Should I Get a Finance and Computer Science Dual Degree?

Gekko93's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 236

I'm thinking of doing a dual degree at the U Pennsylvania in computer science bachelor of applied science and Wharton finance. I plan on doing S&T at some BB. A dual degree is really hard though. Is this combination worth the work? Will interviewers favour me because of my proven work ethnic? If not, which single degree should I choose?

Finance Computer Science Double Major For Trading?

Generally speaking, our users shared that getting a double major in computer science will be helpful in pursuing a trading career as programming will always be valued in the business.

Gekko21:

I think it is absolutely worth it. Since you go to Wharton, you are almost guaranteed some S&T offer provided you don't screw everything up. The computer science double major (or at least a minor) could help you get an S&T offer, but it's true power is allowing you to pick your group. A lot of guys are always looking for CS, and I know many people who got offers from certain groups or switched entire product groups simply because they had a CS background. If I could go back, I would take a Finance/CS double major.

User @chubbybunny shared that you should only do CS as a major if you are truly passionate about it:

chubbybunny:

If you're doing CS for the sake of recruiting, then don't, it's not worth it. Especially if you are already in Wharton, then killing yourself by adding another major (10 - 12 courses) is not worth it since you will land S&T interviews regardless of whether you double majored or not. As for the dude at UMich Ross, double majoring with CS or Math would be beneficial for you - it'll definitely let you "stand out" among the pack if you know what I mean.

Remember that for flow trading (ex. BB S&T), 90% of the programming you will use is going to be VBA, everything else is just icing on the cake. And in terms of choosing desks etc. that'll be more dependent on your math/stats background (ex. stochastic calculus/processes) than on your programming abilities although it won't hurt. You'll mostly be using the models that the quants (PhDs) have already created so unless you are aiming to become a quant (in which case you should be aiming for a PhD), then a computer science major isn't going to help you much in terms of what you do on the job.

swaggerisaliability:

If you're interested in quantitative shops like D.E. Shaw or Citadel, the computer science aspect will definitely give you a leg up. If you're not, computer science and finance is still a strong combination that'll get you looked at by many places (provided your GPA is up to par). In the end, just realize that there are Wharton kids that struggle with the finance curriculum alone (and CS kids that struggle with the engineering curriculum alone), so you should think about whether you're up for the additional work and whether you're able to maintain good grades in such a program.

Check out a video below discussing the pros and cons of getting a double major or minor while in college.

Read More About Computer Science Degrees on WSO

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Comments (27)

Mar 26, 2011

I have a friend at Penn's Jerome Fisher M&T program. He's doing fine without locking himself in a library 24/7, but according to him, he does have to put in more work than a regular Wharton student, which is expected. It's extremely selective, and there are M&T students that turned down HYPS. If you're interested in quantitative shops like D.E. Shaw or Citadel, the computer science aspect will definitely give you a leg up. If you're not, computer science and finance is still a strong combination that'll get you looked at by many places (provided your GPA is up to par). In the end, just realize that there are Wharton kids that struggle with the finance curriculum alone (and CS kids that struggle with the engineering curriculum alone), so you should think about whether you're up for the additional work and whether you're able to maintain good grades in such a program.

    • 1
Mar 26, 2011

I'm thinking about doing the same if I'm accepted to Michigan's Ross... or at least something like applied math

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 26, 2011

bumping to hear other opinions

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 27, 2011

I think it is absolutely worth it. Since you go to Wharton, you are almost guaranteed some S&T offer provided you don't fuck everything up. The computer science double major (or at least a minor) could help you get an S&T offer, but it's true power is allowing you to pick your group. A lot of guys are always looking for CS, and I know many people who got offers from certain groups or switched entire product groups simply because they had a CS background. If I could go back, I would take a Finance/CS double major.

Mar 26, 2011

Are you sure it isn't too long? or won't drag your gpa down too much?

