MBA Research
Not-for-profit, research-based support for all Business Administration educators: entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management/administration, and marketing.

Program Development - Other Articles

Labor Statistics Support Business Administration Programs
    --April Miller and Jim Gleason

The MBA Research Business Administration curriculum model reflects input from hundreds of individual business leaders from throughout the nation.  And, while the MBA model provides strong guidance on curriculum for Business Administration programs in entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management, and marketing, employment data provide a different type of reference point.

We know that Business Administration is the number one declared major for first-year students in four-year colleges.  Nearly 20% of college freshmen are business majors!  This exceptional interest in college business classes would seem to be a strong argument for increasing the number of Business Administration courses in high school.  And, while college enrollment data make the case for high school business and marketing classes, employment data add still more to the argument.

In 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics made the following occupational employment projections through the year 2016:  

  • Employment in management, business, and financial occupations is projected to grow by 1.6 million jobs.  That’s additional career positions for which our Business Administration programs can begin preparing students.  The data:
    • In 2006, 15.4 million people were employed in these managerial fields. In 2016, the number of jobs is expected to increase 10.4% to 17.0 million.
    • Keep in mind that many of the Baby Boomers are expected to retire in the coming years. This will created millions more job openings. As a result, the total number of job openings due to industry growth and net replacements in these occupational fields is projected to be 4.6 million job positions.  That’s 4.6 million openings.  Compare this number with projections in other fields, and we have a strong argument for more and more substantive high school and college Business Administration programs.
  • Employment in business and financial operationsoccupations is projected to increase 16%.  Again, the data:
    • A total of 1.1 million new jobs will be created.
    • Employment in such occupations will grow from 6.6 million jobs to 7.7 million jobs.
    • The total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements is expected to be 2.2 million job positions.
  • Sales and related occupations are expected to grow 7.6%.
    • Employment in 2006 was 16.0 million people. By 2016, that number is expected to grow by 1.2 million to 17.2 million jobs.
    • The total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements is expected to be 6.2 million by 2016.
  • Office and administrative support occupations are projected to increase 7.2% from 24.3 million jobs to 26.1 million jobs.
    • That amounts to 1.8 million new jobs.
    • The total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements in these occupations is expected to be 7.4 million by 2016.
  • Although some STEM experts, such as those participating in the STEM Workforce Data Project, categorize market research as a STEM-related field, market research is much more closely aligned with the business-related occupational fields.  Although small in comparison with other managerial careers, market research offers both a substantial career opportunity anda strong background for other business careers.
    • The number of market and survey researchers is expected to increase 19% from 0.26 million jobs to 0.31 million jobs.
    • Total job openings due to growth and net replacements is expected to be 0.7 million jobs by 2016.
  • When these numbers are combined, it is clear that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 5.75 million new jobs to be created in business-related occupations by 2016.
  • When net replacements are added to this number, the total number of job openings in business-related occupations is projected to be 21.1 million by 2016.
  • Employment in business-related fields is expected to rise for several specific reasons, including:
    • A rise in the total number of businesses
    • An increased emphasis on customer service
    • More financial reporting regulations
    • More individuals investing in individual retirement accounts
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls out the following STEM-related occupations in its data:
    • Computer and mathematical science occupations
      • Computer and mathematical science jobs are expected to increase 24.8% by 2016, which will result in 0.8 million new jobs.
      • The total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements in these occupations is expected to be 1.6 million by 2016.  
    • Architecture and engineering occupations
      • Architecture and engineering jobs are expected to increase 10.4 % by 2016, which will result in 0.3 million new jobs.
      • Total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements is expected to be 0.9 million by 2016.  
    • Life, physical, and social science occupations
      • Life, physical, and social science jobs are expected to increase 14.4%, resulting in 0.2 million new jobs.
      • The total number of job openings due to growth and net replacements in these fields is projected to be 0.5 million by 2016.
  • Therefore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 1.3 million new jobs to be created in STEM-related occupations by 2016.
  • When net replacements are added to this number, the total number of job openings in STEM-related occupations is projected to be 3 million by 2016.

Although few would question the importance of STEM-related careers, nor the need for better teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math, it should be apparent that far more of our high school student population will find careers in business than will enter the STEM world.

