Finance major or Mathematics/Philosophy double major

vdsas16's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 91

Hey,

I'm in my first semester of university and I'm really not sure if I should be in this finance major or if I should do a double math/phil major. I know it's kinda early to say this, but I don't think I will really like the finance program. Right now I pretty much dislike all my classes but econ. I'm the type that rathers just be given a problem and figure it out alone on my own and I hate the bullshit teamwork projects you have to do for dumb classes like marketing or business communication.

Thing is (this may seem weird), I think I still want to work in finance. But I'd rather not spend the next 3 years hating school. Would I be at a disadvantage for finance jobs recruiting? I'm in Canada if that changes anything.

Comments (44)

Oct 21, 2011

Have you tried learning maths on your own?

Oct 21, 2011
blastoise:

Have you tried learning maths on your own?

Why? The math I've done was in my previous school years plus some small (simple) stuff on the side on my own.

Oct 21, 2011

Are you smart, or fucking smart?

Oct 21, 2011
ivoteforthatguy:

Are you smart, or fucking smart?

I'm a fucktard.

Best Response
Oct 22, 2011
ivoteforthatguy:

Are you smart, or fucking smart?

I'm fucking smart.

Oct 28, 2011
ivoteforthatguy:

Are you smart, or fucking smart?

that is the only relevant question to your question

Oct 21, 2011

maths is actually an easy subject.....you just have to like it IMO

Oct 21, 2011
blastoise:

maths is actually an easy subject.....you just have to like it IMO

Do you think I'd have a hard time getting a finance with the degree I mentionned?

Oct 21, 2011

If you want to go into Finance, and you think you will hate school if you study Finance; then why would you want to go into finance?

If you want to make a ton of money and work until your eyes bleed by breaking into a top financial position then you need to double major in Math and Finance while minoring in philosophy.

If you want to "enjoy" school, then double major in Psychology and Pre-nursing so you can be the only dude in all of your classes.

If you actually want to be able to get and keep the girls, then suck it up, work your ass off, and become a god damn investment banker!

Best of luck!

Oct 31, 2017

relevant username?

Dec 13, 2017

Ha! Nope - XBox Live name from middle school :)

Oct 21, 2011

no finance isn't even a legit major it's usually major in buisness/mgt with finance option ....99% of them don't know where the dow closed today but the 1% do

the problem with math programs is it all depends on who the professor and not school as they don't all teach the same shit

for example my calc 1 class was just the basic derivative min max etc the usually foundation stuff.

my calc 2 was proving convergence, proving limits finding algebraic limits, proving llimits of factorial functions... NO TRIGOMETRIC INTEGRALS NO INTEGRAL SOLUTIONS EXCEPT U SUBSTITUTION AND SUPERSATURATION(lol auto correct gave me this and i think it's a kewl word) BY PARTS

the prof basicaly said you guys have calculators for this shit so i'm not teaching it..insane quizes and tests we were allowed to use calculators and books and notes, with unlimited time but no take home at all ...the averages were 35% highest grade 52%... after curves no one got below a B though...

calc 3 i was fuked bc i never was taught integration .... wrong. he didn't even go hardcore into the subject just taught the usual gardiants with dumbed down questions on tests and finals class average high B ..extremelly easy

but, it was calc 2 that taught me to enjoy math and realize you can study as much as you want, but you will never fully grasp it all no matter how smart you

it showed in upper level classes

now, linear algebra can be a bitch in some colleges and walk in the park at some colleges from what i heard

mine was a walk in the park

differential equations same as linear algebra ...honestly though once you get past differential equations/ linear algebra the grades just don't matter ....... all the kids that suck will get have gotten weeded out and again(and the intro to abstract classes, which is also not a test of skill as that shit is easy and a waste of some one who actually understands maths, unless the professor wants to be an asshole and fail 80% of the class), the profs can honestly make questions that can fail the classes but that isn't the point of maths, it is something to be enjoyed and not fuck you mother fucker i'm smarter than you bc i can solve fractional derivatives in my head *****.

That isn't even skill, skill is not knowing how to solve a problem initially, but knowing where to look to find a solution and then solving it. Maybe through trial and error etc, the point is as long as you some how figure it out and actually enjoyed it(but, honestly there is just some stuff that is boring ...matrixes...derivatives zzz).