I'm going to Michigan next year and trying to get into Ross and I've heard that I may have to go to school for an extra semester/year to dual major in business and cs. for Mich. would you just recommend cs if you had to pick between business and cs? (for s&t... n I'm guessing consulting too since I've heard they like engineers)

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Learn More

Boost your resume and land a finance job by passing the FINRA SIE. 264 pages & 1981 smart flashcards written by a former 8X top Fidelity instructor. Try it for 0 bananas here.

Mar 27, 2011

If you're doing CS for the sake of recruiting, then don't, it's not worth it. Especially if you are already in Wharton, then killing yourself by adding another major (10 - 12 courses) is not worth it since you will land S&T interviews regardless or whether you double majored or not. As for the dude at UMich Ross, double majoring with CS or Math would be beneficial for you - it'll definitely let you "stand out" among the pack if you know what I mean.

Remember that for flow trading (ex. BB S&T), 90% of the programming you will use is going to be VBA, everything else is just icing on the cake. And In terms of choosing desks etc. that'll be more dependent on your math/stats background (ex. stochastic calculus/processes) than on your programming abilities although it won't hurt. You'll mostly be using the models that the quants (PhDs) have already created so unless you are aiming to become a quant (in which case you should be aiming for a PhD), then a computer science major isn't going to help you much in terms of what you do on the job.

Mar 27, 2011
chubbybunny:

If you're doing CS for the sake of recruiting, then don't, it's not worth it. Especially if you are already in Wharton, then killing yourself by adding another major (10 - 12 courses) is not worth it since you will land S&T interviews regardless or whether you double majored or not. As for the dude at UMich Ross, double majoring with CS or Math would be beneficial for you - it'll definitely let you "stand out" among the pack if you know what I mean.

Remember that for flow trading (ex. BB S&T), 90% of the programming you will use is going to be VBA, everything else is just icing on the cake. And In terms of choosing desks etc. that'll be more dependent on your math/stats background (ex. stochastic calculus/processes) than on your programming abilities although it won't hurt. You'll mostly be using the models that the quants (PhDs) have already created so unless you are aiming to become a quant (in which case you should be aiming for a PhD), then a computer science major isn't going to help you much in terms of what you do on the job.

I'll admit that a lot of it will be VBA, but having the CS background definitely helps with getting the desk you want. Math might help for the truly quant trading jobs, but for options trading and most structuring roles, CS is fine and you don't need the math (an example, I know a guy who got into CDO structuring back in 2006 who was able to move because he had CS--he didn't have a math background.

Learn More

Boost your resume and land a finance job by passing the FINRA SIE. 264 pages & 1981 smart flashcards written by a former 8X top Fidelity instructor. Try it for 0 bananas here.

Mar 27, 2011

Yea i am prolly gonna go to OSU and join their fisher futures program. Unless i get into ross prefered admission. But I was thinking of CS and finance but then heard that its prolly easier ( better for gpa) is I would do MIS and finance u still learn some programming but not as much as CS. Also i will start CFA level 1 in first year and try to pass by junior year. But then again I want to pursue IBD not S&T.

Mar 27, 2011

I agree with Gekko, math or CS would be beneficial, just choose whichever you think you will do better in. The point is that for some desks in trading (ex. equity derivatives), a quantitative background will be very beneficial such as that in Math or CS.

As for you gopadub, to be honest try to go to a better school than OSU lol. And Information Systems majors are viewed as a joke. Take a couple classes in information systems if you want but don't expect people to view you at the same level as CS majors.

Mar 26, 2011

come to mich gopadub

I won't bite

... yes I will

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 27, 2011

HAHA honestly man I would love to but (being savy) I wouldn't wanna spend my parents money on LSA econ, unless i get into Ross prefered. Also I figure since I have start networking with the fisher futures my almost free tution ( 20k all 4 years) will be better than 200k lol unless umich is 10x better than honors/scholars business fisher (+ i live in ohio so instate helps)

Mar 27, 2011

haha I got into Umich Indiana and Penn state and of course OSU i mean I understand the point that OSU isnt the best but they send a couple to BB's and I hope to be the couple lol 2 went to goldman actually. But is econ at umich honestly better and worth the 180k more? I mean I think that I could prolly get into Ross if i work my tail off which I would have to do at OSU as well. Just wondering..

