How Hard is Economics vs. Finance?

As a major, which one is harder? Econ seems to apply calculus and other types of math. I've never taken a Finance course so I dont have an idea.

is economics a hard major relative to finance?

The answer to this question depends on the school that you attend and the difficulty of the programs at these respective schools.

That being said, from a conceptual standpoint - finance is more technically focused (learning formulas and processes to solve problems) and economics is focused more on theory and critical thinking. With this in mind, most people can memorize their way through a finance class or even degree while economics will require more conceptual studying and critical thinking. On the economics side, calculus also comes into play which is more difficult than the math that you get into on the finance side which is mainly just algebraic equations at the undergrad level.

You can check out a video about the difference between finance and economics below.

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Comments (97)

Jun 9, 2011 - 3:34pm
SlikRick, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At my non-target, Finance majors are 72 units (tied for most units in a single major). Econ majors are 50 units. Interpret however you will.

Jun 9, 2011 - 3:45pm
MMBinNC, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think so. Finance is more statistics and less theoretical. Econ is also more boring in my opinion.

Reality hits you hard, bro...
Jun 9, 2011 - 3:51pm
Gatorade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am currently a sophomore majoring in Finance with minor in Accounting, however, I am not sure if it will be the best pairing if I am hoping for a career in IB. I am thinking of switching to Finance major/ Econ minor or Econ major/Finance minor but I don't know which one would be more beneficial. Can anyone give advice?

Jun 15, 2011 - 7:18pm
Thatkewlguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
rbholde:
I am currently a sophomore majoring in Finance with minor in Accounting, however, I am not sure if it will be the best pairing if I am hoping for a career in IB. I am thinking of switching to Finance major/ Econ minor or Econ major/Finance minor but I don't know which one would be more beneficial. Can anyone give advice?

Most investment banks require several semesters of Accounting classes. I graduated with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics and I regret not picking Accounting.

Jun 15, 2011 - 7:56pm
deal_mkr, what's your opinion? Comment below:
PigSooie:
rbholde:
I am currently a sophomore majoring in Finance with minor in Accounting, however, I am not sure if it will be the best pairing if I am hoping for a career in IB. I am thinking of switching to Finance major/ Econ minor or Econ major/Finance minor but I don't know which one would be more beneficial. Can anyone give advice?

Most investment banks require several semesters of Accounting classes. I graduated with a major in Finance and a minor in Economics and I regret not picking Accounting.

???? lol last time i checked IBs dont have course requirements/pre-reqs? Unless maybe you are working in their accounting department?

Harvard doesnt even have accounting for UGs...

Jun 9, 2011 - 3:53pm
Tracer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

IMO, Economics is tougher intellectually and will also teach you how to think. Finance has an extremely narrow focus and most entry-level jobs or internships will teach you the financial skills you need anyway.

I'm biased of course, but I would encourage you to make the most of your educational opportunities.

Jun 11, 2011 - 2:39pm
Dr Barnaby Fulton, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Tracer:
IMO, Economics is tougher intellectually and will also teach you how to think. Finance has an extremely narrow focus and most entry-level jobs or internships will teach you the financial skills you need anyway.

I'm biased of course, but I would encourage you to make the most of your educational opportunities.

Agreed. Econ requires critical thinking where as finance requires more memorization of formulas and rules.

Jun 9, 2011 - 3:54pm
UBmonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I majored in Financial engineering and econ at a target. Fin engineering was way harder than econ, but the normal finance major was a joke.

Jun 9, 2011 - 4:37pm
ToughStreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What kind of Math do you typically do in a finance course?

Jun 9, 2011 - 4:57pm
pacman007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The math isn't hard in Finance. It's very simple, there are a ton of formulas. Options and Futures can be difficult for some people, but on the whole Finance is not that hard. It all depends though, I've known some people who were majoring in Acct who found Fin to be harder.

I would suggest you take atleast two accounting courses (Intermediate Acct 1&2). These courses will give all the foundation you'll need when doing financial analysis.

Jun 9, 2011 - 5:21pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For the people that think finance is a joke major, it sounds to me like you're only familiar with basic corporate finance (which is all theory and almost no mathematical application). Once you break into quant finance, especially at the graduate level, it isn't exactly a walk in the park. I would argue that econ theory, at least at the undergraduate level (I can't comment on anything beyond that) certainly isn't what makes it difficult. If you're going to judge finance, don't just look at the easy parts of it. Also, consider that finance is very poorly taught at the undergraduate level in the US.

Jun 9, 2011 - 6:23pm
Tracer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ucla:
For the people that think finance is a joke major, it sounds to me like you're only familiar with basic corporate finance (which is all theory and almost no mathematical application). Once you break into quant finance, especially at the graduate level, it isn't exactly a walk in the park. I would argue that econ theory, at least at the undergraduate level (I can't comment on anything beyond that) certainly isn't what makes it difficult. If you're going to judge finance, don't just look at the easy parts of it. Also, consider that finance is very poorly taught at the undergraduate level in the US.
Good thing the OP isn't asking about grad schools...

The math I did in Industrial Organization and Econometrics is way more complicated than anything I did in an upper level portfolio management course and certainly far more complex than anything I did in IBD. M&A finance as practiced in the real world doesn't get any more complicated than the 4 basic arithmetic functions and the occasional exponent.

Grad-level Econ certainly isn't navelgazing either. There's plenty of statistical analysis in grad level economics as well and a lot of the more complex formulas and tools for analysis in quant finance were developed or are also used by economists, e.g. Black and Scholes were both economists.

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Jun 9, 2011 - 7:40pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Tracer:
ucla:
For the people that think finance is a joke major, it sounds to me like you're only familiar with basic corporate finance (which is all theory and almost no mathematical application). Once you break into quant finance, especially at the graduate level, it isn't exactly a walk in the park. I would argue that econ theory, at least at the undergraduate level (I can't comment on anything beyond that) certainly isn't what makes it difficult. If you're going to judge finance, don't just look at the easy parts of it. Also, consider that finance is very poorly taught at the undergraduate level in the US.
Good thing the OP isn't asking about grad schools...

The math I did in Industrial Organization and Econometrics is way more complicated than anything I did in an upper level portfolio management course and certainly far more complex than anything I did in IBD. M&A finance as practiced in the real world doesn't get any more complicated than the 4 basic arithmetic functions and the occasional exponent.

Grad-level Econ certainly isn't navelgazing either. There's plenty of statistical analysis in grad level economics as well and a lot of the more complex formulas and tools for analysis in quant finance were developed or are also used by economists, e.g. Black and Scholes were both economists.

Luckily my answer isn't confined to purely graduate level finance or econ, which is why it is relevant.

