Studying Business Administration in Germany
An article by Maria Retter. Cooperation from: Christian Heinrich.
That is what it's about
In Business Administration, you learn how different departments in a company interact, how the company is managed and what makes them successful. Business managers, for example, try to cut costs in production. They are expected to have a good understanding of business processes and be able to deal with change. Currently, many things are changing, such as when employees at different locations work together on the same project using video meetings or a shared software platform.
Business managers can be found in almost every company, but of course you can also go your own way after graduation: "If you study business administration, you also get the necessary know-how to found a start-up directly," says Joachim Eigler, professor at the University of Siegen and chairman of the Faculty Day of Economics and Social Sciences.
The universities of applied sciences and now also some universities require internships of three to six months in the bachelor's degree course. Mostly students complete them in the higher semesters.
This is how the course runs
In the first few semesters you gain an overview of the management of companies, for example in the areas of production, sales, marketing or human resources. You focus on accounting and learn how to create and properly read annual financial statements. In addition, you take mathematics, statistics, computer science and get an insight into economics. Private law principles are also important, with questions such as: What should I pay attention to when signing a loan agreement?
From the very beginning, you learn in a practice-oriented way through case studies, group work and projects. Creating a sales concept for a real company can be one such project, another is calculating the costs for a change in the production process. At many universities, students focus on a specific area in their higher semesters, such as human resources management, controlling (the term used to describe the planning and management of company divisions), innovation management, marketing or finance.
Typical questions raised within the subject
- How to formulate a strategy for a company and how to implement it?
- How to manufacture a product cheaply?
- What should the company invest in?
- What is the point of advertising in social media?
- How can companies take social responsibility?
- How to use data and IT to improve business processes?
- How to find suitable employees and what motivates them?
- How to write a business plan?
- In which fields and under which conditions should a company cooperate with other companies?
The subject suits you,...
... you want to design processes effectively and profitably. You deal with numbers, but also with people: What does the customer want? Which employees fit the corporate culture? Who pursues which economic interests? By dealing with such questions again and again, one learns to think economically. The basic commercial and business subjects such as accounting and bookkeeping are hardly ever taught at school and are therefore new and challenging for many students.
"Business administration is not only about maximising profits, but also about paying attention to social compatibility and social responsibility," emphasises Hans Klaus, business administration professor at Kiel University of Applied Sciences. Graduates would not only be eligible for jobs in the traditional economy. "You can also work as a manager of a charity, for example."
Is there a numerus clausus?
About a third of the courses have entrance restrictions. It can vary greatly depending on the university, often ranging from 1.5 to 2.5.