Do you really think that some of the math rock stars on this forum would not make a math mistake if I asked them to multiply a 100X100 matrix with a 100X100 matrix? given only 5 minutes even with a computer? No, I would bet they make a mistake seeing how you would have to do 100^2 steps.

Even if they did make a mistake how many points should they get off...and that is what makes a grade is solely up to the professor.

in summary

you will have asshole professors, good professors, to easy professors and professors that actually care

but not matter what you should enjoy studying on your own and maybe even learning new topic on your own, if you can't relieve stress by doing maths then this subject won't be for you

in summary

if you majored in finance at least you learned shit yourself that can be taught watching cnbc for two hours a day LOLOLOLOLOL

Bring it .

Oct 25, 2011
blastoise:

Do you really think that some of the math rock stars on this forum would not make a math mistake if I asked them to multiply a 100X100 matrix with a 100X100 matrix? given only 5 minutes even with a computer? No, I would bet they make a mistake seeing how you would have to do 100^2 steps.

It's actually something like 100^3 steps if you're a person, 100^2.8 if you're a computer.

Don't believe everything you think.

Oct 25, 2011
joe_monkey:
blastoise:

Do you really think that some of the math rock stars on this forum would not make a math mistake if I asked them to multiply a 100X100 matrix with a 100X100 matrix? given only 5 minutes even with a computer? No, I would bet they make a mistake seeing how you would have to do 100^2 steps.

It's actually something like 100^3 steps if you're a person, 100^2.8 if you're a computer.

4 steps look at columns, look at row, look at data, relook at data so 100^4

Oct 21, 2011

Which school in Canada are you in?

I studied finance and statistics in my undergrad, and I can tell you that there's more to doing a business degree than just what you're learning in the classroom. If you purely study something like philosophy, you won't be surrounded by peers who are competitive, aggressive, job-hungry, and outgoing - compared to if you went to Ivey or Queen's commerce. You won't be surrounded by countless business clubs, case competitions, conferences, etc. either. It's certainly possible for you to be the outlier among your peers, especially since you've already shown foresight and planning for your future, but it's important that you not neglect the non-curriculum related benefits of studying finance. I've witnessed a very noticeable disparity in terms of vocational motivation and professionalism between business students and non-business students.

That said, I personally think that the math+econ route would be better for you. Take the CFA Level 1 in your 3rd year, it practically covers 80% of a typical finance undergrad curriculum. If you hate the business courses, you won't do (that) well in them, and most firms care much more about your GPA than the courses you've taken. You won't be at any major disadvantage when it comes to recruiting, as long as you keep up what you're doing and stay on top of the game - know when SA deadlines approach, go to networking sessions, participate in meaningful extracurriculars, and you might end up being even more competitive with your atypical background.

Finally, the best path to take becomes much clearer out once a target is set. So spend some time figuring out which area of finance interests you. If you really like numbers, maybe something more quant would be up your alley... Hope that helps.

Oct 22, 2011

Thanks for the replies everyone,

just wanna start off by saying that double majoring (one of them being a finance major) is not possible, as my school's business department doesn't allow it.

Blastoise, I have done up to calculus 2 before university. I have to say I did enjoy it. I understood the material relatively quickly and as you somewhat described, I do enjoy the part of just sitting down and figuring shit out on my own.

Swordfish, my b.comm program consists of a core group of classes you have to take, regardless of your major, plus, later on, courses about the major you chose. Choosing econ would lead me, I think, to having to take the same bullshit business classes I'd have to take right now (the classes in this core group, the few ones regarding the markets I like but in majority the ''organizational behaviour'' type of stuff I can't stand, with retarded class discussions).

swordfish712:

Which school in Canada are you in?

I studied finance and statistics in my undergrad, and I can tell you that there's more to doing a business degree than just what you're learning in the classroom. If you purely study something like philosophy, you won't be surrounded by peers who are competitive, aggressive, job-hungry, and outgoing - compared to if you went to Ivey or Queen's commerce. You won't be surrounded by countless business clubs, case competitions, conferences, etc. either. It's certainly possible for you to be the outlier among your peers, especially since you've already shown foresight and planning for your future, but it's important that you not neglect the non-curriculum related benefits of studying finance. I've witnessed a very noticeable disparity in terms of vocational motivation and professionalism between business students and non-business students.

How does this affect me though?

If I decided upon a math-phil double major, and I am allowed to enter my school's co-op program, do you guys think I'd be able to get finance gigs?