Upper level portfolio management is a joke, how can you compare that to an econometrics course? Get real. Regarding M&A finance, there is a reason bankers are known as monkeys. Again, if you're only going to compare the difficult economics to the easy finance, you're going to bias your answer and give shit advice.

Best Response
Jun 9, 2011 - 8:05pm
Tracer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ucla:
Tracer:
ucla:
For the people that think finance is a joke major, it sounds to me like you're only familiar with basic corporate finance (which is all theory and almost no mathematical application). Once you break into quant finance, especially at the graduate level, it isn't exactly a walk in the park. I would argue that econ theory, at least at the undergraduate level (I can't comment on anything beyond that) certainly isn't what makes it difficult. If you're going to judge finance, don't just look at the easy parts of it. Also, consider that finance is very poorly taught at the undergraduate level in the US.
Good thing the OP isn't asking about grad schools...

The math I did in Industrial Organization and Econometrics is way more complicated than anything I did in an upper level portfolio management course and certainly far more complex than anything I did in IBD. M&A finance as practiced in the real world doesn't get any more complicated than the 4 basic arithmetic functions and the occasional exponent.

Grad-level Econ certainly isn't navelgazing either. There's plenty of statistical analysis in grad level economics as well and a lot of the more complex formulas and tools for analysis in quant finance were developed or are also used by economists, e.g. Black and Scholes were both economists.

Luckily my answer isn't confined to purely graduate level finance or econ, hence why it's relevant.

Upper level portfolio management is a joke, how can you compare that to an econometrics course? Get real. Regarding M&A finance, there is a reason bankers are known as monkeys. Again, if you're only going to compare the difficult economics to the easy finance, you're going to bias your answer and give shit advice.

The thread is about undergrad finance vs econ, so any discussion of graduate level coursework is pointless. I'm not trying to get into a dick-measuring contest about entire fields.

Portfolio Management was a 300 level course during undergrad, as were Industrial Organization and Econometrics. We had a really good prof in PM who actually took us through the mathematical derivations of every single formula, including B-S, CAPM, etc.. It was as sophisticated as you could get at the undergrad level, IMO.

I didn't go to Wharton, but looking at the course listings here: http://fnce.wharton.upenn.edu/programs/undergrad_courses.cfm

--and assuming Wharton has a pretty good undergrad finance program, it seems pretty clear to me that ignoring the economics masquerading as finance courses, that PM is as complicated as it gets in undergrad finance. I'm also confident that any econ major w/ no college finance coursework who worked in M&A or Lev Fin for 2 years could sit and pass the final exams in every single course on that page.

As they are currently taught, undergrad econ is definitely harder than undergrad finance.

If the guy wants to be a banker, he might as well take econ and challenge himself and then drop $150 or whatever on the BIWS beginner's modeling course which will teach him all the finance he needs on the job. There's no point dropping thousands of dollars on an undergrad finance education when you can cover the bprofessionally relevant[/b] material for much less in your spare time.

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Jan 7, 2016 - 2:09am
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I genuinely think that it depends on the person. For me, economics was incredibly easy. I'm majoring in finance, but have taken at least six or seven economics classes, and at no point did I find it difficult. To me it was just a lot of what I assumed was common sense. Finance on the other hand was just so vast it was difficult to nail down. Accounting, future cash flows, several different ways to valuate a firm, options and futures markets, foreign currencies and markets, cash flow statements, tons of statistical formulas, etc. I'm not saying economics is easy, but again, I think it depends on the person, and how well they grasp certain material.

Jun 9, 2011 - 5:59pm
Higheck123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Finance and accounting are not difficult or really all that challenging in terms of intellectual rigor, they are more or less memorization of and understanding basic formulas (algebra mostly). Econ has a more calculus applications at the undergrad level and is definitely more of a thinking mans major.

Jun 9, 2011 - 7:22pm
mfoste1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was an econ major and i had a bunch of friends that were finance majors. From what ive seen from their work in comparison with mine, I can say that econ requires more intuitive thinking, while finance is more linear. Interpret that however you like lol.

Jun 9, 2011 - 7:34pm
SwaGGeReR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Econ is definitely much more intellectually rigorous. It requires deeper thinking and thorough understanding of complex material, and then applying that material to novel situations. On the other hand, finance is linear and straight-forward; memorization of a few formulas and basic mathematical skills suffice.

Jun 9, 2011 - 7:48pm
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Put it like this. Econ is qualitative with a few key quantitative aspects, while finance is rote and repetitive, quantitative in every way. The proponents of each will say theirs is more challenging.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Jun 9, 2011 - 8:23pm
Taison, what's your opinion? Comment below:
A Posse Ad Esse:
Put it like this. Econ is qualitative with a few key quantitative aspects, while finance is rote and repetitive, quantitative in every way. The proponents of each will say theirs is more challenging.

Bull fucking shit. Utterly incorrect.

Jun 10, 2011 - 8:48pm
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Taison:
A Posse Ad Esse:
Put it like this. Econ is qualitative with a few key quantitative aspects, while finance is rote and repetitive, quantitative in every way. The proponents of each will say theirs is more challenging.

Bull fucking shit. Utterly incorrect.

Haha, thanks for catching. Sometimes I like sneaking things in with big words to see if anyone catches in the middle of the argument.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

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Jun 9, 2011 - 8:25pm
mfoste1, what's your opinion? Comment below:
A Posse Ad Esse:
Put it like this. Econ is qualitative with a few key quantitative aspects, while finance is rote and repetitive, quantitative in every way. The proponents of each will say theirs is more challenging.

uhhh no. your statement couldnt be further from the truth. (no offense)

Jun 9, 2011 - 9:39pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The "all of 5 minutes" argument seems to span entire internships and several months into full-time, so I don't buy it.

There is a difference between getting into IB (and getting by in IB) versus crushing IB. And what do you think happens when you interview for buyside, where your ability to get by off of bullshit is largely diminished and you're expected to actually know what you're doing and understand why youre doing it?

Im sure there are a ton of liberal art people who did HBS who are crushing wall street. Last time I checked, HBS is a business school which teaches finance. Liberal arts kids aren't idiots (a persons major has no bearing on their intelligence), but having an additional edge when it comes to knowledge can only help. Why do you think these guys needed to go back to get their MBA?

Jun 9, 2011 - 9:54pm
Tracer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are you still in college or have you just not updated your profile from Prospective IB?

I've done IB for 2.5 years. I know what needs to be known at this point. I was a triple major in college (Econ was one of them, no option for finance). The finance you need to know to do well in an IB non-trading/quant job is so incredibly limited that you can pick it up over a weekend if you're not clueless.

Seriously, if finance were so vital to success in IB, Ivies and other top 20 schools (excepting Wharton, I suppose) would actually offer it as a major.

