business courses at the different types of universities. By switching to Bachelor / Master, the differentiation has become a little less - more and more exceptions confirm the rule.

There are sometimes very small and very practice-oriented courses at universities. The introduction of the bachelor’s degree brought it closer to the universities of applied sciences. Even if there are deviations here and there, the basic rule is that anyone who tends to pursue an academic career should do their master's degree at a university. That doesn't mean that you can't climb the career ladder with a FH or DH / BA degree. With a bachelor's degree (regardless of the type of university), you can always add a technically appropriate master's degree - even at a university.

Duration of studies in business administration

The business administration / business administration course usually lasts 6 semesters and is called Bachelor of Arts completed with a bachelor thesis. A total of 180 ECTS points (credit points) are earned.

Business administration / business administration is occasionally offered as a Bachelor major or minor.

You can then complete a master’s degree in business administration or a similar master’s degree. The Master of Science can in 4 semesters to be completed, with 120 credits must be provided.

Possible forms of study in business administration

In addition to the classic full-time face-to-face study, other types of study are also possible. Due to the large range of courses at Business Administration, all variants are offered in large numbers.

Business administration can be completed as a dual course of study. Most of the time - comparable to in-company training - you are employed in a company in which you are already working for pay in addition to your studies and receive practical training in addition to your studies.

If you have already completed an apprenticeship or want to work extensively alongside your studies for other reasons, a part-time business administration degree is an option. Often this is also approached with the support of the employer in order to reach the next career level. In this way, students can study at a university in the evening or in weekend blocks parallel to their (continued) employment.

A business administration distance learning course is - apart from the examination periods - independent of location and time, but therefore also requires sufficient self-discipline. For practical exercises, there are usually offers for face-to-face appointments.

The part-time business administration course is a bit at odds with the forms of study mentioned. Each course of study can be stretched to a certain extent. But if it is clear from the outset that full-time study is not feasible, an official part-time study is usually the better choice.

In detail, albeit independently of the business administration subject, we go into the various forms of study in our study guides for extra-occupational studies, dual studies, distance learning and our article on part-time studies.

3. What are the requirements for studying business administration?

Does the course suit my skills?

If you want to name a few skills that will be of advantage for future students of classic business administration, then you would be safe mathematics right up there, even if you don't have to be one of the math cracks. Of course, it helps to have a basic knowledge of Economic theories to have. Perhaps there was a school subject of its own or it was dealt with, for example, in social or community studies.

English is often part of the course content. In some places there are lectures or even entire modules in English. Other languages ​​and International experience (e.g. through a semester abroad) are desirable. You can do all of this catching up while studying.

Admission to the Bachelor's degree

University bachelor

For a bachelor's degree in business administration at a university, prospective students need the General University Entrance Qualification or the Subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, the latter in economy (and administration). Combined subjects from business administration and another subject area may allow studying with a subject-related higher education entrance qualification in another training area.

In Hesse Business studies courses at a university can also be started with a technical college entrance qualification. The Goethe University Frankfurt is exempt from this rule. In Lower Saxony It is possible to study business administration at a university with a technical college entrance qualification in economics.

FH Bachelor

For admission to a university of applied sciences, the University entrance qualification necessary. Prospective students with general and subject-related higher education entrance qualifications also meet the requirements for a business administration bachelor's degree at a university of applied sciences.

University of Cooperative Education / Cooperative State University

The admission requirements for a Bachelor of Business Administration are different at the vocational academies and dual universities. For a dual business administration degree, at many vocational academies and dual universities, the University entrance qualification. At the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, however, applicants need the General University Entrance Qualification or the Subject-specific higher education entrance qualification, the latter in the Economics specialization.

Can I study business administration without a high school diploma or university entrance qualification?

Interested in study without university entrance qualification can study a bachelor's degree in business administration at a university if they have completed at least 2 years of vocational training in a business-related occupation and have worked in the training occupation for at least 3 years. Conditions for admission are one Qualifying Examination or at least one one-year trial study. The one-year trial course is also permitted in the case of an application if it took place at another university in business administration or a similar subject.

Graduates of the Master's examination, of Specialist, the state examination for technicians / business economists / educators as well as other qualifications in the field of professional advancement training. In this case, the university entrance qualification for business administration is independent of the professional field.

Admission to the master’s degree

If you want to study business administration as a master's, you need one Bachelor degree. It applies equally to all types of university, regardless of whether it was acquired at a university, university of applied sciences or vocational academy / dual university. FH students can switch to university after graduation and university students to a university of applied sciences. A condition for the validity of the bachelor's degree from a vocational academy / dual university is that the university is accredited.

In addition to a successful bachelor's degree, colleges and universities are entitled to set further requirements for admission to the master’s degree, which many do. Criteria are often that Bachelor grade as well as attended seminars and lectures including those acquired ECTS.

A consecutive master’s degree in business administration can follow directly on from a bachelor’s degree. Professional experience is required for further education Masters.

