Bachelor’s degree: “The program responds to a specific need among students. “They want to get straight to the heart of the matter”

Even The last dam has burst. The temple of business studies in France, HEC Paris, announced last October the opening of its first graduate program, a bachelor’s degree. This is certainly a bit special, both in terms of its target audience (students from all over the world) and in terms of its delivery, as half of the course is taught at Bocconi University in Milan (Italy) and the other part at the Bocconi University of Milan (Italy). ‘HEC Paris campus. Also through its specialized specialization is this Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BAS) titled “Data, Society and Organizations.” And last distinction, its price: 75,250 euros for this three-year course.

On a symbolic level, HEC Paris was, in fact, the last of the large management schools that hired exclusively after a preparatory class. It is now over, although the school categorically denies wanting to divert students from the historic preparatory courses. “Bad tongues will say it, but it is not like that,” its general director, Eloïc Peyrache, recently assured Les Echos.

Booming segment

In other business schools, the bachelor’s degree continues to progress, either in its traditional three-year form or in its four-year Anglo-Saxon version. Baccalaureate graduates tempted by a business school can now choose between three options: the CPGE (preparatory class for the Great Schools) in two years, then three years of study, postgraduate studies in five years and, therefore, the bachelor’s degree. .

It is clearly this last option that attracts the most. “This segment is experiencing an annual growth of between 8 and 10% in its workforce,” estimates William Hurst, general director of the EDC Paris Business School. As for ESCP Business School, the degree was born in London in 2015. If then it had about forty students, today it has more than 2,500. “We ourselves hesitated before launching this course. We feared it would cannibalize our historic format within five years. In short, they complement each other very well,” confesses Jean-Guy Bernard, general director of the Paris Business School (PSB).

thirst for freedom

There are reasons for such growth. “The program responds to a specific need among students. They want to get right to the heart of the matter,” according to William Hurst. Preparatory classes, the number of which is decreasing, seem too academic and theoretical to some. Thus, the three-year format is also a way to not “commit to a five-year period that seems like the end of the world” and to have the security of quickly obtaining a first diploma. Keeping your hands free to choose another orientation if you wish.

The course offers a complete menu to these aspiring professionals. Through their courses, of course, which will take them through all the fundamentals of business: marketing, accounting, finance, human resources, etc. All of this enriched with professional experience, with internships that usually take place from the first year and periodic immersions in companies. When it is not the alternation that has become omnipresent.

Since many students hesitate between working and studying or going abroad (the apprenticeship model is reserved for France), more and more singles are offering to experience both. That is, a trip to another country halfway through the course and then the possibility of completing the third year as an apprentice. “This requires us to review our educational models and discuss again with our international partners. You should know that going abroad after second year is not so common outside our borders,” acknowledges William Hurst. Audencia, in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) and Paris, goes even further and plans to expatriate its first-year students, through internships.

Options are open

“The explosion of smart learning is changing students’ strategies. They are much more tempted to continue their master’s studies because they know that they will almost always be able to do so by studying and working. They like it, it’s free, they gain experience… It meets many requirements,” says Jean-Guy Bernard. And that is why more and more continue. Especially since the appeal of bac + 5 remains powerful in France. “The weight of mastering is still very present. By offering a bachelor’s degree, we become Americanized, but in the French way. Most will end up completing five years of studies,” says Jean-Guy Bernard.

Integrating a bachelor’s degree allows you to benefit from the rest of the advantages that business schools offer. Starting with a rich student life, the same associations being open to its students as those of the PGE (Grande Ecole Program) or master’s degree. The doors of the network of former graduates, or alumni, are also open to them. In this way, students have the opportunity to access internship or job offers that are not available elsewhere, while at the same time having a good first network.

In short, these three years will allow them to pick different seeds, the time for students to perfect their professional project. And decide which card they will play next.

The foundations of this postgraduate training

For those who are discovering it, here is the identity card of a course that has become a reference.

last name

Bachelor. But sometimes you will find it under slightly different names, such as BIM (Bachelor of Management) or BIB (Bachelor of International Business). Even with your associated major: bachelor’s degree in sales, bachelor’s degree in human resources, etc.


Three or four years. The vast majority of programs are offered for three years. As France is a member of the European Union, it aligns its studies with the LMD model (three-year bachelor’s degree, five-year master’s degree, eight-year doctorate). That said, there are some four-year degrees: the BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration).


Most courses generally begin with a specialization in the third year.




Almost all now offer this study model. Few do it from the first year – like Istec Business School. Most training courses open this possibility from the 2nd or 3rd year onwards.


Staying abroad is essential. The duration of stays abroad can vary greatly, from a few weeks to 24 months for more international programs such as ESCP Business School.


Please note that the word “bachelor’s degree” is not protected; any establishment can use it to qualify its program. That says nothing about its quality! Be attentive to the recognition guarantees it offers (RNCP title (national directory of professional certifications), specific diploma, license degree).

Find all the articles in our special Bachelor’s supplement:

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