I read through Wharton's complete undergrad offering. With the exception of some of the super niche topics, I am confident I could sit for finals in every one of those classes and pass them.

And for the record, HBS is not a finance-heavy school. The finance your typical student learns there is just a condensed version of undergrad finance for career-switchers looking to go into finance.

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Jun 9, 2011 - 10:36pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have not updated my profile.

First off, I find finance, from an academic perspective, to be extremely interesting. This isn't a field that only offers value because it prepares you for IBD.

You mentioned that you can learn everything you need to in a weekend -- that may be true (probably not), but again, having additional knowledge going into a job can only help. When I interned back in the day, there was a very clear difference between the kids who had taken finance in school and those who had not. The difference did not disappear, even by the end of the internship. Had the gap closed? Sure, but it still existed. Good luck hitting the ground running in a field like restructuring if you've never taken a finance course.

Also, I never said HBS was a finance heavy school. I am quite aware that it is not (whereas Chicago and Wharton are), but it does give a liberal art major a strong intro into finance which is certainly helpful.

On a final note, I absolutely guarantee you would get crushed on anything related to options/futures. Good luck knowing the risk neutral / no arb methods with your IB background. The only things you would easily pass are the things pertaining to corporate finance and valuation. There is a whole lot more to finance than that, which goes back to my initial point. Lets not forget, this entire discussion isn't even relevant to the OP's question.

Jun 10, 2011 - 12:09am
Tracer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No one said finance wasn't interesting, well not me anyway. And no one said it was a narrow field as a whole, we're talking undergrad.

As this thread is in the IB forum, it's clearly being started by a kid who wants to do banking some day, so advanced option pricing formulae are irrelevant to his professional goals.

I think it's worth noting that any supposed material advantage a finance major has over an econ major in job performance in IB is limited only to the first few months/years of their careers. After that point, the econ majors catch up in terms of their financial knowledge, and rigorous financial analysis ceases to be part of their job responsibilities. As their careers progress, the econ majors will be better served by the critical thinking skills and fundamental understanding of markets that they learned back as an undergrad. Many of the biggest and most innovative professionals in banking and PE history were econ majors and never studied finance in depth.

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Jun 10, 2011 - 12:43am
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ok to back this argument up slightly...

We started off discussing which major is "harder" (not better). I don't particularly have a strong stance on this because I think the question is incredibly vague. What does "harder" even really mean? In our guts, we feel subjects like sociology/history are easier than mathematics/physics, but it is still quite subjective. Moving away from extremes, we are now looking at econ/finance which are two very closely related fields, and trying to say which is "harder". This makes our discussion incredibly subjective to the point where there isn't a right answer (given the lack of definition of harder, many people are on different pages). At this point, I wanted to correct the fact that the narrow view of corporate finance that you have is NOT representative of "finance" at large in an undergraduate academic setting. Therefore, you pointing out that "finance is easier than econ because you can learn corporate finance in a few days in banking" is a bullshit argument as far as I am concerned (and it is obvious where your bias is...how would you even realize how little you know about the topic unless you've majored in it? I don't know for certain what you majored in, but given your arguments, I highly doubt it is finance).

Now, we've moved away from the argument of which is harder to which is better. Again, this is undefined, but to me, "better" is the subject that will better prepare you for banking (specifically, your analyst stint as that is what is most relevant to prospective students). In my mind, from the perspective of which subject gives you the knowledge to succeed, finance is unequivocally the better major.

We are clashing here because you think "better" isn't what gives you knowledge to begin with, but rather what helps you succeed in the longer run (this is still within the definition of "what will better prepare you for banking" but with a bit more of a distinction between the short/long term). You have the idea that economics teaches you how to critically think in a superior fashion to finance. Overall, this means you're going to give econ more credit in the long run than I would (and finance less credit in the short term because you think the gap is eliminated more quickly than I do).

I don't think your argument holds much weight. We can both agree that finance provides superior "short term" (how short short-term is is certainly subjective, and I think it's longer than you think) knowledge, but we do not both agree about the critical thinking comment. I do not accept your statement that econ teaches you to critically think in a "superior" fashion to finance. My gut tells me that math/philosophy are the only two majors that truly teach you how to critically think, with any sort of applied math subjects being a slightly watered down version of mathematics from a critical thinking perspective (physics, engineering, etc.). Econ/finance are pretty comparable from the math perspective at the undergraduate level, assuming you're comparing quant finance to the more quant fields in econ (like econometrics, which you are). Therefore, I don't think you can objectively state that either subject is superior.

One last thing to note: given the recruiting process for the analyst stint into PE/HF, unless that gap is eliminated extremely quickly (which it really isn't), there will be an advantage to the Wharton kid who already has his shit mastered and can focus on the new stuff. I mean, how much easier is it to understand the mechanics behind a deal when you already know all the quant stuff? How much easier is it to discuss distressed debt opportunities or whatever niche field you're looking at when you've already spent a few semesters studying the theory behind these sorts of events?

TLDR: corp finance (qualitative finance) cannot be compared to econometrics (arguably the most quant portion of undergrad econ). Also, while "better" is subjective, we can both agree finance teaches you more to begin banking but we are at an impasse regarding which teaches you to better think "critically". This is because you are not providing anything to substantiate your comments. Am I supposed to take you at your word that econ is better for critical thinking? Come on now.

Jun 10, 2011 - 1:43am
deal_mkr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

based on the unscientific sample below, it would seem that being an econ major puts you at no disadvantage to success in finance over the long term...

Famous Econ Majors:

Bob Diamond http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Diamond

Ken Griffin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_C._Griffin

David Tepper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Tepper

Steven Cohen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_A._Cohen

Henry Kravis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kravis

Robert Rubin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rubin

Jamie Dimon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon

Paul Tudor Jones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tudor_Jones

Famous Finance Majors:

John Paulson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paulson

Famous English Majors:

Hnery Paulson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson

+1 for liberal arts...

Jun 10, 2011 - 9:39am
Higheck123, what's your opinion? Comment below:
deal_mkr:
based on the unscientific sample below, it would seem that being an econ major puts you at no disadvantage to success in finance over the long term...

Famous Econ Majors:

Bob Diamond http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Diamond

Ken Griffin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_C._Griffin

David Tepper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Tepper

Steven Cohen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_A._Cohen

Henry Kravis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kravis

Robert Rubin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rubin

Jamie Dimon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon

Paul Tudor Jones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Tudor_Jones

Famous Finance Majors:

John Paulson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paulson

Famous English Majors:

Hnery Paulson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson

+1 for liberal arts...

Totally forgot Warren Buffett, Econ at UPENN.

