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I'm interested in getting into corporate finance at a fortune 500 or investment bank and eventually getting into an equity fund or venture capital/private equity related. Do you guys think I should pursue a MS in Finance or Accounting? I feel like coursework in Finance is more basic whereas in Accounting it's more in thorough and in depth, but which looks better on your resume?

Also, there really are no good programs where I live, so I'm not doing this for a strong recruitment network, but am rather hoping it will make myself more attractive to employers and b-school, especially since I graduated with a BA in econ and didn't get stellar grades. Think this is a good/bad idea?

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Comments (21)

  • rooster's picture

    Monkey321 wrote:
    I feel like coursework in Finance is more basic whereas in Accounting it's more in thorough and in depth
    lolz

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  • asiansensation's picture

    Your undergrad grades won't matter when you get your MSF/MSA degree. You will have difficulty finding a job if you're 1) an international student and 2) seeking BB investment banking positions. BBs don't hire masters students into their analyst pool

  • kjl's picture

    Don't do a master of accounting unless you want to do accounting. Accounting knowledge is important but you don't need a whole degree in it unless you want to do it.

    And any graduate program within the business/finance realm should have some sort of network tied to it, or else you'll end up where you are now, even if you got better grades in your masters program. Why don't you consider moving to go to a better program?

  • In reply to asiansensation
    qweretyq's picture

    asiansensation wrote:
    BBs don't hire masters students into their analyst pool

    I don't think this is true.

  • In reply to asiansensation
    MittRomney's picture

    asiansensation wrote:
    BBs don't hire masters students into their analyst pool

    Not true...if it's just after doing a bachelors degree, its fine...a few of my buddies went to top BBs after doing either masters in accounting or finance

  • In reply to MittRomney
    asiansensation's picture

    I think it's more rare in the U.S. The vast majority of BB 1st years are kids fresh out of undergrad programs.

    In Europe, average 1st year analyst age is like 26 because a good chunk of them have graduate degrees

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  • Puzich's picture

    Accounting as a degree is useless for practical purposes, because you end up discussing things like "what is an asset", "when a sale becomes a sale", etc. Unless you are into theory - don't do it. Finance is better, it is less boring, more fun and gives you way more "general" knowledge, which can be a bit useful in IBD.

    My 2c

  • I Want to Invest's picture

    I got a MA in accounting, and am going to get a MA in fin Eng I think to branch into finance (its been about 6 years since my 1 year masters). Although my initial goal was to work big 4 a few years and then get a MBA later, so I guess I somewhat stuck to that

    If you want to do finance/banking, get a finance degree not an accounting degree. But be aware of what your job prospects would be in each area when you make the decision .

  • In reply to asiansensation
    bcbunker1's picture

    asiansensation wrote:
    I think it's more rare in the U.S. The vast majority of BB 1st years are kids fresh out of undergrad programs.

    In Europe, average 1st year analyst age is like 26 because a good chunk of them have graduate degrees

    im in a master in finance and pretty much all of the kids fresh out of undergrad into my masters program get BB analyst roles in NYC.

  • JobHopeful's picture

    A lot of it depends on the schools that you're looking at for MAcc or MSF. If you get into Princeton's MSF program like bcbunker, then I say go for that. However, you should do your own reserach for the non-top tier MSF programs and figure out how much recruiting they get.

    I recently graduated and had both options, but eventually chose to do the MAcc after researching the both schools' placements. The MSF I got into is well regarded in the US, but I could not get a read on how well they place students going right after undergrad. Whereas, the MAcc I got into is one of the top programs in the country and I saw definitive placements by students into IB or Corp Fin coming out of the program. So, just make sure you do your own research on any program you get into.

  • TNA's picture

    I dont know why people looking to break into banking dont just get a masters in whatever from an ivy school. You have a finance UG. Go to Penn or Dartmouth and get a masters in literature so you can mooch off the alumni. When they ask why finance just tell them you wanted to pursue a passion you had since childhood for one year before you devote yourself to banking. It will make you an interesting candidate and you will be just as qualified as the UG kid from an ivy who got a liberal arts degree.

