Dual major in Finance and Computer Science?

I'm currently a high school junior, and I'm trying to decide on what I want to do after HS. Business and programming are both very intriguing to me, and I'm having a hard time deciding between majoring in CS to get a job as a Software Engineer, or majoring in finance to get into Investment Banking.

I think I will be a competitive applicant for target schools such as UPenn, UChicago, Caltech, etc. if that makes a difference.

Investment banking intrigues me slightly more because of the higher comp and lifestyle, but I'm scared I would "burn out" from the long hours and poor work/life balance. I know there are a lot more career options with a finance degree as well, so that is also pushing me more towards that direction.

I've heard that software engineering comes with a much better work/life balance, and I feel that it could be worth the lower comp, but I'm not sure.

One idea I've had is to try to get into a dual major program with CS and Finance, so that I could easily transition to software engineering if I get burned out from IB. Is this a good idea? I would have a higher class load which could possibly lower my GPA.

Basically, I'm asking for your opinions on each career choice, and whether or not it is a good idea to pursue a dual major.

Thank you for any input!

Comments (13)

  • Intern in IB - Gen

Honestly, how do high school students even find WSO? This website needs to institute an age minimum.

Isaiah0104, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Is this not the right place for a post like this?

  • 1
leonardo dicaprisun, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you can't get a 3.6 GPA or above, don't double major. In theory it makes sense but why does a junior in HS believe they can double major without taking one semester of a college workload because I don't care what anyone says double majoring is going to burn you out before you even get into IB or Software eng. Source ; me , double major 4.0 math + econ.

I think it is good to be thinking about future goals and have interest in those majors but you won't know whether you have what it takes to double major unless you have your own experience with professors who don't care about your ambitions and TA's who hate their lives. You are smart enough to be on WSO before securing a prom date so get into a good school and then decide.

  • 2
Isaiah0104, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm actually currently doing dual enrollment full time at a local college so I think I can somewhat estimate the class load of university . I currently have a 4.0 with my college classes without a ton of effort so I'm hoping to be able to keep at least a 3.6 gpa at a target university even with a dual major. Thank you for the insight!

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

I was a Computer Science and Economics double major (4.0) at a targe. I did these dual enrollment credits at regional college branches when I was in high school, trust me, the workload is not even comparable. The regional classes tend to be much easier with much less stringent grading (especially since the stem classes tend to be graded on a curve at 4-year universities).m

I can't even remember the last time I went out on a weekend, and I was consistently working til 1/2am even on weekends. If you want to do it, I don't want to discourage you, but be warned that it is an absolute ton of work.

FutureBankTeller, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One thing you have to recognize is that you are getting feedback from 4.0 nerds. There is something called diminishing returns. What I mean is that if it takes 10 hours of work to get a B+ it takes 25 to get an A. And you can mitigate the B+ in a STEM class with an A in a finance class which would average to around 3.6 which is a solid GPA.

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

It was a lot, but it was definitely worth it. I knew I wanted to do TMT banking from the start, so it really helped build my story for getting into a top TMT group. I also wanted to have a quantitative degree, so if for any reason shit hit the fan I would have a solid backup plan (Software Engineering), and I enjoyed both majors a ton so it wasn't too painful.

As for the guy talking about "4.0 nerds", I will say that even getting a 3.6 is not easy in the major (and the top groups often had cutoffs of 3.8 at my school for interviews) which is something you need to consider when it comes to recruiting. Also, he makes a valid point but I would still question the advice of anyone (FutureBankTeller) who is an undergrad with no job offer and is still making posts about "which finance field is right for me" as a 22-year old. Take a listen to those who did the path you're asking about and got a field in the field you want.

GUH, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dual Credit/Community College classes are horseshit compared to uni class ESPECIALLY at a target school. Im not sure how it is for you but where I am, CS and Finance are in completely different schools of the university and are more trouble than its worth (on top of this, financial aid usually doesn't apply to classes you are taking that are outside of you degree plan). If you want to seem tech savvy to interviewers learn to program and leave it in the footnote of your resume. better to do something in math if your trying to look smart.

Buying tesla weeklies is literally free money.
  • 1
Adam-Shi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Upenn M&T program is something you should highly consider. You can do CS at Penn Engineering and Finance at Wharton

Isaiah0104, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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