7/9/17

Don't waste your time in college getting a crappy business degree. Either get a science or engineering degree or go home. Also, if you're looking to impress people with your intelligence go math or physics, because everyone knows engineering = p*ssy version of math or physics.

Comments (79)

6/27/17

Bad day?

Accepted.com
6/27/17

Honesty I kind of feel the same way, I'm going to get an MS in Data Analytics this fall, however I know that this route is still a far cry from the more quantitative disciplines you mentioned

6/27/17

I would rather advise getting a double degree in management and STEM - like Stanford MS in MSE

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=ytJ9xMqc6uI

6/28/17

Little too late for myself, and to be quite honest i don't think I could get into Stanford.

6/28/17

You don't need to attend stanford to double major in business and STEM. Hard but doable, and the fruits of labor are well worth it.

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=ytJ9xMqc6uI

7/7/17

What if you suck at STEM topics? Don't do IB?

7/7/17

STEM isn't the be-all, end-all. It's only for those who want the flexibility to search for jobs across multiple degrees. If you do art history or English language and then try for consulting (and make it to MBB perhaps), I won't complain. But if you do them (or finance and econ) and then complain about not finding a job, well, I'll high-five you on the face with a chair. Truth is, most firms have begun to favour candidates with a quantitative major (not necessarily STEM) over kids who do liberal arts majors.

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=ytJ9xMqc6uI

7/10/17

I wonder if they just say that. I see many non-related majors recruited

7/11/17

To get the best of both worlds. AFAIK, I've only seen boutiques and some MMs putting such requests. Most firms in the BB and MM space don't put such demands. (They might write Econ/Fin preferred though).

Obviously, the guys in STEM hired away by IBD are often the non-engineering extroverted types who'd get along.

And for the record, Management Science counts as a Business related major that IBD hires from. But obviously, Stanford is Stanford.

Former fake Frank Quattrone
youtube.com/watch?v=ytJ9xMqc6uI

Best Response
6/27/17

haha i use to feel this way when i was in high school -- i told people i only study the purest of sciences: math.
but now it's w/e, people should study whatever they're interested in.

relevant xkcd:

6/28/17

That's actually a good point. Retrospectively, I think that doing something like Economics & Computer Science would've been a much better choice.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

6/30/17

Ya... Getting a MBA is academically easier than a STEM master

DickFuld:

Yeah....most of these people give terrible advice.

6/28/17

I would consider accounting to always be a worthwhile business degree. Run of the mill finance degree, probably not.

7/6/17

Can confirm.

Source: dropped out of engineering, switched to accounting.

7/6/17

?

7/6/17

Ha. Fixed it. Good thing I dropped engineering, my erections would have been missing structural members left and right.

6/28/17

most engineering programs are basically a math degree without the math electives before you get into engineering classes

6/29/17

Honestly agree with this assessment. Hell, do econ and a STEM field; I was 2 classes away from a double major in math, and wish I would have followed through.

6/30/17

All through my UG (engineering), I remember feeling like physics was the program engineering drop-outs all transferred into. It was all of the book smart kids who never fully "got it". Double majoring in engineering and either math or physics was something people did as a novelty because it was only like 2-3 extra classes or something silly.

I can't decide if you're discounting engineering too much or giving way too much credit to math and physics majors. Then again, I'm biased.

6/30/17

95% agree.

Engineering is not a p*ussy version of math or physics. But as a former engineering major turned MBA, yes.

7/6/17
BirdoInBoston:

p*ussy

that's now how censoring a word with an asterisk works homie

EDIT: (now = not)

Make Idaho a Semi-Target Again 2016
Not an alumnus of Idaho

7/5/17

Unless you are studying at a good university such as MIT or any decent business school in Europe where they actually teach you math and rigorous business/finance/econ theory.

Edit: Why the downgrade? I partly agree with the general theme of this post.

Do you people realize that first year Business/Econ students in just about all European universities do more rigorous quantitative courses than math majors in the U.S.?

7/6/17

something something if European schools are so rigorous and smart then why aren't they outperforming US schools by significant margins

7/6/17

First of all, rankings aren't just based on how rigorous a curriculum is... It is also based on $$$ and marketing. U.S. has more of that. Besides, the U.S. gets shat on in Finance Master's programs. Second of all, show me a ranking where the U.S. outperforms Europe.