Jun 10, 2011 - 3:49am
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Why are they more adaptable and capable? Are people who receive a top-class education in finance not encouraged to think creatively or outside of the box? Econ majors are encouraged to be critical thinkers and finance majors are encouraged to be drones? How is taking a finance major "short sighted towards IBD/PE"? Do you have anything to substantiate your claim other than your opinion?

If nothing else (I assume you won't bother to back up half the shit you've said, because it's opinionated unsubstantiated bullshit), please provide real evidence on how economics is an "education" more than finance. What is it exactly that you think Ben Graham taught? His students were..drones? Incapable of critical thought relative to the average economics student?

A lot of bold claims that you can't back up / substantiate in any way.

As a side note, I find it hilarious that you're comparing math/physics/philosophy with economics. Clearly an econ major haha.

Jun 10, 2011 - 2:27pm
mongoose, what's your opinion? Comment below:
IlliniProgrammer:
Uhh, Buffett switched schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska. :)

Score one for the Midwest ha Illini?

Jun 10, 2011 - 10:13am
bIastoise, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you really want a great thinking education do philosophy. It might not help you in the short term but it will improve your logical thinking, intuition, etc. and that can only help you. Consider finance or economics plus philosophy if you think you can maintain good grades and stuff. One of my regrets in college was not doing philosophy

Jun 10, 2011 - 1:18pm
D M, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bIastoise:
If you really want a great thinking education do philosophy. It might not help you in the short term but it will improve your logical thinking, intuition, etc. and that can only help you. Consider finance or economics plus philosophy if you think you can maintain good grades and stuff. One of my regrets in college was not doing philosophy

This. If I didn't have to worry about coming from a non-target as is, I would absolutely do a philosophy degree. Well, probably some sort of joint degree philosophy/finance or phil/econ or something similar. Would have loved to do phil/math, but that would've most likely resulted in a sub-3.0 gpa.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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Jun 10, 2011 - 3:41pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

yeah philosophy/math would've been great... I definitely feel I threw away my education with econ/finance but unfortunately I wouldn't have been able to get a job without it. As far as I'm concerned though, you can pick up a lot of this stuff yourself if you make an effort to go out there and read as much as you can. Reading 24/7 and being self motivated are pretty key.

Jun 10, 2011 - 9:42pm
Gatorade, what's your opinion? Comment below:

All the comments thus far have been extremely helpful. If I finish undergrad with a 3.8, which major would likely get me into the better grad school? Econ or Finance?

Jun 11, 2011 - 1:05pm
IlliniProgrammer, what's your opinion? Comment below:
rbholde:
All the comments thus far have been extremely helpful. If I finish undergrad with a 3.8, which major would likely get me into the better grad school? Econ or Finance?
Econ is definitely the research major. Combine it with a math major or engineering major and a published paper, and you'll be a competitive candidate nearly anywhere.
Jun 10, 2011 - 10:39pm
SwaGGeReR, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think we all agree that majoring in finance better prepares one for IB in the immediate short-term, i.e. two to three months. I concede that finance majors will hit the ground running while non-finance majors will expect to devote more time to broadening their knowledge of finance in the initial months on the job. Therefore, if you want to make significant contributions during the first few months of your stint--or at least the chance of doing something meaningful--then choose to major in finance.

Any competent individual, which we can expect as commonplace in IB, should have a command of mostly everything he needs to know for an IB stint, irrespective of his major, within two to three months after starting the job. Let's not forget the on-site training incoming analysts receive--training that BBs pay thousands of dollars for. Further, many incoming analysts--probably safe to say the majority--have previously interned in at least one if not more financial roles, if not IBD itself.

I think most of us also agree that undergraduate economics requires considerably more critical thinking than undergraduate finance, generally speaking. I'm not saying finance doesn't require critical thinking, but rather not nearly to the degree of economics. Finance essentially boils down to crunching numbers and applied mathematical concepts. The material itself is straight-forward and relatively easy to wrap your head around. Economics also involves crunching numbers and applied mathematical concepts, but intertwines these components with deep-level thinking and complex scenarios that are extremely difficult to wrap your head around. Quite frankly, finance provides you with a set of formulae and a set of numbers, and it's your job to plug in and solve. On the other hand, economics poses intellectually rigorous situations which you must thoroughly understand before you can even start thinking about numbers and formulae. Thus, economics students are generally well-versed in both critical thinking and quantitative concepts, while finance students are generally skewed towards the latter.

Put simply, if you want to forfeit critical thinking and complex reasoning skills that will prove essential later in your life for a short-term benefit in your IBD analyst stint, major in finance. Otherwise, choose economics. Alternatively, you could major in Financial Economics like me :)

Jun 11, 2011 - 2:35pm
reddog23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's all relative to the school and how the courses are taught. Every program has different requirements.

There are econ majors that don't require econometrics or any math past calc 2 for that matter. Some undergrad finance programs require advanced statistics and stochastic calculus.

Jun 11, 2011 - 4:22pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Again, it would be nice if the people stating econ takes more critical thinking could actually provide some evidence rather than just broadly making such a bs claim. The burden of proof falls upon the claimant. Finance is more than just memorizing a few formulas and applying a few numbers (there aren't complex scenarios in finance? ..really?), what an idiotic comment. I legit don't know what sort of education you guys received to come to this conclusion. I doubt anyone from Wharton would agree.

I found both finance and economics to be quite similar regarding the degree of problem solving required, though there was a difference with the type of skill needed to do well. From my experience, the average finance course was more dependent on accounting/strategy whereas the average econ course was more dependent on math/clever thinking (variance between micro/macro though, with micro being largely math based and macro being more theoretical/high level thinking). Yes, econ definitely requires you to think outside of the box and be clever, but I think people are underestimating the strategy component in finance (strategy is, almost by definition, solely focused on critical thinking and problem solving). Furthermore, once you get into finance fields like distressed investing, you're combining finance with accounting, law, strategy, game theory, etc. These fields are extremely far from "simple" and my distressed debt class was probably the hardest I took in undergrad (other than advanced econometrics and advanced derivatives).

Jun 11, 2011 - 7:16pm
Taison, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ucla:
Again, it would be nice if the people stating econ takes more critical thinking could actually provide some evidence rather than just broadly making such a bs claim. The burden of proof falls upon the claimant. Finance is more than just memorizing a few formulas and applying a few numbers (there aren't complex scenarios in finance? ..really?), what an idiotic comment. I legit don't know what sort of education you guys received to come to this conclusion. I doubt anyone from Wharton would agree.