As school administrators make decisions about local Career-Tech (CTE) programs, and as policymakers consider the nature of both academic and CTE curricula, all need to consider the interests of our teens and the likelihood of any given curriculum having real impact on their futures.  When college and employment data are considered, the need for strong Business Administration curricula, including entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management/administration, and marketing, should be readily apparent.

April Miller, Senior Research Associate, MBA Research, compiled data for this article.  Her sources included:

Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. (n.d.). STEM employment forecasts and distributions among employment sectors. Retrieved August 4, 2009.
Dohm, A., & Shniper, L. (2007, November). Occupational employment projections to 2016. Monthly Labor Review, 86-105.

James R. Gleason, Ph.D., is President/CEO of MBA Research and Curriculum Center.

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO – In a groundbreaking collaboration, MBA Research’s High School of Business™ program and Bowling Green State University have joined forces to bring expanded services to students participating in the accelerated high school business program.

MBA Research and Curriculum Center, which developed High School of Business™, and Bowling Green State University’s College of Business Administration signed an Affiliation Agreement on Monday, May 21 in Bowling Green, Ohio. According to the agreement, students who complete the high school program may earn up to six hours of college credit at Bowling Green State University.

“This first-in-the-nation partnership creates a very special opportunity for our High School of Business™ Career-Tech students throughout the country, particularly given the stature of BGSU and its College of Business,” Dr. James Gleason, President/CEO of MBA Research, said. “Students completing this very rigorous Career-Tech program can enter Bowling Green with both academic credits and, of equal importance, a solid understanding of the career field in which they will study.”

The High School Business™ is a college-like high school business program. Approximately 2,200 students are enrolled in the program nationwide.

“The High School of Business allows us to support business education at the high school level and at the same time offer the opportunity for students to smoothly continue their business education at Bowling Green,” Dr. John Hoag, acting Interim Dean of the College of Business, said. “Students completing this program can earn up to six credit hours of college credit which helps move them along their way to a degree. This program is quite unique, and we are looking forward to working with the High School of Business in this endeavor.”

High School of Business™ was created in 2007 after educators and administrators voiced concerns that high school students planning to major in business administration in college did not have access to accelerated courses in their high schools. As a result, the career technical education program was launched in five pilot schools. Today, the program has grown to 48 participating high schools across 15 states. The program is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and is funded and operated by a consortium of 35 state education departments.

The hands-on program prepares students to excel in college business administration programs, such as those offered at Bowling Green State University’s College of Business Administration. High School of Business™ students dive into real projects via project-based learning – an educational method in which students learn concepts while completing projects that often involve collaboration with local businesses.

“We hope that the MBA Research partnership with BGSU will create new opportunities for both organizations as we work to recognize the rigorous program of study completed by Career Tech students earning High School of Business™ certification,” Gleason said.

Through the Eyes of an Administrator: The Why and How of High School of Business

The following is an email interview that took place in September 2011 between Dale Hoerauf, CTE Director of Bismarck Public Schools in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Lisa Berkey, Program Director of High School of Business. First, some background information:
  • Bismarck Schools joined High School of Business in 2010/11
  • Initially, two school buildings (grades 10-12) were involved
  • In 2011/12, two junior high buildings (9th graders) were added to offer the Leadership and Wealth Management courses.
  • Two teachers at each high school are enrolled in High School of Business’ summer and fall professional development sessions. One teacher at each junior high will receive training for the two courses mentioned above only.
  • As is required of all High School of Business sites, Bismarck’s program is led by a local steering team comprised of post-secondary faculty, local business professionals, and high school faculty and administrators.
  • College credit agreements are in progress with local institutions.

Lisa Berkey: Thinking back to when you first heard about High School of Business. What piqued your interest? What did the program appear to offer that you, as an administrator, found important?
Dale Hoerauf: My interest was piqued when I saw and understood it was a solid curriculum designed around projects for students.  Quite frankly our programs were not very project based at the time.  We were doing some activities but were not project based.

LB: How has High School of Business contributed to your school’s business/marketing education program?
DH:  We have raised the level of understanding in our school’s business/marketing programs.  We had not been attracting some of the higher level students in the past because I believe they did not see the relevance.  That is changing.

LB: What advice would you give other administrators who are deciding whether to implement the program?
DH: My advice would be to make sure you plan a budget for the HSB and that this is not going to be a one-time “shot in the arm.”  Get community and chamber of commerce involved, and they will be your best supporters.  Most important is the 9th grade classes (Wealth Management and Leadership) so you can begin the journey through the HSB courses.