A first year business (not even Econ) major at the average business school win Europe will teach multivariable calculus, linear programming and calc-based stats. Thats second year material for math/engineering majors in the U.S! Even Econ majors at Harvard don't have to take linear algebra let alone multivariable calculus!

7/6/17
Finner:

First of all, rankings aren't just based on how rigorous a curriculum is... It is also based on $$$ and marketing. U.S. has more of that. Besides, the U.S. gets shat on in Finance Master's programs. Second of all, show me a ranking where the U.S. outperforms Europe.

A first year business (not even Econ) major at the average business school win Europe will teach multivariable calculus, linear programming and calc-based stats. Thats second year material for math/engineering majors in the U.S! Even Econ majors at Harvard don't have to take linear algebra let alone multivariable calculus!

Yet Brits run their mouths in meetings and deal calls but can't get shit done 99% of the time

7/6/17
  1. Nice red herring argument
  2. Nice straw man argument
  3. Still doesn't explain why first year business students at regional German unis and all the average unis throughout Europe learn more math than harvard Econ graduates
7/6/17

You're saying that European schools are better because they force students to study multivariate calculus with Econ major, while Harvard do not have the same requirement.

I think you are the reason why OP is advising people to get science degrees.

7/7/17

To study Econ you need multivariable calculus. To understand Finance, you need multivariable calculus. Most American universities pussyfoot around this. It's a matter of rigor. Also, my point was that EVEN MATH MAJORS in the U.S. take less advanced courses in their first and perhaps also second year than European Business and Econ majors.

7/9/17

Where in finance do you need calculus unless you're a quant, using options pricing models, or creating circuitous financial models that you need a Ph.D to understand?

7/10/17

You just answered your own question... Along with that you use it in working capital management, Modern Portfolio Theory and calc-based stats. Also, most Finance bachelors dont teach Econometrics. Stop trying to find excuses.

7/19/17

I didn't see multivariable calculus until Cal 3. If they are taking this stuff at year 1 in their universities it is because their previous education prepared them for it. I also didn't take linear algebra until after Cal 3. I am no expert on European schooling by any means, but if they are taking these classes their first year it is because they were prepared in their high school system, however that works over there.

7/19/17

Most people take Calc 1 in high school and many even calc 2 level. Even in the U.S. many people do that. Also, universities in Europe don't go by the Calc 1-3 system and will just teach single variable differential/intergral as well as multivariate differential calc in the first semester of the program, for instance.

7/19/17

Yeah I took Cal 1 in high school, took cal 2 my second semester freshman year, and cal 3 first semester sophomore year. I guess I just don't know enough about school in Europe.

Are you sure they are not taking business calculus classes? That is a common course and they are introduced to subjects like multivariable calculus along with lagrange multipliers.

7/6/17

Then why do the European junior bankers get paid ~2/3 what the US junior bankers get paid

7/6/17

Lots of factors... Job market, cost of living, etc. If I made $45,000 in Boston, I would have a much worse life than if I made $30,000 in Germany.

7/6/17

Rigor of the curriculum is something that no pay or current popular ranking can define since the latter two are determined by many other things.

7/6/17
Finner:

Rigor of the curriculum is something that no pay or current popular ranking can define since the latter two are determined by many other things.

Agreed. Ranking is mostly based on the quality of the students that you compete with at the school (test scores/gpa) and the endowment size of the school - I wouldnt consider it marketing , I think schools that market a lot are usually shitty

7/10/17

Currently a finance Msc in the EU, before that a business Bsc - where did they teach me linear algebra in the first year @Finner? Agree that I was taught rigirous theory, but I chose that study because business studies hardly teach you advanced math (maybe some matrices in year 1).

7/10/17
  1. You probably went to a crap uni
  2. If you studied Finance/Econ you should have learned it. You studied crappy Business Studies tho - I suppose in England? Look at Maastricht, Erasmus, Tilburg, Bocconi, BI, Aarhus, Frankfurt School of Finance, LSE, any German state school, etc... They all teach those subjects in the first year.
7/10/17

lol, I go to a target in continental europe. Don't throw monkeyshit if you do not know what you're talking about

7/10/17

The bottom line is that just about any Finance/Econ and even Business undergrad in Europe will have taken that kind of math. By the way, 'Business Studies' sounds like a crap degree.

