Berkeley Econ vs Haas

Hi guys, I currently have a big dilemma. I am currently studying at UC Berkeley and I want to major in economics, not business. However, it seems to me that everybody thinks only Haas is a target (at least for IBD), and my chances coming from econ are slim. But on the other hand I would much rather work in S&T for which Berkeley is not a target anyway. Would it still be a bad idea to study economics instead of going to Haas (I really want to study econ)? Also, would it be a good idea to double in applied math? Thanks.

Comments (19)

Best Response
RiskyBizness, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If your goal is S&T, economics with applied math/computer science will get you there just as well as Haas. I graduated from Haas myself. It's much more banking and consulting focused. I remember looking through OCR listings, and S&T jobs were always looking for much more quant majors. To be competitive, a minor/double major in computer science/applied math and a sport would be helpful. Cal has a lot of great club sports, like boxing.

Your internships should be very finance focused right off the bat; don't dick around doing academic research things that only make it harder to lay out why you want to work in finance. Do a PWM internship after your freshman year (still have time to get one this summer) and then you should be able to get something in between that and BB trading the next year, provided your grades are strong.

West Coast rainmaker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For S&T, I would really look into double-majoring in Econ and CS/Electrical Eng. Berkeley is world class in engineering, so take advantage of it. Just be warned, it is freakishly hard; I had several friends who went there, and they were easily committing 60 hours per week to school, and pulling mostly Bs.

If you don't want to double major, then do Haas. You will end up with a very similar course load to a regular econ major anyways, depending on how you allocate electives.

vanillathunder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are on the West Coast, recruiting for IB and consulting is going to be competitive no matter where you go. Getting into Haas is certainly great, but it's competitive to get in, most of people who don't make into Haas major in something like Econ anyways so I don't think it's a disadvantage.

Focus on doing well academically and pledge for a business fraternity like Delta Sigma Pi (DSP): If you work hard, you will be accepted to DSP and you will be well trained for IB / consulting interviews and get that internship.

BillBelichick37, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Tough one to be honest. I'd put UCB, USC, UCLA in the ranking of those 3. Haas is incredible though and big congrats to you if you're able to get in. I know the average person admitted has around 3.85+ GPA. Don't count out claremont mckenna either.

SF Tech Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Berkeley Econ major with an SA internship offer accepted at an EB in SF. I know plenty of Econ majors that were very competitive in the recruiting process with most receiving BB/EB/MM offers. The Haas name helps get interviews but in terms of actual interview prep it is next to useless. The West Coast hierarchy for banking recruiting is clearly defined as Stanford, Berkeley, then USC or UCLA (depending on who you ask). I know less about consulting, but pursuing that from within the Econ major would put you at a slight disadvantage because the alumni network for consulting is very Haas-centric. PM me if you want to know more.

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

I would say you have no disadvantage in terms of recruiting. The OCR events are open to all majors and I know several econ majors working at BB Banks in SF this summer.

joe_monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Hi, I was wondering which program would be better for landing a job in buy-side equity research. I am more inclined to take the Econ route but the program, I think, is more theoretical/academic and I don't want to waste any time taking a bunch of math that I'm not going to use in ER (not that I don't like math). Also, from what I've read the Haas program is kind of a joke in terms of rigor. I would like to eventually like to make the transition from ER to HF. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Haas is really easy. I took a "hard" Haas class, and it was much easier than any of the 30 or so STEM classes I took at Berkeley.

That being said, if Haas is so easy, why not double major?

Don't believe everything you think.
  • 2
ivoteforthatguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

the bigger question is whether you really want to do equity research. you're planning college around that.

just do something you like, do it well, and take some business/econ classes on the side. if you have a passion for the kinds of things they teach in those departments, major in that.

i took enough classes to fulfil two majors, and looking back, i should have just taken one and learned a bunch of other things. i was warned that i would regret overstuffing my schedule when i was doing it, and i had the inkling that i would regret it, but i did it anyways.

so if you are anything like me when i was in school you'll ignore this anyways but i gather you are a smart ambitious young guy and someone should tell you anyways.

charmander, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Haas classes are a joke insofar as all business courses are a joke. But the curriculum doesn't differ THAT much from regular econ. You still take calc, stats, intermediate micro and macro. The biggest difference between the two majors the better recruiting at Haas.

If you're confident you can get into Haas, you should probably go for it, but solely for the brand/OCR/network. Study whatever you're passionate about on the side.

hamilton, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm fairly certain that Berkeley econ majors are seen as Haas rejects.

"Have you ever tried to use a chain with 3 weak links? I have, and now I no longer own an arctic wolf." -Dwight Schrute
Dude_McCool, what's your opinion? Comment below:
I'm fairly certain that Berkeley econ majors are seen as Haas rejects.

Even so, I think if I made the case to an employer that I am more interested/passionate about econ then this wouldn't matter so much.

Dude_McCool, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Okay but I would like to know which major would best prepare me for a career in ER. The only plus I would see from Haas is more exposure to accounting/corporate finance. But if I land an ER job cant I just learn most of that stuff on the job?

ivoteforthatguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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