LB: Has the program improved your relationships with your local business community? Area colleges and universities?
DH: It has greatly improved our relationships with colleges. They also see the relevance of what we are teaching and now want to sit at the table with us to discuss Dual Credit. The monthly steering team meetings have been a good way of staying in contact with the Chamber.

LB: Please add any other comments you believe would be helpful for administrators who are considering the program.
DH: My last comment would be the collaboration time our HSB teachers have spent since HSB was adopted in Bismarck. Our district has implemented PLC’s (Professional Learning Communities). High School of Business was and is based off the PLC model. Except it takes it one step further by collaborating with other schools around the nation and businesses in the community.

Why aren’t there computer courses in the High School of Business program?

As students become computer savvy at earlier ages, we believe that many of them will arrive in high school with basic Microsoft Office skills.  In addition, most students are capable of learning these skills as they need them in courses.  The following quote sums up this philosophy:

If you try to separate "computer class" from the rest of the curriculum, students might learn "computer", but the real goal should be to teach them to use it as a tool, just like pencil and paper, crayons, calculators, and so forth.
-- Lynn Ewing, Chenowith Schools, Oregon

My school operates using a block schedule, and the High School of Business™ courses are designed as 50-minute semester courses.  Is there a remedy?

Yes.  We recommend that courses be grouped in pairs to fit block schedules.  The High School of Business™ Handbook offers sample schedules for consideration.

My school is small. Will HSB work here?

Yes, but consider the following in your planning process: 
  • Students work in teams frequently. Teams need at least 3 members, so the curriculum can work in a class as small as 3.
  • If your school requires a minimum enrollment for a course to be offered, know that schools participating in HSB must "offer the courses in a manner in which a student can complete the program prior to graduating".  If classes are not offered due to low enrollment, that could be a problem.
  • The role of the counselor(s) is crucial in all schools, but in particular small schools where HSB will be limited to one section per semester. Courses must be scheduled so students can take them or your HSB cohort will shrink.  For example, if band/choir is scheduled at same time as the only section of HSB, that could be a conflict for students.
  • HSB projects include frequent interaction with local business professionals. What is your business community like? If your town is small, fruitful connections become even more important because you'll have a limited number of people to call on. 
  • Cultivating relationships with parents is crucial. Strong parents in a small community can assist the teacher(s) and the program with finding guest speakers, internship hosts, promoting the value of the program, etc.
  • Career-tech student organizations (DECA, FBLA, BPA) are a good complement to the HSB curriculum. They also add competition excitement that encourages students to stay in your programs. 


As with any school, setting up valuable benefits for students who complete HSB will encourage more students to complete the program. Most schools have aligned High School of Business™ courses with a local college for credit. HSB provides documentation of that precedent that is a powerful conversation starter between schools who join the program and a local college. Other benefits could be designating HSB courses as weighted or honors-level, setting up scholarships with local colleges, offering educational field trips to businesses or even somewhere like the NYSE.

Where are the accounting courses?

In keeping with the spirit of project and problem-based pedagogy, decision-making from a managerial accounting viewpoint is a key part of the Principles of Finance course.  Through learning the “whys” of accounting before the “hows” of debits and credits, students will learn to think critically regarding accounting and financial decisions.  In addition, the project-based nature of High School of Business™ courses lends naturally to solving cross-functional problems.  Therefore, students will analyze business problems using accounting and financial information in several of the courses.  Those students who wish to become accountants will go on to post-secondary training, where the mechanics of debits and credits are covered extensively. 

Can my Perkins funding dollars be applied to High School of Business?

The guidelines for the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act are in keeping with the policies, procedures, and philosophies of High School of Business™.  That being said, the federal government has charged each state with interpreting Perkins.  Therefore, schools should check with their state departments of education to verify that Perkins funding will apply to the High School of Business™ program.

Do the core course faculty really need to attend professional development?  What if a teacher has years of experience teaching a similar course?

It is important, and indeed required, that each teacher attend both Pedagogy Training and Course Content Training prior to teaching High School of Business™ courses.  There are several reasons for this: a) the project and problem-based pedagogy is new or modified for most teachers, b) the ever-changing business environment leads to frequent updates in course content.  For example, even teachers who have taught marketing for years will benefit from the timely content of Principles of Marketing training, and c) the tertiary goal of the training sessions is to build a network of teaching professionals that can work together to share problems, ideas, and successes throughout the school year.  They will form a cohort group that communicates online and in-person at future training sessions. 

