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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 21. 5th September 1973


The influx of university graduales in commerce and administration into New Zealand business is steadily increasing. Whereas now about four per cent of managers on this country hold degrees, this figure will triple by 1980. By the turn of the century, a date well within the working life of most of today's 55,000 managers, it is likely that a clear majority of company executives will be graduates. The historical trend in New Zealand has been for the percentage of graduates employed as managers to closely about the same fraction of degree holders in the general population. There is now evidence, however, that management will gradually become mainly the domain of the university-educated businessman. While this tendency mirros overseas experience, it also raises important questions about the impact of graduates on New Zealand business.

Two common questions asked by managers about the B.C.A. graduate are (a) what does he know about business, and (b) what does he want in a job. These queries are especially relevant to the business administration major because the degree in this field is relatively new and also because it is still in the process of evolution. The first question can be briefly answered through a summary description of the programme at Victoria University of Wellington, where the Department of Business Administration offers the most comprehensive course to the largest number of students in New Zealand.

The programme at Victoria provides the student with a comprehensive background in the essential elements of business while stressing a decision-making orientation. Problem-solving, case studies, and practical exercises are extensively used to interweave theory with actual business situations. Each student studies the following subjects during the three year programme; administration, accountancy, economics, quantitative analysis, marketing (two courses), organisational behaviour (two courses), business research, production and operations management, personnel administration, management theory, and management planning and control. Most graduates fully recognise their limitations in practical experience, but they feel that they have a good conceptual grasp of business problems and are eager to put their decision-making skills into practice. It is with graduates who have competed this programme in mind that this article now turns to its main theme: what does a business administration graduate look for in a job.

Attitudes of Business Students Towards Jobs
Desirable jobs Jobs to be avoided
Salary based on effort (83%) Promotion based only on seniority (81%)
Opportunities for bonus (68%) Easy, unimaginative work (70%)
Competition within company open and encouraged(63% ) Emphasis on carrying out clearly defined company policies and rules (59%)
Salary based on performance (59%) Routine work with a high salary (56%)
Company involved in heavy competition (58%) Secure job with low pay (55%)
Job security less important than pay (56%) Close supervision by superiors (52%)
Good salary but risk of failure (53%) Routine work With high community respect (50%)
Automatic salary increases based on defined Standards of excellence (51%) Persons are discharged for failing to continually improve performance (48%)
Automatic salary increases based on seniority alone (47%)
Civil service (40%)

Note: Percentages indicate the number of students who expressed strong agreement with the statement.