    We got people trying to go to Duke for a MMS degree which is a watered down MBA. People will pay 40-50K for a name on their resume, why not just go to the liberal arts school. MFin from Princeton and a MA in History from Princeton will still let you have PRINCETON in bold on your resume. I mean if this is what we have come to you might as well have fun with it.

    I hear over and over and over how prestige and GPA are all the matters in banking. You sure as hell dont need a MSF, MSCF, MFin, etc to succeed in banking.

  • In reply to TNA
    bcbunker1's picture

    AnthonyD1982 wrote:
    I dont know why people looking to break into banking dont just get a masters in whatever from an ivy school. You have a finance UG. Go to Penn or Dartmouth and get a masters in literature so you can mooch off the alumni. When they ask why finance just tell them you wanted to pursue a passion you had since childhood for one year before you devote yourself to banking. It will make you an interesting candidate and you will be just as qualified as the UG kid from an ivy who got a liberal arts degree.

    We got people trying to go to Duke for a MMS degree which is a watered down MBA. People will pay 40-50K for a name on their resume, why not just go to the liberal arts school. MFin from Princeton and a MA in History from Princeton will still let you have PRINCETON in bold on your resume. I mean if this is what we have come to you might as well have fun with it.

    I hear over and over and over how prestige and GPA are all the matters in banking. You sure as hell dont need a MSF, MSCF, MFin, etc to succeed in banking.

    You dont honestly think recruiters look at master in finance and master in near eastern studies at princeton similarly for banking jobs, do you?

    I do think, however, that at the undergrad level most recruiters could care less what your major is provided you are at a top school and have a solid gpa.

    BTW: I would not recommend coming to princeton for a mfin if you want to do m&a type work. For the op, if you want to do PE/VC work then you should not get a master in finance. You need to get an MBA for that.

  • TNA's picture

    @ BC Bunker

    MFIn from Princeton is an utter bitch to get into. Other than MIT not too many schools have MSF programs (Ivey schools I mean). Supposing we take Princeton and MIT off the board. Would you recommend an MA in History from Columbia or a MSF from BC ? I think the Columbia network and name is probably worth a lot more.

  • In reply to TNA
    bcbunker1's picture

    AnthonyD1982 wrote:
    @ BC Bunker

    MFIn from Princeton is an utter bitch to get into. Other than MIT not too many schools have MSF programs (Ivey schools I mean). Supposing we take Princeton and MIT off the board. Would you recommend an MA in History from Columbia or a MSF from BC ? I think the Columbia network and name is probably worth a lot more.

    ok now we are talking about a serious dilemma.

    if i had to choose i would try and get a masters in something economics/business related at an ivy over an msf from anywhere other than princeton and mit if i knew i wanted to do BB ibanking. For instance, I would probably choose NYU's master in econ http://econ.as.nyu.edu/page/ma (yes i know NYU isnt ivy) over a villanova or vanderbilt msf simply because of the school's network and the degree being somewhat related to finance.

  • TNA's picture

    See, thats what I meant. I went to Villanova and learned a lot about finance. Great network, but you do not need a graduate level understanding of finance to break into banking. I love finance so I enjoyed it, but if I was advising someone I would tell them to go for the name and network first and foremost.

  • In reply to bcbunker1
    didi2008's picture

    asiansensation wrote:
    I think it's more rare in the U.S. The vast majority of BB 1st years are kids fresh out of undergrad programs.

    In Europe, average 1st year analyst age is like 26 because a good chunk of them have graduate degrees

    just curious. why it's 26? sounds like they not only have master degrees, but PhD degrees as well...most people in the world graduate from undergrad programs at 22, right? master program is 4 years in europe?

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  • asiansensation's picture

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  • In reply to didi2008
    BradZ's picture