How can I get my students interested in the program?  They have so many commitments already.

This question can be answered in two ways: a) why should a student be interested in the program?, and b) how can I generate awareness of the program? 

a) There are many reasons why a student should be interested in the program.  These include:

  • Near or at college-level curriculum prepares them for college.  This may not be the case with your school’s existing business and marketing programs.
  • A complete series of business administration courses ensures a solid preparation for college business programs.  In addition, having a program established (as opposed to stand-alone courses) gives purpose and focus to students’ elective choices.
  • Project and problem-based learning gets students actively involved in their education and can whet their appetites to learn more than in traditional classroom lecture settings
  • Team projects prepare students for the group projects they will face in college.
  • High School of Business™ is the ultimate answer to the age-old question, “how will I ever use this stuff?”
  • Though High School of Business™ is new, the program’s name will grow to mean “high-quality business education” to parents, colleges, etc.  Being part of this branded program is another avenue for adding weight/status to a student’s education.


b) How can educators generate awareness of the program?

  • Schools that participate in High School of Business™ will be provided with ideas and materials for generating awareness.  These include brochures, posters, sample letters to send students and parents, etc.
  • Hold informational sessions for students and parents during school and after school
  • Emphasize the college-prep aspects of the program to assist students and parents in understanding the purpose of enrolling in High School of Business™.


How do CTSOs fit in to the program?

CTSOs are a valuable part of many high school business and marketing programs.  MBA Research believes that the experiences students encounter in CTSOs can result in substantial growth in many areas.  Although High School of Business™ does not contain a CTSO component, schools are encouraged to explore these partnerships at a local level.

Tell me more about student assessments.

Every project in the High School of Business program (and there are over 30) includes a broad array of individual and team-based assessments. The most commonly used are weekly quizzes, project assessment rubrics, individual written reports, team oral presentations, and standards-focused work within the program's online learning management center. In addition, every course ends with a national third-party online examination. 

How do students complete the program? Is there a certification?

The High School of Business curriculum and its six end-of-course national exams, developed by MBA Research and Curriculum Center, are based on industry-validated standards and performance indicators. Backed by extensive business-based primary and secondary research, these challenging curriculum standards address current, relevant skills and knowledge needed by employees in the workplace. 

Students who successfully complete all six courses in the High School of Business program receive a certificate of achievement from MBA Research and Curriculum Center. 

Founded in 2007, the High School of Business program is recognized by post-secondary institutions across the U.S. as a rigorous, viable curriculum for college-bound students. As such, in accordance with Perkins IV, the High School of Business program can be viewed as the grades 10-12 component of a comprehensive secondary/post-secondary program of study culminating in an Associate or Baccalaureate degree. 

For district/states interested in an end-of-program exam, we suggest the ASK Business Institute's Fundamental Business Concepts exam.  More information can be found at

My school has some courses that are very similar to those in High School of Business™.  Can we keep these and add them into the program?

In order for students across the country to receive a consistent education, it is important for schools to implement the specialized High School of Business™ curriculum.  That will ensure that as the program grows, college admissions officers can be assured that a student completing High School of Business™ in Florida has received the same high-quality education as a student who completes the program in Idaho.  While High School of Business™ does not go as far as to say that schools may not add courses to the program, we do ask schools to proceed with caution.  All High School of Business™ students must complete the six required courses.  Adding courses beyond those may prevent students with full schedules from enrolling in the program at all.

May schools modify High School of Business™ courses?

Courses may only be modified by MBA Research. Teachers are encouraged to contact us directly with concerns about the curriculum or suggested changes.  As a national program, participating schools agree to maintain the quality standards and content of all the courses. Teachers may choose to add on to the materials provided for a High School of Business™ course, but must ensure that courses still meet the standards indicated.

Teachers and administrators at participating High School of Business™ schools -- please help us share the benefits of High School of Business™ with other schools. Below are materials you may choose to distribute at meetings, conferences, and events. 

Brochure - Program Overview

PowerPoint - Program Overview.  Includes presentation notes.

Ambassador Packets

If you'd prefer to receive printed materials for distribution, send your request here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Include your mailing address and quantity of materials needed.  Your packet will also include two name tag ribbons and tips for explaining the High School of Business™ program to others.  Thank you!

