Downside to not Double Majoring? (Target)

doggie23's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11

Hello,

I have used the search engine feature and am aware of how it is not necessary to double major if one is from a target school.

However, I was curious as to what the missed out potential, in terms of pay, could be from this for a non-quant? In particular, I am an Economics major, and am considering to pick up a Math/Stats/CompSci Major. I do not really have a preference for any of the three and am actually a bit hesitant to pick up a double major because these three departments are the most rigorous ones at my school, so I don't want to potentially hurt my GPA and not have time to network / enjoy life. Am I correct in attempting to secure the GPA > Double Major route?

Additionally, is there any other double major possibilities that can be beneficial if pursued?

Thank you

Comments (25)

Most Helpful
Sep 11, 2019

As an economics major, a math major is only really useful if you want to be an academic economist. Quantitative skills are always attractive, but the GPA hit from classes like real analysis or advanced probability may not be worth it if you're not targeting a particularly quantitative position. Personally, I've taken a lot of stats classes as an econ major because I just like the subject lol.

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Sep 11, 2019

(new account because I forgot password lol)

I go to a smaller target so there are not really a lot of options for classes. We have 1-2 intro level classes per subject, for example Stats 101 and 102, then all of the other available classes are upper level ones.

Are you just taking upper level stat classes based upon your interests? Would you suggest I do the same? Honestly, I'm just scared of wrecking my GPA and don't want to take any academic risks because I think my school name and performance in Econ major alone can get me into IB, so i'm not sure if the benefits of doing stats or CS would be worth it.

Sep 12, 2019

So as a fellow undergraduate, I can't really answer your last question, as I don't have any experience in that area. However, a much-less talked about quantitative and competitive field is economic consulting - the firms that mainly provide strategy and analysis for litigation. They really value econ&math/comp sci/stats/engineering majors because they use a lot of hardcore statistical and econometric analysis, and at solid shops, analysts can go on to top business schools.

But, in my case, my school has a lot of stats class, so I cherry pick the ones I like from different departments - I've taken statistics for economics, econometrics, regular stats, statistical research, intro to R and I think I'll take a couple more advanced level ones senior year.

I really understand your obsession with maintaining a good GPA; it's a good feeling to tick off those upper grade ranges on an application, but I think you shouldn't finish college before taking at least a couple more challenging quantitative classes you can put in the "relevant coursework" section if need be. Just stalk ratemyprofessors and ask your classmates about the best profs to take them with because you don't want some old dude whose biannual high is giving everyone Cs in May and December

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Sep 11, 2019

(new account because I forgot password lol)

I go to a smaller target so there are not really a lot of options for classes. We have 1-2 intro level classes per subject, for example Stats 101 and 102, then all of the other available classes are upper level ones.

Are you just taking upper level stat classes based upon your interests? Would you suggest I do the same? Honestly, I'm just scared of wrecking my GPA and don't want to take any academic risks because I think my school name and performance in Econ major alone can get me into IB, so i'm not sure if the benefits of doing stats or CS would be worth it.

On the same topic, what would the benefits of a quant job role even be? People throw the word out but i havent found a consolidated or detailed description of it anywhere. I suppose they analyze graphs/shifts and tell firms how to manage their investments, but is that it? Are there any rooms for moving up or exit opportunities as there are in non quantIB? How much more is the pay?

Thanks

Sep 11, 2019

missed out potential, in terms of pay

pay has to do with your job, not your major. work backward from where you want to be in 5 years and figure out if people in your desired role benefited from quant major.

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Sep 11, 2019

What exactly does it mean to benefit from a quant major?

I mean, my school sends approx a third of its graduating class to IB/consulting (and most of these people are Econ majors, but it doesn't really matter). So, no, a quant major doesn't really benefit us in terms of being recruited ....

But I'm concerned about the post-recruitment: the difference in the work of quant/non-quant, how much more quant's get paid, opportunities for quants to rise in positions, etc.

Sep 12, 2019

Once you're 2+ years out of college and have years of relevant experience companies won't care about your college degree, the only thing they'd really care about in terms of education would be GPA and awards/honors that distinguish you from other candidates and are indicative of your work ethic.

Sep 11, 2019

Do not double major in math/comp sci if you aren't into spending your weekends doing homework and missing parties. You go to a target so i wouldn't really consider it, just obtain the highest GPA possible in econ, network, study technicals and fit questions and you should be fine.

If you are trying to get into a quant role then do it but i still wouldn't risk a GPA hit considering the position you are in.