Mar 26, 2011

In state definitely helps... so ya, I see where you're coming from. I can't really comment but can somebody tell me if going to Ross is even worth the extra ~160k? I mean it's definitely more of a target than osu but that's a shitload of money. I'm instate Michigan so I lucked out on that.

I can probably go ahead and say that no, econ at LSA is not worth the extra money compared to osu

take my words with a grain of salt though as I am not in the industry... yet :-O

I'm going to be applying for the campus representative program for this site too... it can be a lil bit of income and it'll show that you're pretty interested in finance so it may help your chances with Ross (not to mention I can hone my sales skills). This is all IF you decide to come to Ann Arbor of course.

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Mar 27, 2011

haha yea well honestly man Ross is....... TONS of banks recruit there after Northwestern prolly. Yea and if you are instate then u have a kick ass state school :D OSU is decent but I mean if 10% go to banking and 90% do corp fin then cant say its that good.

http://fisher.osu.edu/offices/career-management/st...
BTW this is the junior class at the fisher future program 2 of my friends in there told me they have Goldman internships during summer (one IBD and another equity research). I mean when I look at there resumes and such its pretty impressive. But ill see about Umich btw have u should join the MIBC at umich i had a talk with the student rep there james hadel its pretty good. Michigan.Investment.Banking.Club

Mar 27, 2011

I forgot to mention that the fisher future club at OSU gives u an investment banking internship 100%

heres link to there site
http://fisher.osu.edu/offices/career-management/st...

Mar 27, 2011

Did you apply/get in? M&T is mad competitive.

I know you were talking about Waterloo a while back.

Mar 26, 2011

After reading a lot of threads about this, I'm actually pretty nervous about trying computer science w/ finance if accepted to Ross (econ if not)... will working hard enough to study really be enough, or do you have to be very above average when it comes to math for a good gpa in this type of stuff?

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

    • 1
Mar 28, 2011
tobywashere:

Hey WSO,
I'm thinking of doing a dual degree at the U Pennsylvania in computer science bachelor of applied science and Wharton finance. I plan on doing S&T at some BB. A dual degree is really hard though. Is this combination worth the work? Will interviewers favour me because of my proven work ethnic? If not, which single degree should I choose?

If your goal is S&T, then the CS degree is probably overkill as others mention in this thread.

However, dual-degree CS and Wharton can open doors to much better firms, though they will be more quantitative places. Whether you would be happy here or not depends on how much you like the CS stuff.

Mar 27, 2011

Haha yea man I cant CS and finance combo cuz of the fisher futures program but its a killer combo for more quant jobs and why not just do a MFE?

Mar 28, 2011
gopadub:

Haha yea man I cant CS and finance combo cuz of the fisher futures program but its a killer combo for more quant jobs and why not just do a MFE?

For some shops, CS >> MFE

Mar 27, 2011

I see.....

Mar 29, 2011

CS and math are power concentrations. If you can do either, you'll have the confidence to rip through finance. When I started college, all I wanted was a gig at a BB, but there are a lot of opportunities out there that require a more technical background.

Some names of awesome, more quant oriented cultures would be: DE Shaw, SIG, Jane Street, DRW, etc. It depends on the person you are. If you get excited by how powerful algorithms and mathematical concepts are, then pursue the more analytical route. But if you're only doing it for a job, then it will be a painful, demoralizing experience.

Mar 27, 2011

^^^ true I think I am just gonna do MIS + finance at OSU + CFA (level 1) hopefully land a BB gig then quit and go to corp dev, but thats way too far out lol

Apr 6, 2011

No, I got rejected from Penn altogether. I fucking hate being a Canadian Asian. I'm doing this business/CS program at Waterloo/Laurier which is very similar to M&T. I'm going to work my ass off and try to transfer to Penn.
Here are my stats:
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/transfer-stude...

"The code of competence is the only system of morality that's on a gold standard." - Francisco d'Anconia

Apr 6, 2011
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Apr 6, 2011
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