7/10/17

where did I say I did business studies? I have a business admin Bsc.. lol

edit: learn to read, after my first statement I was speaking about business studies in general (as in; business related studies as a whole).

7/10/17

You are seriosuly stupid. Stop trying to take back words. You are a lazy idiot. You said business studies and even if you said business admin its the same.

7/10/17

lol taking back words? you obviously don't understand what was said. You act like a troll - not going to respond to you anymore

7/11/17

You said: Currently a finance Msc in the EU, before that a business Bsc - where did they teach me linear algebra in the first year @Finner? Agree that I was taught rigirous theory, but I chose that study because business studies hardly teach you advanced math (maybe some matrices in year 1).

Do you also act this stupid on the job?

7/11/17

Yes, i said business studies (umbrella term) generally don't teach advanced math.

Accepted.com
7/6/17

I disagree - much better to get a 4.0 in business and fill out the rest of your resume with quality projects/work experience/sports than struggle to get a 3.8 in math and not have the rest.

Obviously it would be better to have both but there is only so much time at college and taking a more rigorous course load will just hamper your ability to do the rest since you are not only learning more difficult concepts but also competing against smarter people.

The curve works in your favor if you are the smartest in the room, why not take advantage of that?

7/6/17

This makes the most sense to me. I was a STEM pre-med and switched to business finance with a stats minor. GPA goes up and now I have time to do extra work outside of school which becomes the topic of discussion in almost all my interviews, especially if its relevant to the firm in question. In the US as far as I can tell from friends who have graduated within the last 4-5 years, short of being some kind of quant prodigy coming out of MIT/Stanford undergrad no one really gives a shit what coursework you cover in school. It's all about what extra learning you're willing to do outside the classroom in internships/work that they'll really care about. The GPA is just a box they want to have checked and even then depending on the work you've done can be given leeway or ignored completely. I have a friend who was a 4.0 theater student at a fine arts program who worked at an IB during his summers and now he works at a PE firm out west.

7/7/17

Do you have any idea how they even got their foot in the door with a Theatre degree? Engineering student here, wondering how non-finance/business degree people make their mark

7/7/17

Be really good in Theatre but also show your interest in finance (CFO of your troupe, Student run management fund, invest personally, internships)

7/7/17

I will have to disagree. You're implying that math students cannot spend time in quality projects and other things in college, which is false in the most cases. A top math program offers a lot more than what's in the textbook, and its one of the few majors that you can really leverage the resources provided by top universities. It can be quite inspiring -- changes how you approach problems and how to "think" in general. I find these to be highly valuable. On the other hand, most people can learn all about econ/business by just reading college textbooks. Some people will argue that there is the social aspect you gain from business majors, but this is easier to learn and practice compare to the mindset training you can find in math majors.

7/7/17

Thats not the argument. For someone who is really good at math and could get a 3.8 with enough time to do other projects then it would be a good thing for them. I think Uncle Drew was just arguing that if you're the sort of person who could get a 4.0 in business with a more limited commitment then it would be a better program for them than math if math was hard for them. Not every major is the same level of difficulty for each person, you should do what will give you enough time to participate in other projects as well.

7/6/17

You need to be good with dealing with people. Just a few case in point to prove that you are wrong:
1. At my firm, many tech companies beg to be funded since we are the biggest investor in our space.
2. Just last month, at my firm, a bunch of non-target and non-BB managers basically overthrown an ivy league (MIT) with hard science degrees (PhD in Engineering and Math) with tons of BB experience.
3. Most China based conglomerates made money from Natural Resources, Industrials, Financials, and Real Estates sector; not from TMT, Alibaba and a few tech companies are outliers.

7/6/17

so why not get a science degree, be good at dealing with people and enter a BB investment bank?

7/7/17

Not saying that science degree is bad. I think it is just a matter of perspective. Most science people that I had seen tend to focus a lot on logic and are very result oriented. On the other hand, to succeed in business, it is more of mind-fucking other people to get what you want.