Swordfish, also, I obviously know (because I'm on this website) a bit about the IB and Mgmt consulting fields, but is there any place I could get a good understanding of others fields in finance? If you have any links I'd appreciate.

Thank you.

Oct 22, 2011

Sometimes I think I just take this school and career shit too seriously...

Oct 22, 2011

Are you in Sauder? I'm going to assume you are since it really seems that way (let me know if I'm wrong). In this case, there are a few important things I think you should be considering:

1) The Portfolio Management Foundation (PMF) Program. Have you heard about this program? You apply for it in 2nd year, and if you get in, you're guaranteed an internship and pretty much guaranteed a nice FT offer upon graduation. Students place very well into Canadian BBs - actually in my year I know of someone who landed GS IBD in NY, and some other kids who landed front office BB roles in NY as well. The program is basically a 10-20 hour / week commitment for the next 2.5 years where you manage an actual multi-million dollar portfolio. You need 2 things to get in: outstanding grades (aim for 85, preferably 90+ avg), and a demonstrated interest in and technical knowledge of finance. You must be in the BCom program to apply.

2) Sauder's career services are separate from UBC's career services. That means most of the jobs that might interest you won't be accessible by you if you quit the BCom program, and when you apply to the big banks, you will have to apply online separately, as opposed to through campus recruiting.

Actually upon reconsideration, you might not be at UBC, lol. So I'll give you more general advice / answer your questions without assuming you go to a specific school:

My point about being surrounded by the right peers is that, as much as you might not believe it, your environment will have an enormous impact on how you develop throughout college. Being able to make friends who share a common goal and being continually exposed to business-related opportunities will go a long way. Hell, I switched to being a finance major after a stroll through the business school building led me to sign up for an entrepreneurship conference. Little things like this add up.

As long as your co-op program offers finance jobs, and you can palpably show that you have an interest in finance, you have as good as a chance as any student when it comes to recruiting.

No links really jump off the top of my head, but I'll let you know if I think of any. The main categories are listed by the forums of this website, though (ibanking - asset management), and I think if you just poke around in one of those forums you'll find something.

BTW, it might seem like a lot of those business classes are BS, but I hope you'll give them the benefit of your curiosity anyway. I initially thought OB was BS, but I later found that a lot of the theories that were introduced in that class came to be very useful in describing phenomena I saw in life (e.g. Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Vroom's Expectancy Theory). In any case, if you choose to stay in the BCom program, you might take solace in the fact that once the school has taught you the foundations, the courses will get deeper and more interesting.

Oct 22, 2011

You should major in archaeology that way you could carry a whip and wear a fedora and go on a grand expedition to find the lost city of YOUR GODDAMN NUTS, SON because Jesus Christ who the fuck thinks about majoring in some gayass shit like philosophy when they have FINANCE on the table?

Shit son you show up for an interview with a fucking philosophy degree and not only will you not get the job but your interviewer will drag you kicking and screaming down the hallway into the semi-public bathroom and give you a swirly.

always move forward
never sleep
like a shark, bro

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Oct 22, 2011

Don't listen to the troll above. Study math and philosophy. Finance is a fine major, where you'll actually learn stuff you might use while working , but if you don't enjoy studying it, what's the point? Philosophy and mathematics are hard subjects that (after you get a job like IB) you will really only have time in college to study.

Oct 22, 2011

I did double degrees in Finance and Mathematics.
I would tell you Mathematics/Philosophy for sure.
Finance major is a joke, no offense... It's just a fact. You can learn all the corp fin you need by yourself. Try to study analysis, measure theory, measure based probability theory, stochastic calc or SDE on your own without previous training in mathematics, good luck.

Btw, blastoise is right that you need to like the subject. However, the course he listed is not really mathematics. All the Calc, Linear algebra, or ODE classes, in US, don't have many proofs. You are asked to solve problems mostly.

Oct 22, 2011

Or you take Philosophy and Physics and go John Galt on this bitch

Oct 22, 2011
illiniPride:

Or you take Philosophy and Physics and go John Galt on this bitch

agreed.

Oct 22, 2011

Way too much to read over, but this is a topic I am very familiar with unfortunately. I hate group projects and all that crap, and also prefer to work alone when it comes to school stuff. I ended up doing a BS in Economics and Stat. Terrible mistake. Unless you really enjoy doing math, STAY AWAY!!!! It is pure torture. It doesn't suck because it's difficult, because it isn't, but rather because all of your teachers will likely be foreign and just teach from the textbook. Learning without application sucks. As for the economics, I only like behavioral/macro/metrics classes and I guess labor econ.