I found both finance and economics to be quite similar regarding the degree of problem solving required, though there was a difference with the type of skill needed to do well. From my experience, the average finance course was more dependent on accounting/strategy whereas the average econ course was more dependent on math/clever thinking (variance between micro/macro though, with micro being largely math based and macro being more theoretical/high level thinking). Yes, econ definitely requires you to think outside of the box and be clever, but I think people are underestimating the strategy component in finance (strategy is, almost by definition, solely focused on critical thinking and problem solving). Furthermore, once you get into finance fields like distressed investing, you're combining finance with accounting, law, strategy, game theory, etc. These fields are extremely far from "simple" and my distressed debt class was probably the hardest I took in undergrad (other than advanced econometrics and advanced derivatives).

lol so dumb. Finance courses are purely rote memorization. Mentioning accounting as an example of something finance incorporates in an attempt to boost up the amount of critical thinking required is just laughable.

Econ taught at an respectable school, like all liberal arts majors, involves real problem solving (not just memorizing how to do a DCF), high levels of knowledge in math and statistics, etc. Finance at even the best schools involves what amounts to math that can be done on a 4-function calculator and rote memorization of some basic ideas. The fact that in the matter of a few months you can learn most of what you would learn in a finance undergraduate degree shows how much of what is involved really is just memorization and repetition. On the other hand, it would take much longer to master linear algebra, statistics, econometrics, etc. let alone be able to apply them significantly to even basic theoretical issues touched upon in a micro 201 course.

Jun 11, 2011 - 8:35pm
ShreddiesBrah, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Taison:
ucla:
Again, it would be nice if the people stating econ takes more critical thinking could actually provide some evidence rather than just broadly making such a bs claim. The burden of proof falls upon the claimant. Finance is more than just memorizing a few formulas and applying a few numbers (there aren't complex scenarios in finance? ..really?), what an idiotic comment. I legit don't know what sort of education you guys received to come to this conclusion. I doubt anyone from Wharton would agree.

I found both finance and economics to be quite similar regarding the degree of problem solving required, though there was a difference with the type of skill needed to do well. From my experience, the average finance course was more dependent on accounting/strategy whereas the average econ course was more dependent on math/clever thinking (variance between micro/macro though, with micro being largely math based and macro being more theoretical/high level thinking). Yes, econ definitely requires you to think outside of the box and be clever, but I think people are underestimating the strategy component in finance (strategy is, almost by definition, solely focused on critical thinking and problem solving). Furthermore, once you get into finance fields like distressed investing, you're combining finance with accounting, law, strategy, game theory, etc. These fields are extremely far from "simple" and my distressed debt class was probably the hardest I took in undergrad (other than advanced econometrics and advanced derivatives).

lol so dumb. Finance courses are purely rote memorization. Mentioning accounting as an example of something finance incorporates in an attempt to boost up the amount of critical thinking required is just laughable.

Econ taught at an respectable school, like all liberal arts majors, involves real problem solving (not just memorizing how to do a DCF), high levels of knowledge in math and statistics, etc. Finance at even the best schools involves what amounts to math that can be done on a 4-function calculator and rote memorization of some basic ideas. The fact that in the matter of a few months you can learn most of what you would learn in a finance undergraduate degree shows how much of what is involved really is just memorization and repetition. On the other hand, it would take much longer to master linear algebra, statistics, econometrics, etc. let alone be able to apply them significantly to even basic theoretical issues touched upon in a micro 201 course.

lol so dumb. The fact that in the matter of a few months on a rates/fx trading desk, you can learn most of what you would learn in an economics undergraduate degree shows how much of what is involved really is just basic understanding of economic processes and simple algebra.

I sound just as ridiculous as you did.

Jun 11, 2011 - 11:09pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I never said that the accounting component of accounting required critical thinking -- don't put incorrect words in my mouth. Re-read what I wrote and try again. Apparently economics requires critical thinking but not reading comprehension?

The math required for finance can easily go beyond a 4-function calculator. Linear algebra/statistics are SO hard to master...lol give me a break, plus those were required for finance (at my school at least). You don't know what you're talking about and I'm going to end my discussion there.

Jun 12, 2011 - 3:27am
Al Bundy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What's with all these liberal arts people assuming that having a liberal arts degree automatically means that you are a "critical-thinker" and all those other buzzwords thrown around? I'm not hating on them since I have a lot of respect for math PHDs and whatnot, but assuming that a finance major is incapable of higher thinking just because of degree choice is as short-sighted as me assuming that all these philosophy and economics kids have no "concrete" or "application" skills and are just bogged down in theoretical models.

A degree doesn't define you as a person and honestly, its up to the individual to decide what his or her education is/what they want to learn. For example, I'm a finance major but I regularly read about economic theories on my own and am planning on reading philosophy since I've developed an interest in it. Will I be as intelligent about philosophy as a guy who has studied it for 4 years full-time? Probably not, but I can still get a good sense of how the world books because I choose to pursue this education on my own. Intellectual curiosity isn't something spoon-fed to you from a teacher; its something that comes from within. Sorry for ranting but my point is a degree doesn't teach you any of these long-term traits a lot of the liberal arts kids are claiming, in my opinion. I think that a person determines how one's education defines his or her life.

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.
  • 2
Jun 12, 2011 - 5:26am
leveredarb, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Al Bundy:
What's with all these liberal arts people assuming that having a liberal arts degree automatically means that you are a "critical-thinker" and all those other buzzwords thrown around? I'm not hating on them since I have a lot of respect for math PHDs and whatnot, but assuming that a finance major is incapable of higher thinking just because of degree choice is as short-sighted as me assuming that all these philosophy and economics kids have no "concrete" or "application" skills and are just bogged down in theoretical models.

A degree doesn't define you as a person and honestly, its up to the individual to decide what his or her education is/what they want to learn. For example, I'm a finance major but I regularly read about economic theories on my own and am planning on reading philosophy since I've developed an interest in it. Will I be as intelligent about philosophy as a guy who has studied it for 4 years full-time? Probably not, but I can still get a good sense of how the world books because I choose to pursue this education on my own. Intellectual curiosity isn't something spoon-fed to you from a teacher; its something that comes from within. Sorry for ranting but my point is a degree doesn't teach you any of these long-term traits a lot of the liberal arts kids are claiming, in my opinion. I think that a person determines how one's education defines his or her life.

this is a very good point.

Lots of people studying liberal arts are pseudo intellectual retards anyway whose actual intellect is highly limited and who would have gotten destroyed in a hard subject(maths, physics, econometrics etc...) and then try to cover up their immense deficits by deluding themselves into believing they are intellectual because they read some Hobbs or Hume as part of their course.

With lots of philosophy/politics majors once you start leaving their curriculum in discussions and enter topics which require their own independent thought you will quickly realize that they are actually total idiots.

Also you can throw knowledge at idiots and they will still be idiots, as you said intellectual curiosity is not fed to you by a teacher.