7/10/17

I wish this was taught @ unis. Guess the closest thing is reading the art of war by Sun Tzu.

7/6/17

Why was this front paged

7/6/17

Wenger Out!

7/6/17

Not really. Good luck explaining to people why you have a science degree and want to work in Banking.

7/6/17

What about actuarial science or ORMS? That's sort of business and math mixed up.

7/6/17

I've heard that it's better to prepare to become an actuary by studying math than an actuarial science program, though I'm not sure. At the school I go to, the closest equivalent to an actuarial science degree is an optional track within the math program which is basically just a few added classes about finance & math.

7/6/17

Interesting. I know that not many schools have actuarial science programs. However, I can see that being a math major can help people become an actuary.

7/6/17

From what I know, to become an actuary all you have to do is pass a few of the starting actuary tests and then once you start working in a firm, you have to progressively continue to the rest of the tests. Given the nature of actuarial science, I'm not surprised that it's better to study math. But you could honestly go about it in any way.

I think the schools that do offer actuarial science programs design them so that they can basically train you for the actuary exams. I am not entirely sure.

7/6/17

Interesting. Thanks for your insight. Do you happen to know if any actuarial science degrees can be an alternative path for ib?

7/6/17

Lol I've actually asked someone this before. The skill sets are similar (I have no way of verifying this, obviously never been a banker or actuary), but the careers themselves are totally orthogonal to one another. I'm going to go with no, it's probably not an alternative path.

But given some of the success stories on WSO who knows.

7/6/17

Thanks again for your insight

7/6/17

Or how about just doing an easy degree like econ or anthropology at a target, then recruiting for Evercore IB for 2 years, 2 years at Apollo, Harvard MBA, and riding it up in upper MM PE to director. Lmao who cares about 'purists'; if you genuinely enjoy finance, just take the path of least resistance to getting there, it's pretty well trodden.

7/6/17

You clearly haven't spent much time with good engineers if you think you can just choose to be an engineer. Work hard in finance and it'll take care of itself. Go into math if you're good at it; if you aren't/are uninterested and you go into it you'll be miserable all your life.

7/6/17

"If you're looking to impress people with your intelligence go math or physics..."

The older I get and the more people I meet, the less I sense the correlation between undergraduate background (school & major) and intelligence. I feel like there's a baseline level of intelligence one needs to study STEM (or any other difficult major), but it varies highly after clearing that level.

I've learned that undergraduate background is predicated in no small part on how/where someone grew up.

For example, I know an Ivy League grad who was raised by Ivy League grads who coached him to follow suit from his infancy, from SAT prep work to how to talk, dress, and write an entrance essay. I also know a blue-collar kid who stumbled into the state school closest to home, was the first in his family to attend college, was a 3.0 student in accounting, and had a great time in the process. He ended up creating a genius product, launching a company, and getting multiple offers on "Shark Tank."

You tell me which one of those guys is more intelligent.

7/6/17

Omg all of you please take the butt hurt fest over to College Confidential or GMAT Club or something

7/6/17

I feel like Wall Street Oasis has this post every other week. At the end of the day it boils down to...

  • If you go to a top 20 school in the U.S (Harvard to UVA) or top 5 school in UK (Oxford/Cambridge/UCL/ICL/LSE) then study your passion.
  • If you go to a mediocre school (Penn State/Rutgers) study what is relevant to what you want to do in the future.
7/6/17

I think you should study whatever major you are passionate about in college, instead of going into the popular majors just for the sake of it. This is the last chance for most people to learn anything you would like without much pressure. If you love it, you will most likely be good at it. And with the good grades you can get into most industries you would like, even IB.

7/10/17

You can get into IB with any degree. You can't get into tech or be taken seriously in Silicon Valley with any major.

7/10/17

I feel this varies in Silicon Valley, after all Peter Thiel studied philosophy at Stanford and went to Stanford Law School.

7/8/17

"Durr don't study finance even though you know that's what you want to do as a career BC stem fields are so much better"

study what you're interested in, don't play game theory with your undergrad degree (because it doesn't matter)

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