Sep 11, 2019

What exactly is networking? I mean, I know a few alumni already who are in the field (by emails, nothing too spectacularly personal).

Sep 12, 2019

Well essentially it is creating a professional relationship with anyone who has experience or is currently in the industry this includes alumni, professors and senior students who got FT offers. It is more than emailing and striking a conversation, you need to hustle and present yourself as driven, capable and professional whether you speak with them over the phone or over coffee.

The goal is simple; be aggressive but don't be awkward. Too many students are applying to internships and are using any leverage they have to secure the role however if you can show passion for IB ( or fake it good enough),make a good first impression as well as connect with that person on other interests such as a sport team or vacation spots then it becomes a great professional relationship that helps you in preparation for the super days and interviews but also as a guideline to how to behave and speak in a business environment.

The more professional relationships you have, the bigger your network thus the more opportunity you create for yourself. Personally i actually enjoy speaking to older people and overtime have been able to turn a finance chat into a discussion about something completely irrelevant for example the patriots getting AB. This makes it a lot easier and just better for everyone once you show empathy towards a specific situation instead of being a stone cold robot who just asks about the inverted yield curve. A good conversation turns into another coffee chat etc etc and eventually they talk about you in front of other co workers at a bank and you have good odds heading into recruiting season or they might just choose you if you have all the qualities they desire.

Just search and you'll find much more detailed info on networking and how to be good at it :)

Sep 11, 2019

Start with the single major and then if you're doing really well and feel like you still have room/ time left over start adding more.

Array

Sep 11, 2019

I think the single Econ major here is easy, so it's not a question of having room/time ... I think I'm more neurotic about taking the GPA hit because I don't wanna mess up this opportunity by greedily trying to do more than I need to lol.

Sep 12, 2019

I have a concern with that statement: "more than I need to."

You're trying to get in to one of the most prestigious careers out of undergrad that is notoriously one of the hardest careers to break in to (<1% of applicants). If you do the bare minimum that you "need", you aren't going to differentiate yourself from your peers. Even if you go to a target school, you still need to differentiate yourself and stand out in the application process.

Sep 12, 2019

Another option is to beef up on the Econometrics and Stat classes. So, do just Econ but for all of your electives, take the most intensive Econometric courses. For IB/ER/AM, you're really not going to use other fun electives such as Environmental Economics, History of Economic Thought, etc

Sep 12, 2019

I plan to take a lot of econ-related electives, but I do go to a small school and our Econ department doesn't specifically have any Econometrics-related electives, aside from a singular class called Econometrics. Our electives are more specialized and about particular issues: i.e.: health care disparity, etc

Sep 12, 2019

I would totally DM in one hard science (STEM, CS stuff) and one humanities major (history, philosophy, etc..

Sep 12, 2019

I double majored in 2 different things, but also take classes on web development/CS on the side. I think it is a really useful tool! Maybe more so in VC, but a lot of places want you to hav some efficiency in HTML minimum. I think regardless of what you decide CS is a skill that is really useful, and gives you a checkbox other candidates don't have on their resume.

Sep 12, 2019

Going off the Isa comment... totally dependent on what you're interested in / want to do. If... say you wanted to do IB and you're at an Ivy with a sole economics degree you should be fine. If you want to go into quant trading / AQR type HF roles, then picking up that double major would put you in a boat to explore that (while likely still having the same IB opportunities).

I did finance and stats at a non-target and the stats actually really helped set me apart from most of my single major or finance/accounting double counterparts. If you can manage it + it interests you, why not?

Sep 12, 2019

You don't need a double major. I did a Finance / Econ double major mainly because I know I wanted to do Finance but also loved Econ.

In UG, work, and in life, you have to find something you're passionate about. Sports, teaching, volunteering, extra curricular, leadership, entrepreneurship, research, literally anything mildly productive.

Pursue it, love it, be able to talk about it, and do something meaningful. If you go home and play video games for 4 hours a night I wouldn't say pick up a 2nd major... but find SOMETHING to do. That's what will differentiate you and that's what will sell you as a PERSON to recruiters. You're an Econ major from a target school with a presumably good GPA. If you're interested in another topic then sure do a minor / 2nd major and if not get busy doing SOMETHING.

An econ major with a 3.6 that started and runs an intramural sports club and helps underprivileged families file taxes in tax season will always, be more attractive than an econ major with a 3.9 that goes home and watches netflix all night.

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Sep 13, 2019
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Sep 14, 2019