Jun 12, 2011 - 2:01pm
Taison, what's your opinion? Comment below:
leveredarb:
Al Bundy:
What's with all these liberal arts people assuming that having a liberal arts degree automatically means that you are a "critical-thinker" and all those other buzzwords thrown around? I'm not hating on them since I have a lot of respect for math PHDs and whatnot, but assuming that a finance major is incapable of higher thinking just because of degree choice is as short-sighted as me assuming that all these philosophy and economics kids have no "concrete" or "application" skills and are just bogged down in theoretical models.

A degree doesn't define you as a person and honestly, its up to the individual to decide what his or her education is/what they want to learn. For example, I'm a finance major but I regularly read about economic theories on my own and am planning on reading philosophy since I've developed an interest in it. Will I be as intelligent about philosophy as a guy who has studied it for 4 years full-time? Probably not, but I can still get a good sense of how the world books because I choose to pursue this education on my own. Intellectual curiosity isn't something spoon-fed to you from a teacher; its something that comes from within. Sorry for ranting but my point is a degree doesn't teach you any of these long-term traits a lot of the liberal arts kids are claiming, in my opinion. I think that a person determines how one's education defines his or her life.

this is a very good point.

Lots of people studying liberal arts are pseudo intellectual retards anyway whose actual intellect is highly limited and who would have gotten destroyed in a hard subject(maths, physics, econometrics etc...) and then try to cover up their immense deficits by deluding themselves into believing they are intellectual because they read some Hobbs or Hume as part of their course.

lol econ is a social science, part of the liberal arts. Econometrics, being a subset of that, is also part of the liberal arts. Most liberal arts curriculum (what you might see at a top LAC or places like Harvard/Yale) have pretty high standards required in math, physics, chemistry, etc. Far more than an undergraduate education @ Stern or Ross, two of the better undergraduate finance programs.
Jun 12, 2011 - 4:57pm
ucla, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There are NOT high math/physics/chemistry requirements for the typical liberal arts major. Sociology, psychology, history, languages, etc...please.

Jun 13, 2011 - 3:22am
t4s, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This doesn't answer the OP's question at all, but consider this: hot chick with brains asks: what did you study, what do you do? you answer a) finance/finance, or b) history/finance

Jun 13, 2011 - 3:13pm
rjcip331, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is almost an impossible question to answer because it entirely depends on the school you attend but I will say, as an Econ major, I wish I had the option be a Finance major (they don't have it at my school) even though I think that Econ allows you to field a wider array of job oppurtunities out of college as its a more versatile study

Jun 14, 2011 - 12:41am
Al Bundy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
rjcip331:
This is almost an impossible question to answer because it entirely depends on the school you attend but I will say, as an Econ major, I wish I had the option be a Finance major (they don't have it at my school) even though I think that Econ allows you to field a wider array of job oppurtunities out of college as its a more versatile study

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there a lot of jobs in industry that are closed to econ majors on the flip side? For example, when I was looking at a lot of F500s to apply to, a lot of them restricted finance/accounting majors in terms of who could even apply. I know these jobs aren't "prestigious" and that econ has stuff like econ consulting/gov jobs that are closed to finance majors, but I feel like they'd be relatively even overall. I think it just depends on if you want to do a more research-oriented capacity, or go straight to industry. When you look at what the two degrees emphasize, then its obvious as to why this is the case. I think that's why this discussion is turning into a dick measuring contest quickly (although, it IS wso, so that's to be expected) since it depends on whether you enjoy learning/want to go into a more theoretical/research role, versus want to learn skills that can be more readily applied to your job and prefer a more hands on job. It really is personal preference, so I dunno why some of the back and forths are so heated as there is no right or wrong answer.

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.
  • 2
Jun 14, 2011 - 1:21am
firefighter, what's your opinion? Comment below:

im definitely a proponent of the liberal arts but to say that economics requires much more critical thinking than finance seems to be too one-sided. I'm sure asking questions about efficient markets (e.g. are the markets efficient?), the equity premium puzzle (why do equities substantially outperform fixed income securities even adjusting for risk?), black scholes improvements, etc. aren't easy. if you go to wharton or sloan, i'm pretty sure you'll exercise your mental muscles as a finance major (full disclosure: economics major, didn't major in finance at my school)

Jun 14, 2011 - 3:04am
AreebahAlbertJohnson, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ToughStreet:
As a major, which one is harder? Econ seems to apply calculus and other types of math. I've never taken a Finance course so I dont have an idea.

Nothing is harder if you comprehend the philosophy of subject. Focus only on what you want to achieve. I think economics is a discipline that studies trade across all similar and dissimilar markets. It's a social science that deals with concepts like price and demand. On the other hand, finance is a subset of economics that studies the financial markets. The financial market is a market that brings together borrowers and lenders to allow them to trade. It can also be called a fund management science that deals with how the funds are allocated or arranged for in a institution. Do yourself a favor and do like I did, go to the website Oil Trading Academy, the secret code is real I can tell you that, it really is controlled by a computer, just like they say, it's just amazing!"

http://www.oiltradingacademy.com
  • 2
Jun 14, 2011 - 4:05pm
Cries, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To the OP, yes. I double majored in finance and econ.

Econ is WAAAAAAAAAAAY more difficult once you get into econometrics and myriad of regression types.

At the introductory level they're both jokes, though.

Array

Jun 18, 2011 - 12:54pm
reddog23, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Cries:
To the OP, yes. I double majored in finance and econ.

Econ is WAAAAAAAAAAAY more difficult once you get into econometrics and myriad of regression types.

At the introductory level they're both jokes, though.

So you're saying that one class alone made economics harder than finance? At least for me, econometrics was the only course that used anything but least-squares. Also, a myriad seems to be a bit of an exaggeration. What could you have possibly used outside of Bayesian, nonparametric and least absolute value?

Unless you're referring to courses above the undergrad level, I just don't think there's any merit in what you're saying.

Jun 15, 2011 - 11:15am
firefighter, what's your opinion? Comment below:
IlliniProgrammer:
"Hey smarty pants. Political & science is a double major, so you listed eleven."

-Sarah Palin, Miss Alaska runner-up.

+1

Jun 15, 2011 - 10:18pm
couchy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

lol, doesn't matter what you major in, as long as it challenges you to become a better problem solver, a better team player, and a better leader.

stick to one major and use the extra time to do real challenges (research, entrepreneurship, writing something that's actually good, become a good salesman). no point in being able to read some theory someone else came up with, lol, anyone can read someone else's work.

and in regards to IBD, technical skills aren't what really make it rain in IBD.

