Best Undergraduate Double Major at a Non-Target B-School?

Hi all,
I'm just starting my sophomore year at a non-target state university in the southeast, and I want to work in investment banking.

Maybe I'm splitting hairs over this, but I have enough credit hours to do a double major (in addition to the obvious finance major), and was wondering if you guys think it would be better to do an economics or accounting major.

Economics seems like it would give me more analytical experience, but accounting seems useful for going through financials in actual work experience. However, I feel like some of the upper-level accounting classes may have limited use in IB.

I've taken a few courses in both, and I am currently listed as an accounting major. Should I switch to economics?

Comments (34)

Sep 5, 2019

I did Finance major and Economics minor at a state school. I would personally recommend Economics - there is a good amount of overlap within Finance and Accounting (sure you will take Financial and Managerial, etc.). Economics to me is more about theory - understanding supply and demand, how the global economy works. I just think that given the current state of globalization, US-China trade war, and negative yielding debt at record levels that an Economics major would be better suited. Major in accounting if you want to go into accounting. Just my two cents.

Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.

    • 1
Sep 5, 2019

Thanks for the advice!

Sep 6, 2019

Second the econ recommendation, the logic and theory of econ, particularly macroeconomics, pours over massively into finance, especially if you want to end up in the public markets.

    • 1
Sep 5, 2019

I'm a firm believer that a 2nd major in Math / Comp Sci / Economics is highly valuable (order would change based on where your future interest and current strengths lie).

    • 2
Sep 5, 2019

Unfortunately, CS and Math aren't options or else I'd have to stay an extra semester. I can do economics though, so thanks for the input

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 5, 2019

I 100% agree with doing Math or CS, and I would put them above Econ even. Econ is very theoretical and people definitely overestimate how relevant it is to working in finance, especially as an analyst in IB. Math/CS shows a strong analytical background and both are known as difficult, so a good GPA in one of those is impressive. CS also will definitely help if you want to focus on a place that does a lot of tech (ie tech group at a top MM), and either math or CS can open doors into quant trading, HF, etc way more than econ.

Sep 5, 2019
BlueMoonGoon:

Hi all,
I'm just starting my sophomore year at a non-target state university in the southeast, and I want to work in investment banking.

Maybe I'm splitting hairs over this, but I have enough credit hours to do a double major (in addition to the obvious finance major), and was wondering if you guys think it would be better to do an economics or accounting major.

Economics seems like it would give me more analytical experience, but accounting seems useful for going through financials in actual work experience. However, I feel like some of the upper-level accounting classes may have limited use in IB.

I've taken a few courses in both, and I am currently listed as an accounting major. Should I switch to economics?

Are you at Warrington?

    • 2
Sep 5, 2019

Nope, a bit less highly ranked. For privacy I'm not gonna say which school I'm at though.

Most Helpful
Sep 5, 2019

Definitely accounting. Heres why. With accounting your not closed off from any firm, accounting, consulting, finance, or law(law school). The same can't be said with Econ or finance. Accounting firms want accounting majors.

Being from a state non target you want to keep your options open, if you went to a target school I'd say Finance or Econ. But since the banking presence isn't as great, I'd say accounting, you have more options and can still be a candidate for banking. This way if you don't secure a spot you can make the move from audit to banking and if not still be at a firm you can make partner at if you don't.

Also second major, I agree with the above definitely something technology focused. Technology and Accounting/Finance apply around the world and are big in business and they definitely compliment each other. That's just my two cents though.

    • 2
Funniest
Sep 5, 2019

He should just drop out and take the Invest Like the Street course lol

    • 3
Sep 6, 2019

Eh not sure I agree. Let's put Finance and Accounting as about even in terms of ability to leverage those into a position at an IBD (I.E if you know your technicals, a bank won't really care to pick someone with a Finance UG any more or less than Accounting).

I would value CS, Math, Econ all above accounting mainly because I think CS -> Tech > Finance is very viable (I get "Finance" isn't IBD but since you're arguing validity of Accounting from a "backup" perspective that's how i'm running with this)

CS -> Any investment side Finance Experience -> HF is also viable.

