Survey: Executives Consider Business Degree Most Valuable to Success

February 22, 2007 ( - Thirty-nine percent of executives say they would get a business degree to better prepare for career success, down from 49% who said the same thing 10 years ago, according to a recent survey.

The survey by Accountemps of 150 senior executives found that following business administration, the other top responses were liberal arts (21%), accounting (14%) and computer science (11%).

In 1990, the first year the poll was taken, liberal arts (29%) was slightly ahead of business administration (28%); both were trailed closely by computer science (26%). However, in 1996, liberal arts lost its top spot (14%) to business administration (49%).

“Degrees with a broader focus, such as business administration and liberal arts, may be the most attractive as they typically provide a diverse course of study and a focus on critical thinking, which can prepare people for success in a variety of environments,” said Max Messmer, chairman of staffing firm Accountemps.

The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. The poll covered 150 senior executives – including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments – with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.