Disadvantages of Not Double Majoring (Target)?

From browsing this forum, I have noticed that general consensus pertaining to choosing majors is polarized with these two opinions:

  1. Do NOT Double Major. Rather, single major, get a DEFINITELY higher GPA than 3.5 (say 3.8ish), network, do extracurriculars, and other relevant activities.

  2. DO Double Major in something quantitative (stats/cs/math) + econ as long as you're above a 3.5.

I am curious as to whether one of these options is better than the other in terms of long-term professional career establishment and pay. Whether a single major with a 3.8 in Economics or a Stats/Econ with 3.5 will fair better in terms of initial BB recruiting, then exit opportunities?


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Comments (25)

Oct 26, 2019 - 7:07pm

I don't think I'd be able to maintain a high GPA in stats/math/cs at my target school given the intensity of these fields of study here, so I am most likely to single major in Econ.

How much would high GPA matter beyond the initial recruiting process? I am aware of the GPA cut-offs, but I frankly do not know how much one's degree helps them once trying to move into other fields / climb higher within IBD.

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Oct 27, 2019 - 12:33am

I'm double majoring at a semi target and it's easier said than done. I would not recommend it unless you truly LOVE math, comp sci etc and are beyond driven because it's a very depressing situation that results in burnout as well as other issues. Again some people adjust better than others or may be able to balance it easier so take my experience as nothing more than an opinion.

I have a 3.8+ GPA double majoring in econ and math but it's necessary for me to stand out when talking to alumni and become a unique prospect for a shot at IB so i accept that my social life is 3rd choice and my hours of sleep are usually 4-5 sometimes less as well as other issues that many of my peers suffer from.

Obviously this is personal so it shouldn't be used as a benchmark but please don't double major. You will have more time to party, network and considering you're at a target with a good gpa + relevant coursework you will be fine. The only reason to double major is if you're trying to get into trading or s&t where a stem major would be beneficial or as I mentioned earlier you love math or comp sci.

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Oct 27, 2019 - 1:25pm

Which classes do you think will be "relevant coursework?" I will have econ classes under my belt since it is my major, but I do not really see myself taking any higher level math/cs/csci classes later on after I take multivariable calc .... would this disadvantage me?

Oct 27, 2019 - 5:50pm

Econ & Finance are the most popular majors among bankers. It is not required to take higher level math or comp sci courses unless you plan on becoming a quant or in S&T, HF post graduation or have a hard on for those courses. I don't think it disadvantages you by not taking higher level quantitive courses especially when considering that investment banking is more suited towards your connections, GPA and your ability to work hard. Sure there might be basic math but i really doubt that it's anything beyond counting numbers and a watered down version of mental math.

Oct 27, 2019 - 2:42am

I studied Business/Econ, had a 3.9, signed with a top bank/group in NY and had a blast in college. Like the above poster said unless you're really passionate about math/CS/stats don't do it just for the sake of "double majoring". You will absolutely regret it.

If you're passionate and weighing the pros/cons then it's a different story. For banking recruiting GPA + networking trumps everything else.

Oct 27, 2019 - 1:23pm

I am not truly passionate about math/cs/stats. Honestly, I would suck at these subjects since I am not naturally aptituded towards them and would not obtain a optimal GPA even if a high level od dedication is provided from my behalf (I know this from pass failing a comp sci class and high school experience).

What would you say I should do for "relevant coursework" if I don't pursue these majors? I will obviously have the econ classes under my belt, but I'm not sure of what else to take. Currently, I am mostly doing econ and history classes / electives on the side of my econ classes.

I am currently taking multivariable calculus and could take some quantitative classes in the future, but these classes (tbh econ/stats/csci) are GPA killers at my school unless you're really gifted in them - which I am not.

Oct 27, 2019 - 1:39pm

tldr; double major vs single major doesn't matter, just do well. type of major is favored towards econ/business/maths/sciences, but don't double major in something you won't do well in.

You answered your own question. Stop second guessing yourself, just major in one study, do the best you can, and don't add anything else on that:
1. you won't enjoy studying
2. will negatively impact your GPA (whether that be the topic of study, your lowered interest/motivation, or difficulty)

For relevant coursework, this pertains to your studies. Do well for your "major GPA" which constitutes all the courses you need to graduate for the major. If there are accounting courses, take them on the side to gain a sense of understanding for interviews if applicable, but they are not necessary as long as you study on your own or participate in clubs.

Honestly, a double major with a 3.8 and a single major with a 3.8 are pretty similar; what differentiates the two are the level of extracurriculars and internship experience, networking intensity, the personalities between the two, and the investment of time and attention during interviews. Preparation is key.

Oct 27, 2019 - 3:35pm

Thanks for the reply; I really appreciate it.

Just to clarify, relevant coursework is not necessarily geared towards the job you are applying for (In this circumstance, IB), but rather the major you are fulfilling? I'm not quite sure which course constitute this characterization.


Oct 27, 2019 - 6:08pm

Just to clarify, relevant coursework is not necessarily geared towards the job you are applying for (In this circumstance, IB), but rather the major you are fulfilling?

Sure, happy to clarify. Basically there's two parts to it - relevant coursework to the major and relevant coursework to the job. What you learn in college will not be the true reality of the job, a lot of what you learn is outside of classes especially if you attend a liberal arts college. Relevant coursework pertains to the major in that some firms want to see you've taken higher up classes in maths/econ/business. You also need to equip yourself with personal preparation in IB (coursework to the job), whether that be studying the guides independently or taking an accounting class to boost your understanding etc.

Oct 28, 2019 - 1:44pm

Haha, thanks for the response.

Yeah honestly I grinded my ass off during high school to get where I'm at right now and don't really come from a upper class family so I still feel like I'm selling myself short and not realizing the benefits inherently present through attending a target.

I just need to ease off and smartly strategize my approach haha.

Oct 28, 2019 - 6:28pm

Don't. GPA + Networking are the utmost important priorities. Double major (I tried) took all the time that I supposed to spend on networking away to make sure my GPA does not go below 3.5. Math and stats are not social science that you can just read and get it - you need enormous amount of time to practice in order to absorb it. If you play the wrong game plan, you would lose.
Still, if you genuinely want to study the second major - please do so. However, if your goal is to stand out and get interviews - my advice is not to.

Oct 28, 2019 - 7:38pm

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