Harvard Econ Majors - Attending Harvard next fall

Hi, I will be attending Harvard next fall (class of 2015) and am thinking about what concentration I'd like to study.

I am thinking about Biomedical Engineering or Econ. For my future plans, I would either like to go to med school or try to break onto an investment bank on Wall Street.

I heard wall street sometimes likes to recruit engineers for their analytical skills? On the other hand, when I looked at the majority % of majors who were recruited into BB, they were finance/econ majors. A lot of these banks do recruit finance/econ majors but I feel like since there are so many econ majors (especially at harvard), does this make it harder for some students to break into the field because of the competition? If I were to do engineering, would it allow me to stand out from the crowd of econ majors?

So far, I've only met people who did liberal arts majors at Harvard who were able to pull off some nice SA internships so I have really no personal experiences as to whether which might be better (econ or engineering).

Also, if you have any engineering friends or just knowledge about the grading in engineering, is it probably easier to get a higher GPA with an econ major as compared to an engineering major? GPA, I've heard is one of the important factors for landing a Summer analyst internship.

I am aware that Econ is the largest major at Harvard and I was wondering if this leads to an increase in the competitiveness/difficulty of maintaining a good GPA (~3.7+)? I friend once told me that the larger class sizes for intro Econ classes was beneficial (I assume because more people were able to get A's?)

Appreciate any and all opinions/info!

Comments (10)

Apr 27, 2011 - 10:22pm
Will Hunting, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lol the old med school vs wall street thread. clearly you are not in it for the money. what happened to people studying things they liked?

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.
Best Response
Apr 27, 2011 - 10:36pm
kalga, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Gonna slide a constructive comment in before the storm. A topic with a title like this one is going to see some shit flung at it.

Hard to compare but I would say getting a comparable GPA in Biomed. Engineering would look better than econ on paper assuming the programs have similar reputations. You'll likely be interviewed by someone who went to Harvard and if they know that program is a joke (not saying it is) compared to econ...you can probably see where I'm headed. Generally, engineering is seen as more difficult.

Also, a bigger program is slightly positive. You still need a good GPA and more students will get that GPA in your program but the impact is small. There are already more qualified applicants than available positions.

Having an engineering degree will show people you can count and could be useful in certain groups (most obviously biotech) but there are far more important aspects to successfully getting hired. IB isn't rocket science and its not hard to learn 99% of the technical stuff you'll be asked in an interview.

Apr 27, 2011 - 10:42pm
firefighter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Engineering is a TOUGH major. Unless you truly enjoy it the benefits do not outweight the opportunity cost, studying time, and lower GPA

Apr 27, 2011 - 11:30pm
hot1590, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You can major in Econ and go to med school, or you can major in biomed. engineering and work at goldman. If you are smart enough to get your ass into harvard, you should also find out soon enough that there is no golden rule in life. Take a variety of classes, see what you really like, and indulge yourself.

Sep 14, 2013 - 11:01pm
IslandInTheSun, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Harvard Econ Majors - Making it to Wall Street? (Originally Posted: 04/27/2011)

Hi, I will be attending Harvard next fall (class of 2015) and am thinking about what concentration I'd like to study.

I am thinking about Biomedical Engineering or Econ. For my future plans, I would either like to go to med school or try to break onto an investment bank on Wall Street.

I heard wall street sometimes likes to recruit engineers for their analytical skills? On the other hand, when I looked at the majority % of majors who were recruited into BB, they were finance/econ majors. A lot of these banks do recruit finance/econ majors but I feel like since there are so many econ majors (especially at harvard), does this make it harder for some students to break into the field because of the competition? If I were to do engineering, would it allow me to stand out from the crowd of econ majors?

So far, I've only met people who did liberal arts majors at Harvard who were able to pull off some nice SA internships so I have really no personal experiences as to whether which might be better (econ or engineering).

Also, if you have any engineering friends or just knowledge about the grading in engineering, is it probably easier to get a higher GPA with an econ major as compared to an engineering major? GPA, I've heard is one of the important factors for landing a Summer analyst internship.

I am aware that Econ is the largest major at Harvard and I was wondering if this leads to an increase in the competitiveness/difficulty of maintaining a good GPA (~3.7+)? I friend once told me that the larger class sizes for intro Econ classes was beneficial (I assume because more people were able to get A's?)

Appreciate any and all opinions/info!

Sep 14, 2013 - 11:02pm
Going Concern, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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