Jun 16, 2011 - 6:52am
leveredarb, what's your opinion? Comment below:
couchy:
lol, doesn't matter what you major in, as long as it challenges you to become a better problem solver, a better team player, and a better leader.
you clearly study business ;)
Jun 18, 2011 - 9:40am
couchy, what's your opinion? Comment below:
leveredarb:
couchy:
lol, doesn't matter what you major in, as long as it challenges you to become a better problem solver, a better team player, and a better leader.
you clearly study business ;)

I actually study pure math lol. But I mentor a lot of kids, participate in a lot of school team competitions, do research, and had a great mentor myself

Jun 19, 2011 - 5:31pm
AreebahAlbertJohnson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nothing is harder if you comprehend the philosophy of subject. Focus only on what you want to achieve. I think economics is a discipline that studies trade across all similar and dissimilar markets. It's a social science that deals with concepts like price and demand. On the other hand, finance is a subset of economics that studies the financial markets. The financial market is a market that brings together borrowers and lenders to allow them to trade. It can also be called a fund management science that deals with how the funds are allocated or arranged for in an institution. Blue horseshoe loves Oil Trading Academy, don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity, a gift horse in the mouth compliments of the 33rd Degree Masons

http://www.oiltradingacademy.com
  • 1
Jun 19, 2011 - 5:54pm
philgorman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For an undergraduate degree, I would say that economics is more difficult. A finance undergrad will touch on many topics within finance, but not go overly in depth into any. Basic fixed income, options, and security analysis courses are more a test of memorization. An econ undergrad can be similar in terms of difficulty with potential for large breadth in coursework (trade, public, macro, micro, etc.), but can also become more "difficult" (read: mathematical) at the advanced undergrad levels of macro, micro, and econometrics. That being said, "difficulty" will vary largely by institution, and neither are very difficult when looking across the spectrum of undergraduate major possibilities.

-philly g
  • 1
Oct 19, 2012 - 3:30pm
oliver13, what's your opinion? Comment below:
philgorman:
For an undergraduate degree, I would say that economics is more difficult. A finance undergrad will touch on many topics within finance, but not go overly in depth into any. Basic fixed income, options, and security analysis courses are more a test of memorization. An econ undergrad can be similar in terms of difficulty with potential for large breadth in coursework (trade, public, macro, micro, etc.), but can also become more "difficult" (read: mathematical) at the advanced undergrad levels of macro, micro, and econometrics. That being said, "difficulty" will vary largely by institution, and neither are very difficult when looking across the spectrum of undergraduate major possibilities.

This.

Graduate study in Quant Finance tends to be much more difficult than Grad study in Economics. Quant Finance is mostly Math/Statistics/Programming applied to the financial realm. One way to look at it is the market demand - a lot of HFs wouldn't hire a Econ Phd when looking for a trading signal researcher - they'd want some with a more 'hardcore' background.

  • 2
Oct 19, 2012 - 8:20am
NYCGALPAL, what's your opinion? Comment below:

just saw this post. no offense, but the kids in my finance program, (which is in the top 25 business programs in the country), have ZERO intuitive understanding of whats going on, or why its going on---what I mean by that is they don't understand the impact of political regulations, international affairs, currency exchange rate fluctuations, or the underlying reasons for the trajectory of industries during fluctuations in the cyclical economy---let alone how to predict those fluctuation before they happen! Let's put it this way---im a senior in college in SENIOR (400+) level finance courses and my classmates don't know what QE3 is or why it had tremendous ramifications on the market.

I started as an Econ major and am currently tripling in Econ, International Business, and Finance, and minoring in math. All i'll say is if you have the capacity to understand and interpret numbers with respect to the economy and do the EXTREMELY ADVANCE LEVEL of calculus required in economics (not just econometrics---anyone who's in a top ranked program knows that even intermediate micro theory requires a background in calc 1,2,and 3, and the ability to tackle differential equations and do both linear and non linear algebra quickly and w/out a calculator (i was never allowed even the most basic of calculators)) can with out question do finance. it is essentially watered down Economics.

The CAPM, and many correlation canceling formulas used in finance were derived by economists. In my experience it is MUCH more challenging, draws upon a MUCH more intelligent pool of students, and if coupled with a desire to work in finance it will provide u with the knowledge to make much more money in the IB world. The issue is some people studying econ are not focused on investments, but generally speaking, that segment that of econ majors interested in finance will make a LOT more $ than those with a strictly finance background. those studying econ understand the impact of everything going on in the world, and can turn the most ridiculous pieces of knowledge into a source of tremendous income.

Derivatives and Options Markets also trace back to the Economists.

Oct 19, 2012 - 9:20am
Press0, what's your opinion? Comment below:

"st saw this post. no offense, but the kids in my finance program, (which is in the top 25 business programs in the country),"

Top 25 finance? What is that, university of idaho of miami? Only the top 5 ugrad finance programs are worth commenting on. It's like being #1 in Entrepreneurship, who cares?

Oct 19, 2012 - 4:54pm
NYCGALPAL, what's your opinion? Comment below:

.....I said within the top 25. Not #25. I wasn't going to say something like "within the top 16", as it would then be ridiculously obviously which school I attended. I'm also not going to lie....it's isn't a top 5 program, however it definitely has a business school with name recognition. For example, Cornell's Buisness School is ranked #13, not top 5, but people would definitely assume you got a top grade education there.

Look, I have no reason to be biased. I am majoring in both. I have friends in both majors. I love my professors in both majors. I plan to work in finance. However, I am objectively saying the difference in intensity is apparent. And most of my friends in the finance program acknowledge that.

For my sophomore year micro class (NOT even the advanced micro theory course) I needed to have completed all 3 calculus class. Before taking the end of the Econ curriculum we are expected to have taken an introductory course in nonlinear dynamical phenomena to approach advanced optimization problems. The finance curriculum doesn't even touch that level of rigor. Maybe at your university you had a different experience, but where I attend school the two are really not comparable at all.

Oct 19, 2012 - 5:02pm
oliver13, what's your opinion? Comment below:
NYCGALPAL:
.....I said within the top 25. Not #25. I wasn't going to say something like "within the top 16", as it would then be ridiculously obviously which school I attended. I'm also not going to lie....it's isn't a top 5 program, however it definitely has a business school with name recognition. For example, Cornell's Buisness School is ranked #13, not top 5, but people would definitely assume you got a top grade education there.

Look, I have no reason to be biased. I am majoring in both. I have friends in both majors. I love my professors in both majors. I plan to work in finance. However, I am objectively saying the difference in intensity is apparent. And most of my friends in the finance program acknowledge that.

For my sophomore year micro class (NOT even the advanced micro theory course) I needed to have completed all 3 calculus class. Before taking the end of the Econ curriculum we are expected to have taken an introductory course in nonlinear dynamical phenomena to approach advanced optimization problems. The finance curriculum doesn't even touch that level of rigor. Maybe at your university you had a different experience, but where I attend school the two are really not comparable at all.

