Bachelor of Business Administration
The road to a business degree at the University of Guam has been divided into new lanes as of the Fanuchånan 2018 semester in order to better prepare graduates for the expectations of employers and the needs of society today.
Economists are predicting that half of the jobs in the developed world will be lost to technology in a generation. Similarly, employers are increasingly seeking college graduates with less hard skill sets and stronger soft skills, like collaboration, communication, analytical thinking, leadership, and problem-solving. These driving forces, along with an evolving trend in business schools to move toward more individualized learning — or instruction that is built for the unique pace of various students — have led the SBPA to make changes to its 15-year-old Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.
Declared business administration majors will choose one of three goal-focused “BBA Pathways” as opposed to the previous “concentrations” of entrepreneurship, finance and economics, human resources management, international tourism and hospitality management, or marketing. Students who have previously been enrolled will continue on the previous program, which will remain through the 2022–2023 academic year.
The Bachelor of Business Administration degree requires the same 124 credits as before but with the following structure:
Moving forward, students — upon completion of 47 general education credit hours and 50 “BBA Foundation” course credit hours — will be required to choose one of three possible routes: General Business, Business Professional, or Business Honors — each of which leads to the same Bachelor of Business Administration degree through different course requirements but the same number of credit hours.
Many students enroll at the University of Guam and declare a major uncertain of what they plan to do with their degree. A student may want to get into business but may not have a plan for what to do with a business degree or may not even be aware of the types of careers possible. The General Business Pathway is designed for these students, which is structured to be student-focused rather than degree-focused. It will allow the students to discover the different aspects of business and develop well-rounded business graduates ready for a variety of job opportunities in the region’s workforce.
Some business students already know the specialization they want to go into. The Business Professional Pathway gives these students the opportunity to get more deeply involved in the specialized fields of finance and economics, management, or marketing. This pathway also allows the opportunity to get involved with specific professional associations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Marketing Association, and more.
The final pathway is the Business Honors Pathway. This pathway is for students who either plan to further their education through pursuit of a master’s degree or would like to study the theory of business. This pathway can be interdisciplinary or focused on finance and economics, management, or marketing and prepares students for academic research, graduate school, and to be ready and capable to enter the world of academia.
In line with the trends in technology and the workforce, the BBA program now has new courses on the Foundations level specific to analysis; STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; and leadership and collaboration, including:
In addition to classroom learning, each pathway incorporates ways for students to be heavily immersed in the real business world, which could mean opportunities to intern at firms in the community. The first-hand experience gives students a look into what certain careers would be like and helps them connect how they can better prepare themselves to become successful in their chosen path. It also trains students to become business professionals by being exposed to how these industries operate. Opportunities for international or stateside travel, such as for research internships, have also been built into the pathways as part of a course, student activity, or program option.
The changes in the BBA program require strategic planning, and students are encouraged to seek advisement upon entering the programs and regularly throughout to most effectively align their education with their goals. Contact the BBA division chair, Dr. Wai K. Law, or one the faculty advisers for advisement, to declare business administration as your major, or for more information on the program.