24 Jun 2011

Does your first degree even matter?

I was going through the CVs of some eminent professors at the Warwick Business School and I was quite surprised when I found out that the first degree of a number of them was not business related. An excellent example is Peter Corvi who is the Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programme) and Professorial Teaching Fellow in Finance at WBS. Looking at his CV, I discovered that he has a BSc Mathematical Physics (Edinburgh), MASt Mathematics (Cambridge) and PhD Theoretical Physics (Edinburgh). And now he teaches Finance.

There are several other academics whose first degree were not business/ management related including engineering, agriculture, architecture and so on but they are all now teaching business and management related subjects in business schools.

I have a background in Forestry (BSc Forestry and MSc Forest Products) and I am now doing a PhD in Marketing looking at consumer attitudes towards blogs and sponsored posts on blogs. Like a lot of people, I was able to make this huge move only though my MBA. IN my MBA class, we had people from all educational backgrounds, including Islamic studies, engineering and even a medical doctor.

I am getting back in touch with a lot of my old University mates via Facebook and was not really surprised when I found out that many of them were now working and doing really well in fields other than Forestry or Horticulture all around the World including banking, insurance and consulting.

My previous educational background has not hampered me in moving to the field of Marketing in any way. In fact it has made my experience richer.


  1. Yeah, what you have asid it true, but not without the accompaning challenge, of course, nothing good comes easily. The question i have is, how do you think all those guys who diversified were able to cope, how were you able to cope yourself? This will help many, like me, my first degree was in Politics and Administration, now doing my MSc in Marketing, and its not being easy at all.

  2. Thanks for your comments Anon. To be honest, it was really tough. Though I have had some courses in sociology and economics, I was totally lost during my first marketing class - I had no idea what the 4 P's were but it became my favourite subject.


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