Best Major to Pursue in Top 3 LAC (Nescac) ?

Hey guys, I'm a football player for a top 3 nescac school. I've been thinking about pursuing a career in IB for a while now and had a question regarding what major to pursue.

I understand that GPA and school "prestige" count for a lot more than your major (to a certain extent). My issue is that the only major that could resemble finance at my school is Econ, which here is pretty much an applied math degree. I'll just say math is not my strong suit, and econ by itself is considered to be one of the hardest majors at my school. I just couldn't see myself getting anything higher than a 3.1-.2 with econ as my major. On the other hand, I am confident I could achieve a 3.6 or above with another non "math" major such as History/humanities, gov, etc. I could tag an econ minor along with that as well without too much of a drawback. 

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. I've been told that if I cant handle getting good marks with an econ major then I might as well not bother with IB… if that's the case then I'm fine with it, I'd just rather have that come from someone in the field, and not my Calc professor. 

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Comments (15)

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 12, 2021 - 12:55am

By top 3 do you mean Williams/Amherst/Bowdoin?

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Mar 12, 2021 - 10:09am

I would say majoring in econ at any of those schools is totally doable even if you are not traditionally "good" at math. Even in the advanced courses most of the work is algebra and the calculus only covers certain topics in multi (ex. partial derivatives, optimization, etc). Find a buddy to do the problem sets with who is decent at math and you will be fine! Also, Econ is nothing like IB when it comes to math. Most of IB is basic mathematical functions (adding, subtracting, multiplying). You don't need calculus to be in IB.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - DCM
Mar 12, 2021 - 10:51am

I mean, the nice thing about going to a top school with a tight-knit network is that you don't necessarily have to take a related major like Econ if math is not your strong suit. Sure, it would help show your passion for the industry, but you should get plenty of looks from alumni through the sports connection alone that your major wouldn't play as significant a role. Just make sure that if you're studying a softer science that you're keeping up with the markets and practicing related accounting/modeling questions. Should be just fine given that.. A higher GPA in your situation should be more of your focus than the subject you're studying.

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Mar 12, 2021 - 11:19am

Econ is going to be the best major still, coming from somebody that also went to a top LAC (non-NESCAC though). Maybe it'd be different if you thought you'd get a 3.9 in History or something, but I'd really recommend going for Econ and busting your ass to get that as close to a 3.5 as possible over a "soft" major where you may still end up with just a 3.6.

Like an earlier poster said, Econ math doesn't even require anything past calc + stats. Physics and CS are true applied math majors, not Econ.

Mar 12, 2021 - 11:28am

Yea I can definitely see that. I just had a very hard time with micro and calc the last semester and figured if I struggled so much on the introductory classes, then I'd have not shot in the more advanced courses. With that being said, I do have a completely different mindset on school at the moment, might as well give it another shot. It's certainly encouraging seeing every alumni from my school in the field all having econ degrees. 

Mar 12, 2021 - 11:40am

Did you take macro yet? I personally found micro a lot harder than macro (maybe also because I was a lot less interested in it). IMO as long as you can pass calc then the Econ math will be a lot easier in comparison. All my friends who struggled with the calc courses for the Econ requirements had way fewer issues with the actual Econ courses themselves, even when they were a bit more math heavy. 

You can also structure your Econ major to be less math intensive. Like my school had a "History of Financial Crises" class that had no math at all. So just pick those types of classes as much as possible.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 12, 2021 - 1:04pm

If you're at Amherst or Williams literally study whatever you want it doesn't matter - if you're at Bowdoin definitely major in Econ or Math

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 12, 2021 - 1:09pm

It literally does not matter what you study at any nescac type school

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