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Business Education: IBDP Business Management vs. CIE Business Studies vs. CBSE Business Studies

Business Education: IBDP Business Management vs. CIE Business Studies vs. CBSE Business Studies

Mar, 18 2024


To pursue an entrepreneurship or management career, it is important to have a background in Business education. The core business courses in 12th grade will introduce you to the core concepts and shape your worldview as a businessperson. IBDP curriculum offers the Business Management course, CIE offers Business Studies and CBSE has a Business Studies course in the Commerce stream. Here is a comparative look at the three courses to help you make an informed choice.

Syllabus & Curriculum: IBDP Business Management

Through the IBDP Business Management course learners will analyse, discuss, and evaluate business activities at local, national, and international levels. The course syllabus broadly covers -

  • Business organisation and environment
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Finance and accounts

Learners have the option to choose the Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) Business Management course, depending on how deeply they want to study the subject. At the HL level, the syllabus will include a few extra topics under the broad syllabus subjects - Organisation (Corporate Culture), Industrial/employee relations, Debt/equity ratio analysis, Budgets, Sales forecasting, International marketing, Lean production and quality management, Production planning, Crisis management and contingency planning, research and development, and Management Information Systems (MIS).
The assessment includes three external papers and one internal business research project.

Syllabus & Curriculum: CIE Business Studies

The CIE Business Studies course is designed to motivate learners to study contemporary business issues, learn relevant terminologies and concepts, and understand the various business stakeholder perspectives. The syllabus for the course broadly covers -

  • Understanding Business Activity - Classification of Business, Enterprise Business Growth and size, Types of business organisations, Business objectives and stakeholder objectives
  • People in Business - motivating employees, Organisation and Management, Recruitment, selection and training of employees, Internal and external communication
  • Marketing - Marketing, competition and the customer, market research, Marketing mix, Marketing Strategy
  • Operations Management - Production of goods and services, Costs, scale of production and break-even analysis, Achieving quality production, Location decisions
  • Financial Information and decisions - Business finance: needs and sources, Cash-flow forecasting and working capital, income statements, Statement of financial position, Analysis of accounts
  • External influences on business activity - Economic issues, Environmental and ethical issues, Business and the international economy

For external assessment, the learner attempts -
Paper 1 - Question paper with short answers inculcating graphs, tables, and images.
Paper 2 - a case study will be given, and learners will answer four questions, strengthening their answers with newspaper extracts, graphs, and tables.
Internal assessments will include a viva voce and project work.

Who can do it: IBDP Business Management vs. CIE Business Studies vs. CBSE Business Studies

IBDP has an interdisciplinary approach, so anyone interested can take the IBDP Business Management course. Similarly, the CIE Business Studies course can also be taken by anyone as one of the core courses. CBSE programme offers Business Studies to students in the Commerce stream and only they can pursue the course in the 11th and 12th grades.

Syllabus & Curriculum: CBSE Business Studies

CBSE Business Studies course teaches learners the framework in which business operates, discussing the technologies and environmental interactions that are pertinent in the decision-making process. The broad syllabus for the course is -

  • Principles and Functions of Management - nature of management, business environment, planning, staffing, directing, and controlling
  • Business Finance and Management - financial management, financial markets, marketing management, and consumer protection

At the end of the semester, students will appear for the Board exam in which they will attempt an 80-mark paper. Internal exams include viva voce, project, and presentation.

Scope after the programme: IBDP Business Management vs. CIE Business Studies vs. CBSE Business Studies

All three courses lead towards a career in management and business studies. Students can consider college programmes in Business Management, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain or Management software development. CBSE Business Studies curriculum is more academic, delving into the theory of business studies. IBDP and CIE curriculum attempt to delve into the practical aspects of business studies by creating coursework to assess the current business environment and promoting activities where learners can juxtapose the textual theory against current business events.

Final thought:

Even if you are planning to pursue a college programme in engineering or aspire to become a doctor or photographer, business studies are a relevant course. It will help you develop an entrepreneurial flair and understand the market potential of the product or service. Furthermore, you will be able to ascertain the market conditions and make better decisions by viewing issues with a broader perspective.

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