Name tag ribbons

Red High School of Business™ ribbons that adhere to the bottom edge of conference name tags are available. Wear these at education conferences and meetings. Going to state, regional, or national student competitions? Order enough for all students, teachers, and administrators to wear while there. To order ribbons at no cost, email our shipping department: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Students in the St. Joseph, Missouri, school district who successfully complete MBAResearch's High School of Business program can now earn college credit at MWSU. Congratulations to the students who will benefit and all those involved in this important partnership! See the local TV coverage this received here. 

Students in a group of small rural Colorado schools will collaborate online as they work on business projects. The twelve schools in the Northeastern part of the state will unite though their Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). BOCES provide specialized educational services to school districts. In the case of High School of Business, each individual school is too small to have the number of students necessary for the program. By banding together, the students can work together online via Skype, Google collaboration tools, and other software. Teachers take turns serving as lead teacher of the courses while their counterparts monitor the students.

Says High School of Business Program Director Lisa Berkey: “We’re excited to work with NE BOCES to bring accelerated business curriculum to students in rural Colorado. MBAResearch will work closely with the schools to assist and learn from their experience.”

Teachers from NE BOCES will attend their first High School of Business Training Institute this June and then use the 2013/14 school year to plan. Courses will begin for students in the fall of 2014.

The following details are for appointments made in 2017, effective July 1, 2017.  Additional nominations and appointments will be made in early 2018 to be effective July 1, 2018. 


The MBA Advisory Network serves as an advisory board to the organization and its work to support business and marketing education nationwide.  Advisors will provide both structured (e.g., surveys) and informal (e.g., conference calls) feedback on a wide range of initiatives, new and revised products and services, messaging, marketing collateral materials, workshop agendas, and other work of the organization.

Advisor Qualifications

Qualifications for appointment to the MBA Advisory Network include:

  • Active, full-time CTE Business Administration teacher, current or within the past three years (teachers of entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality/tourism, management/administration, and marketing)
  • Minimum of two years as a full-time Business Administration teacher
  • Completion of the advisor training seminar (in conjunction with Conclave)
  • Active CTSO adviser(advisor) (i.e., BPA, DECA, or FBLA)
  • Nomination by the state’s Consortium liaison or by recognized state CTE leaders, or  active involvement with MBA Research initiatives or programs
  • Endorsement by and support of the advisor’s local administration
  • Evidence of a strong, comprehensive Business Administration program consistent with standards of the MBA Accreditation initiative

Appointment and Term

Appointment to the MBA Advisory Network will be for a period of three years and may not be renewed for consecutive terms.   Appointment is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements of participation.


Continuing participation in the network will require:

  • Thoughtful and substantive participation in not fewer than six of ten conference calls annually (estimated time:  60 – 90 minutes per call)
  • Thoughtful and substantive completion of not fewer than five of ten online surveys annually (estimated time:  10 – 15 minutes per survey)
  • Participation in not fewer than two of three Conclave conferences during the term, including one full day of network meetings prior to or immediately following Conclave opening/closing days
  • Reasonable availability for ad hoc 1:1 discussions

Compensation and Benefits

The advisor role is voluntary and unpaid.  Benefits include:

  • Recognition as a "National MBA Research Advisor"
  • Conclave registration paid; 50% travel reimbursement
    (with presentation(s))
  • Extensive access to instructional tools at no cost
    • MBA Learning Center (online)
    • All relevant course guides
    • End-of-program and other assessments as available
  • Priority consideration for paid miscellaneous curriculum support, business community engagement activities, marketing and promotional activities.

High School of Business™ brings college-inspired business administration courses to high schools across the U.S. An accelerated series of six courses challenges students with hands-on marketing, management, finance, and economics courses. The program engages students with project-based learning but doesn’t fall short on content. Each course is built around industry-validated curriculum standards. Teachers receive high-quality professional development and ongoing support. At each participating school, a cross-functional steering team of local business leaders, college faculty, and school personnel manage the program.

Prepared for Success

  • 81% earn college credit
  • 8 credits (average) via local credit agreements
  • 6 credits available via national agreement


Post-Program Outcomes

  • 73% enrolled in college within six months of graduation (2010-14)
    Source: National Student Clearinghouse. (US average is 66%)


"High School of Business has helped make our program stronger and more attractive to students and parents." -Dr. Jerry Anderson, Principal, Monarch High School (CO)

More about MBA High School of Business.