The Importance of Business Studies in the Curriculum
Business activity affects the daily lives of all Canadians as they work, spend, save, invest, travel, and play. It influences jobs, incomes, and opportunities for personal enterprise. Business has a significant effect on the standard of living and quality of life of Canadians, and on the environment in which they live and which future generations will inherit. Eventually, all students will encounter the world of business, whether they work in urban or rural areas. They must be pre- pared to engage in business activity with confidence and competence. Young people need to understand how business functions, the role it plays in our society, the opportunities it generates, the skills it requires, and the impact it can have on their own lives and on society, today and in the future.
The business studies program will build a strong foundation for those who wish to move on to further study and training in specialized areas such as management, international business, marketing, accounting, information and communication technology, or entrepreneurship. It will also provide practical skills for those who wish to move directly into the workplace.
Engaging in the world of business involves studying individuals, communities, and organizations, assessing their needs and problems, and generating solutions. Business studies draws upon facts, concepts, and processes from many other fields of study. For example, close links exist between marketing and communications, accounting and mathematics, entrepreneurial studies and technology, international business and world studies, and management and studies of society and human nature. Furthermore, knowledge and skills related to information and communication technology are relevant across all disciplines. Students will be able to apply what they learn in other subject areas to their study of business, as well as to transfer the knowledge and skills they acquire in business studies to their work in other areas.
Business studies provides students with a new, practical context for many of the subjects they studied at the elementary level, including mathematics, science and technology, language, and social studies. It helps students to recognize the relevance of these subjects as they are applied in the world of business – for example, in the study of individuals and diverse communities; in helping people with their needs, challenges, and problems; and in creating products and services that help to improve the quality of life.
Business studies clearly demonstrates how a variety of areas of study can be combined in productive activity that affects the lives of millions of people. Courses in this discipline provide knowledge and skills that can help students make a successful transition to postsecondary education, training programs, and the workplace. The business studies program, introduced in Grades 9 and 10, prepares students to apply their education to real-world challenges, experiences, and opportunities.
The fundamental purpose of the business studies program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to achieve success in secondary school, the workplace, postsecondary education or training, and daily life.
The goals of the business studies curriculum are to enable students to:
- gain an understanding of business concepts through the study of subjects such as accounting, entrepreneurship, information and communication technology (ICT), international business, marketing, and business leadership;
- achieve business, economic, financial, and digital literacy;
- develop the skills, including critical thinking skills, and strategies required to conduct research and inquiry and communicate findings accurately, ethically, and effectively;
- apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through the study of business to a variety of learning tasks and relate them to business phenomena on the local, national, and global levels;
- develop lifelong learning skills that will help them adapt to technological advancements, the changing workplace, and the global economy;
- make connections that will help them take advantage of potential postsecondary educational, work, and business opportunities.
- These goals can be achieved in a concrete and practical context through real-world learning activities that combine the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.
Business studies offers a variety of courses to help students develop a deeper understanding of the world of business and to focus their interests in this area. There are courses that will help students develop their knowledge and skills in the areasof accounting, entrepreneurship, information and communication technology, international business, marketing, and business leadership. Students can select courses in entrepreneurship to learn about the creation and operation of a small business or how to develop and apply enterprising skills as employees. In the information and communication technology courses, students will develop essential digital literacy and application software skills critical for success in their academic studies and chosen career path. They will also be able to select courses that focus on the key skills and concepts of accounting and marketing, or courses that will develop their understanding of the nature of leadership and the ways in which businesses are structured and managed to achieve organizational goals. In the international business courses, students will learn about opportunities that lie beyond our borders, and will explore the business relation- ships that Canadian companies and the Canadian government have established with other countries.
The design of the business studies program will enable students to select courses that relate to their interests and that prepare them for further study or work in the field of their choosing. Business studies courses are well suited for inclusion in programs that lead to a diploma with a Specialist High-Skills Major. Whether students eventually work in business or simply use the services of business, the business studies program will provide them with a foundation for making wise choices and informed decisions.