Is there an NC in business administration? What about admission restrictions?

In the 2018/19 winter semester, over 235,286 (8.2%) of almost 2.87 million students were enrolled in a business administration course in Germany. This puts business administration at the forefront of the most frequently studied subjects. This means that business administration is a mass course in many places. Numerous colleges and universities try to counter this by means of selection criteria and limitation of places. Since there are a large number of business administration courses, many of them are free of admission - albeit more at smaller study locations or at private universities that are subject to fees.

There is no uniform system for selection in business administration. As criteria for admission to the Bachelor the universities often use the Abitur grade. The NC value for successful admission varies depending on the university and the place of study. It always depends on how many applicants there are for the course and what qualifications they have. It is determined anew in each application phase. Because Numerus Clausus only means translated limited number, i.e. the determination of the number of study places.

Furthermore, letters of motivation, selection interviews or placement tests are often used - there are also courses that are admission-free, but which have a different type of "hurdle". When applying for a master If necessary, colleges and universities reduce the high demand by setting a grade that is expected at least for the bachelor's degree. As a rule, it is between 2.5 and 3. Courses from the Bachelor's degree can also be relevant, including the ECTS points received.

4. What are the career opportunities with a degree in business administration?

With a business degree, the job opportunities are very diverse. Each larger companies needs business economists, Hospitals, NGOs and political parties Likewise. Not to be forgotten is that too science, in which one researches the contents of the subject further and trains the many students.

Where you can find a job depends on the focus of your studies and your own experience, for example in Internships, voluntary work, Part-time jobs or Stays abroad. Often personal inclinations can also be met. Some would like to do something with the media or travel a lot. Another would like to organize the finances in an NGO.

However, business administration is not a worry-free zone. Here you often have to be mobile and maybe be satisfied with an internship after graduation. Those who study business administration simply because they don't know anything better, but don't enjoy the subject, will have a difficult time. Even if unemployment among business economists is lower than, for example, among humanities scholars and entry wages are higher, no guarantees can be given.

Salary of business administration graduates

Salary in € Uni Master / Diploma
Ø economics; Survey: DZHW.
Business administration graduates with master-Degree with a Starting salary of over € 41,600 calculate (university; FH master’s slightly less: 39,100 €). With Bachelor-The degree is Starting salary € 34,100 for university graduates and approx. 32,900 for bachelor's degrees.

Five years after graduation puts on the annual salary 53.950 € zu (Uni), graduates from universities of applied sciences are even 58,750 €.

Another five years later, well 10 years after graduation the university graduates are ahead 73.250 €, FH graduates can count on € 67,900.

As with all salary information, the following applies: Depending on the specific position in the company, industry, size of the company, place of employment and much more, concrete salaries differ more or less strongly from average figures. Since the numbers are already a few years old, all numbers should have risen, especially since there is a strong demand for employees in the IT sector.

Source: DZHW graduate surveys. All salaries for full-time employees including bonuses, rounded to the nearest hundred. Starting salary as of 2013. Salary after 5 years as of 2014. Salary after 10 years as of 2015. Surcharges for 5/10 years self-estimated.

Job search

Bachelor and master graduates from the university needed on average 3 to 4 months for the Job search from the time of graduation. University of applied sciences graduates with a bachelor's degree found after nearly 4 months a job, a master’s degree from a university of applied sciences took a month longer, barely 5 months.


Compulsory internships To prepare for the job in economics courses, mainly Bachelor's at universities of applied sciences (87%) are required. A compulsory internship is part of the course of study in only 20% (university bachelor), 16% (university master) or 36% (university master) in the FH masters and university courses. For an (additional) voluntary internship 56% of the university graduates decided on both Bachelor and Master. At the universities of applied sciences, 23% of the bachelor's and 33% of the master's students completed this.

5. What does studying cost?

Total cost of living

During a business administration / business administration degree you need a financial basis for accommodation at the place of study, for food, clothing, travel expenses, telephone & internet as well as books & workbooks. Depending on the location and your own thrift, the monthly expenses between € 630 and over € 1,500. On average, students now spend over € 850 a month.

Munich is the front runner in terms of rents and the cost of living per se, but Frankfurt / Main, Hamburg, Cologne and increasingly Berlin are also well above average. It is cheaper to live in smaller cities away from the metropolises, especially in the new federal states.

Main cost: rent

The Rent for a room in a flat share, depending on the city 269 ​​euros and 585 euros (2018 values ​​plus five percent). Since the 2019/20 winter semester, thanks to the 26th BAföG Amendment Act, the rental fee has been at least € 325. Despite the increase, this amount is not enough in many cities to cover the costs of a room in a shared apartment or even an apartment.

Costs depending on location and personal situation

There is another half-yearly for the course Semester fee to pay. This enables cheaper cafeteria prices, for example. In some study cities, a semester ticket for local public transport is included, which increases the semester fee, but is significantly cheaper than other season tickets for the respective transport association. There are also student bicycle workshops at some of the larger universities.