This is also Finance - http://statistics.stanford.edu/~ckirby/techreports/GEN/2009/2009-08.pdf

Just saying.

Oct 19, 2012 - 5:03pm
oliver13, what's your opinion? Comment below:
NYCGALPAL:
.....I said within the top 25. Not #25. I wasn't going to say something like "within the top 16", as it would then be ridiculously obviously which school I attended. I'm also not going to lie....it's isn't a top 5 program, however it definitely has a business school with name recognition. For example, Cornell's Buisness School is ranked #13, not top 5, but people would definitely assume you got a top grade education there.

Look, I have no reason to be biased. I am majoring in both. I have friends in both majors. I love my professors in both majors. I plan to work in finance. However, I am objectively saying the difference in intensity is apparent. And most of my friends in the finance program acknowledge that.

For my sophomore year micro class (NOT even the advanced micro theory course) I needed to have completed all 3 calculus class. Before taking the end of the Econ curriculum we are expected to have taken an introductory course in nonlinear dynamical phenomena to approach advanced optimization problems. The finance curriculum doesn't even touch that level of rigor. Maybe at your university you had a different experience, but where I attend school the two are really not comparable at all.

This is also Finance - http://statistics.stanford.edu/~ckirby/techreports/GEN/2009/2009-08.pdf

Just saying. Making blanket statements is bad.

Oct 19, 2012 - 5:13pm
Press0, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah it totally depends on the school but Finance at every top 5 ugrad bschool > econ at those same schools.

  1. Wharton Finance > Upenn CAS Econ (just look at how badly brady/jjc got pwned, lol)
  2. Stern Finance > NYU CAS Econ
  3. Haas Finance > reg softball Berkeley econ
  4. Ross Finance > LSA econ at Umich etc.etc.etc.
Oct 19, 2012 - 5:56pm
mhurricane, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Press0:
Yeah it totally depends on the school but Finance at every top 5 ugrad bschool > econ at those same schools.
  1. Wharton Finance > Upenn CAS Econ (just look at how badly brady/jjc got pwned, lol)
  2. Stern Finance > NYU CAS Econ
  3. Haas Finance > reg softball Berkeley econ
  4. Ross Finance > LSA econ at Umich etc.etc.etc.

You really do not understand the thrust of this conversation. It is about which is more difficult, which is more rigorous, which is more mentally exhausting...

In finance, the toughest course would probably be Options/Futures or quantitative finance, which, may or may not be offered at some schools. From what I have heard, econometrics is very tough.

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.
  • 1
Nov 1, 2012 - 6:35pm
burnincrab, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Press0:
Yeah it totally depends on the school but Finance at every top 5 ugrad bschool > econ at those same schools.
  1. Wharton Finance > Upenn CAS Econ (just look at how badly brady/jjc got pwned, lol)
  2. Stern Finance > NYU CAS Econ
  3. Haas Finance > reg softball Berkeley econ
  4. Ross Finance > LSA econ at Umich etc.etc.etc.

I can speak for Haas and Berkeley econ since I'm doing simultaneous degrees in both. Your comment made me laugh. In terms of prestige, yes Haas is better. In terms of actual difficulty, the econ classes actually tend to be harder than Haas classes (both in material and grading curves). It's anything but "softball"

Nov 1, 2012 - 8:33pm
JoeCamel, what's your opinion? Comment below:

.

Array

Oct 19, 2012 - 6:13pm
Press0, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's impossible to say which major is more difficult, its dependent on which courses you take. I can take the core econ courseload at any decent school and load the extra's up with history classes. In the grand scheme of things, who the hell cares.

Nov 1, 2012 - 5:01pm
chimpout, what's your opinion? Comment below:
NYCGALPAL:
just saw this post. no offense, but the kids in my finance program, (which is in the top 25 business programs in the country), have ZERO intuitive understanding of whats going on, or why its going on---what I mean by that is they don't understand the impact of political regulations, international affairs, currency exchange rate fluctuations, or the underlying reasons for the trajectory of industries during fluctuations in the cyclical economy---let alone how to predict those fluctuation before they happen! Let's put it this way---im a senior in college in SENIOR (400+) level finance courses and my classmates don't know what QE3 is or why it had tremendous ramifications on the market.

I started as an Econ major and am currently tripling in Econ, International Business, and Finance, and minoring in math. All i'll say is if you have the capacity to understand and interpret numbers with respect to the economy and do the EXTREMELY ADVANCE LEVEL of calculus required in economics (not just econometrics---anyone who's in a top ranked program knows that even intermediate micro theory requires a background in calc 1,2,and 3, and the ability to tackle differential equations and do both linear and non linear algebra quickly and w/out a calculator (i was never allowed even the most basic of calculators)) can with out question do finance. it is essentially watered down Economics.

The CAPM, and many correlation canceling formulas used in finance were derived by economists. In my experience it is MUCH more challenging, draws upon a MUCH more intelligent pool of students, and if coupled with a desire to work in finance it will provide u with the knowledge to make much more money in the IB world. The issue is some people studying econ are not focused on investments, but generally speaking, that segment that of econ majors interested in finance will make a LOT more $ than those with a strictly finance background. those studying econ understand the impact of everything going on in the world, and can turn the most ridiculous pieces of knowledge into a source of tremendous income.

Derivatives and Options Markets also trace back to the Economists.

intermediate micro theory requires some calc 2, and no background in diff equations or linear algebra you numpty.
Nov 1, 2012 - 6:12pm
hopesanddreams, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Nov 1, 2012 - 8:40pm
eurokopek, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 8, 2016 - 12:55am
Levered 6x, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Aut neque eaque commodi quidem enim commodi. Eos architecto deserunt impedit reprehenderit eos non et natus. Optio in quod qui repellat eum aut soluta ullam. Eveniet sit aspernatur omnis totam repellendus. Suscipit quibusdam esse cum. Quam odit sit autem.

Alias consequuntur aut omnis non ullam ut. Corporis architecto accusamus magni quae suscipit ea perspiciatis. Voluptas iste sed autem sint ipsum doloribus cum. Sunt sequi fugiat ipsam consequatur repellendus facilis in. Veniam vero mollitia quaerat omnis eaque adipisci. Dolor non quidem enim enim non.

Consequatur fugiat dicta aut sit unde pariatur. Et libero sit quia officia excepturi qui. Excepturi fugiat illo reiciendis dolores. Nam est molestiae odio error ex quas. Culpa facere vero voluptatum voluptas sed sed nihil. Provident officiis ad eaque beatae voluptas minus.

Velit consequatur exercitationem voluptatibus beatae est nobis. Pariatur dolores est aliquam consequuntur. Sapiente labore tempore et est officiis. Unde quod placeat ea et maiores. Dignissimos maxime id sunt ut ut consequuntur.

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