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Lakeland College has freshened up its business administration major with changes that will better position graduates to enter the workforce.

Lakeland College Harold G. Laun Center for Business and TechnologyThe college consulted with recent alumni in the workforce, employers and advisory boards for these programs in making these changes. Analysis of career development data and national market trends were also part of the process.

Students majoring in business administration will select one (or more) of eight emphasis areas to complement their studies. The emphasis areas are between 12-18 credits and provide greater focus in select areas.

The major is available through Lakeland’s traditional program at its main campus and the college’s evening, weekend and online program offered at seven locations throughout Wisconsin.

The emphasis areas are business economics, finance and insurance, healthcare management, nonprofit management, sport management, management, hospitality management and international business.

Finance and insurance is a new area for Lakeland and includes three new courses which cover concepts that are part of national competencies required to work in the industry.

The non-profit organization management and sport management emphasis areas will provide access to classes within those existing programs at Lakeland for business students interested in those areas.

“Lakeland College is agile enough to innovate on behalf of students to create a unique environment as students search for a profession and security in jobs,” said Mike Ansay, chairman and chief executive officer at Ansay & Associates LLC, one of the region’s largest and fasting-growing insurance agencies.

“This is especially important in today’s economy. Creating unique opportunities for students that position them for success after graduation is really what Lakeland is all about. The college’s academic program is reinventing education in a way that has the college working on behalf of the student and their parents.”

According to the 2013 National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook Survey, finance is the No. 1 major nationally in terms of job openings, and the insurance industry is a major employer in Wisconsin.

“Any one of these emphasis areas, coupled with our core business administration curriculum, will prepare students for jobs in those fields,” said Scott Niederjohn, Kohler Associate Professor of Economics and chair of Lakeland’s business division. “These changes create new choices for our students that match needs in the marketplace. The insurance industry is a major employer in Wisconsin.”

Other changes include:

  • Converting a capstone leadership course to a business policy and strategy course, based on feedback from employers who said these are skills they seek in applicants.
  • Reducing the number of credits required for several majors in the business division to allow students more choices in elective courses within and outside the division.
  • Changing the resort management major to hospitality management, which reflects hiring and other marketplace trends in the industry. This major is only available through the main campus program.
  • A requirement that students in the international business major or the emphasis area complete a study abroad experience. This major is only available through the main campus program.

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