Health insurance costs must be taken into account if family insurance through the parents is no longer possible.

Do I have to pay tuition fees for studying business administration / business administration?

Practically all bachelor's and consecutive masters can take part state universities without tuition fees to be started. Consecutive Master’s degrees follow on from a bachelor’s degree in the same subject (or at least a similar one) and do not require any professional experience. In some federal states, however, a long course or a second course is subject to a fee. The same applies to the extra-occupational Bachelor's degrees, which have so far been rare at state universities.

At private universities become tuition fee raised. The amount varies depending on the degree program and university.

6. How can I finance my business administration / business administration studies?

Parental support

A job of yours parents is it to give you one adequate professional training to enable. This also includes you during your studies financially or with board and lodging to help out. The decision as to whether it should be a degree and which subject area is primarily up to you, if your high school diploma enables you to take this path. The state supports your parents with child benefit, among other things, which in exceptional cases can also be paid out directly to you.

If your parents have little income or are no longer obliged to support them, BAföG comes into play.

BAföG benefits: it pays to apply

BAföG for students should step in when your parents - from the point of view of the law - have too little incomein order to provide sufficient support for a course of study. If you are under 30 years of age and have not started any vocational training, BAföG is usually safe for your studies - otherwise check your BAföG entitlement. With our BAföG calculator you can calculate the amount of your BAföG.

Student BAföG is a social benefit, of which a maximum of 50 percent must be paid back. The BAföG repayment is limited to € 10,010, starts only years later and only if enough is earned. Have you already completed an apprenticeship and then worked for several years and in a few other exceptional cases you could even do so Parent-independent BAföG give for you.

Scholarships for business administration / business studies

Scholarships are available to a much smaller group than BAföG. Greatest advantage of a scholarship: The received Funding is given. Often there is also one ideal support. In order to apply for a scholarship, a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, recommendations and certificates are usually required.

In addition to the large student funding agencies, there are still many other foundationswho each award a few (or really only individual) scholarships. Such small foundations are often very persistent special funding purposes, so that not always just performance Is a preferred feature.

Jobs as a student trainee / mini job / self-employed

Most students work at least part of the time during their studies, often as Mini jobbers or as Working student. Working hours are allowed during the lecture period 20 hours per week do not exceed.

The BAföG will be credited if your average earnings are over 450 euros in the month. In contrast to tax, it is not the calendar year that is decisive, but the period in which the BAföG is granted.

Special features apply if you are self-employed as a student.

State education loan

There is the for students in higher semesters or in the Master’s program state education loan with low interest rates and a payout of up to 300 euros / month for at most two years.

If you have already reached the last semesters of your studies, can possibly - especially in social emergencies - also a Graduation loan or bridging loans are possible. Do not be afraid to inquire and - if possible for you - to take advantage of one. The conditions are much better than the following offers!

Do you also finance tuition fees for business administration / business studies or do you still need financing for other reasons?
Consider UGV, education fund or student loan

If tuition fees have to be financed in addition to the cost of living, the options listed so far are not always sufficient.

Especially for the Financing the tuition fees dozens of private universities work together with educational fund providers such as opportunities eG or Brain Capital. Both providers have their roots in one Reverse generation contract (UGV) at the home university of its founders. An application is required.

The reimbursement of the UGV funding is only made after graduation from a certain income level and depending on the income. Over-indebtedness is hardly possible as a result. Security has one disadvantage: it becomes more expensive than a student loan if you earn well after graduation. Overall, however, it seems to be quite sensible (and in solidarity 😉) if there is a UGV education fund for tuition fees to use it.

There are also further education funds (Deutsche Bildung, Festo, Career Concept) that do not come directly from the UGV tradition and finance general living costs in addition to tuition fees. An application is also necessary for them, and you will only find out whether you will be accepted and under what conditions after the application process - of course you do not have to accept the offer.

In our opinion, the last-mentioned education funds sometimes offer very unfavorable conditions, especially if you do not have a standard biography. See also the article in the Handelsblatt dated August 14, 2018.
Still, they are one Alternative to student loans, as they make payment breaks possible to a certain extent (about which you should inform yourself very precisely!) and reduce the risk of over-indebtedness.

There are still the classic ones Student Loans. In contrast to the education funds, it is much clearer with them what has to be repaid. Since the interest rates are variable, there is still uncertainty. What is clear, however, is when the repayment begins and that certain minimum installments must be paid from then on. Deferrals are only possible in exceptional cases and only for a limited time. However, if you have good prospects of a properly paid job, you save money with a student loan compared to an education fund. And with the KfW student loan, it is usually easy to find out whether you can get it, there are clear rules.

We have collected all the relevant sources of funding for your studies: BAföG, educational loans, jobs, child benefits, scholarships, student loans, parental support and much more

Article with material by Alexander Egeling; compiled and supplemented by the Studis online editorial team (mic, ki, oi)


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