Math major would get hired just about anywhere if GPA and technicals were up to par (Corp Dev, CB, PB, Trading, Corp Banking, etc.)

Econ -> MO Finance / FPA / Corp Dev / Consulting / Econ research is also doable (I admit going from this to IBD may not be easy and will likely be the hardest path).

I don't think Accounting UG (without a masters) -> Audit -> IBD is an ideal or super realistic path (I know it's been done but usually from like Big 4 FDD, not audit).

All the above verticals I could also see someone potentially gunning for IBD end up being happy in Corp Fin, Corp Strat, Trading, HF, Tech, Consulting, etc. I find it least likely someone gunning for IB to end up at an Accounting firm in Audit and staying there because they love it.

Add onto that the negative stigma that accounting roles / accountants get (not saying I agree with that but I've seen it happen many times over where an individual is intelligent and capable of a FO finance function and isn't even considered because of the accounting background. I think 2-3 years in it's very easy to pigeonhole yourself) and accounting looks less and less attractive.

Just my .02, some may have different perceptions of Accounting, I personally never found it interesting.

Sep 6, 2019

I'd be careful with CS really depends on college. My CS department doesn't even offer Python or R lol. so unless OP is going for a dev/ SWE role it may not be as helpful.

Array

Sep 6, 2019

I think you have a good point, but I am going to stick with my finance major - my school has a scholars program for it that has networking opportunities and technical skills development that I just couldn't get in any other major. This is about whether or not I choose accounting or economics as my secondary major.

From what I've experienced, accounting classes definitely are pretty useful, so I'm definitely going to still take a few, but I've already had an (unpaid) internship at a regional boutique, so I don't think it's really necessary for me to keep accounting or audit options open.

I wish I could do something technology-focused, but alas, different core requirements prevent me from doing so :(

Thanks for the input!

Sep 5, 2019

Why can't you double major in comp sci or math and finish in 4 years? I would assume you could take the math courses as electives and then integrate that into a major ?

Array

Sep 6, 2019

Isn't a double major in finance + comp sci intensive? Your GPA definitely won't be as high, which is very important in IB.
I thought it would usually take over 4 years due to the overload of courses.
Please correct me if I am mistaken

    • 1
Sep 6, 2019

Idk man like its really school dependant, like comp sci at CMU is so much harder than Comp Sci at Michigan State but at my semi target its basically necessary to get into IB due to amount of econ majors. I am in my second year so my experience is very limited but last year i talked to my admissions and was able to take more math courses in the winter semester and in the summer took all the core math courses to major in it. I am able to finish in 4 years but my course load is stacked and i won't have a social life so theres that.... my gpa is a 4.0 but trust me man it fucking sucks.I wouldn't recommend double majoring unless you are confident that you can achieve above a 3.5.

In regards to GPA concerns, a 3.7 as a double major in comp sci + finance is great and sets you up well for any finance or quant role. While 4.0 finance majors are plentiful, 4.0 in comp sci & finance is a rare sight. Overall It helps you stand out and allows you to make a name for yourself but personally i wouldn't recommend it with the amount of dedication and lack of social life, it makes you quite lonely and in business you need to network and go to parties etc. My double major can't allow me to do any of that and setting up linkedin talks is the only way for me to get my foot in the door.

Array

Sep 6, 2019

Usually accounting/finance/econ are in the same college so there is overlap in classes. For Comp-sci you basically have to start from coding 101...

Array

Sep 6, 2019

A lot of the core requirements for the CS major would force me to either take 21 credit hours every semester until I graduate, or just stay an extra semester, neither of which is appealing (and my GPA would tank, which is important from a non-target). I'd love to have some experience in CS, but it just isn't feasible for my undergrad.

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 6, 2019

Finance and Women's Studies.

    • 3
Sep 6, 2019

Of course, how could I be so stupid?! I never even considered women's studies!

Sep 6, 2019

I would say do econ but take an extra accounting class or two, for the learning. You don't need everything in the accounting major (tax, nonprofit accounting, etc.) but an extra class or two would be good.

    • 1
Sep 6, 2019
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