I always "looked down" on the business school because it really is a bunch of garbage until senior level courses. I shit on those lower level courses. You might as well be using safety scissors and paper mache to do your homework for those classes. I would probably recommend a BA in Econ with a minor in finance. If I did that I would have gotten the best of both majors.

I started taking grad stat/math courses because I wanted to be challenged in some way, but instead I found it to be pure torture. Just picture being water boarded with boredom.

"I'm short your house"

Oct 22, 2011
W.Beach:

Way too much to read over, but this is a topic I am very familiar with unfortunately. I hate group projects and all that crap, and also prefer to work alone when it comes to school stuff. I ended up doing a BS in Economics and Stat. Terrible mistake. Unless you really enjoy doing math, STAY AWAY!!!! It is pure torture. It doesn't suck because it's difficult, because it isn't, but rather because all of your teachers will likely be foreign and just teach from the textbook. Learning without application sucks. As for the economics, I only like behavioral/macro/metrics classes and I guess labor econ.

I always "looked down" on the business school because it really is a bunch of garbage until senior level courses. I shit on those lower level courses. You might as well be using safety scissors and paper mache to do your homework for those classes. I would probably recommend a BA in Econ with a minor in finance. If I did that I would have gotten the best of both majors.

I started taking grad stat/math courses because I wanted to be challenged in some way, but instead I found it to be pure torture. Just picture being water boarded with boredom.

Thanks for the input, though I'm not sure if your experience can be generalized to every school.

Oct 22, 2011

What W.Beach said is true, almost surely.

Oct 22, 2011

Well the only reason I might be bold enough to say it does apply everywhere, though I shouldn't, is because undergraduate is a big joke. You don't really learn much until the graduate level. I don't care how hard you dry hump a text book, it just isn't going to put out much. Obviously what I just said doesn't apply to certain areas. Any profession that is math intensive is going to require a stalwart foundation of fundamental math.....

The only things I am taking away from my undergrad degree is how to drink in large quantities without making a mess of my life, day drinking makes me sleepy, my youthful metabolism wont keep my ass from getting fat forever and maybe some of the linear/stochastic modeling. Everything else can be derived from logic for those who have a head on their shoulders.

I am not trying to play down the serious tone of school, cause I wish I put a bit more effort into it, but don't torture yourself. Unless you specifically want to work in a niche that requires intensive mathematics, I would strongly recommend against it. Four years of it will really erode your will to live.

I don't know you or what you're capable of, but how much math have you been exposed to? When you start to get deep in the game, it gets pretty dirty. Once again, it isn't that difficult, but it requires a lot of attention. That wont apply to everyone, but coming from someone who is pretty good with math.....it still sucks.

There will be some variation between school curriculum, but the majority of it or the general direction is relatively universal. The big differences are made by the teachers who you will truly enjoy. The rest are boring and pointless. So all in all, make sure you are willing to really put some hard work into a math intensive degree. If you want to get a glimpse of what I am talking about then just message me and I am sure I can shoot you some stuff.

Think about it long and hard because this decision is extremely important. Keep in mind that you can acquire a degree in anything and still go to work in a field where it is completely useless. I am pretty sure that a History degree doesn't really prepare you for law school or Wall Street, but I still see people signing up. Also know that you can get your feet wet freshman year without completely derailing if you decide to change majors. If you can't decide before hand, take your first two semesters to dabble. The only thing an undergraduate degree does is signal to employers that you are capable. It's a cost free way for them to screen potential employees.

I've had a long time to think about this specific topic because I strayed down the wrong path and it is my #1 regret. I did some pretty retarded stuff when blacked out, so just take my word for it haha. I wish I sought advice from someone who just went through it all. Make sure you align your interests correctly.

Good Luck.

"I'm short your house"

Oct 23, 2011

To W.Beach

Math is useful even if you don't want to work for a quantitative field. Math refines your analytical and logical reasoning ability. It sharpens your mind. The downside is that if you don't see the beauty of it, it's a torture. And a lot of times it is because you decide to make a leap, when you are not ready for it, and end up banging your head against wall. Whoever tries to learn Math should really take small steps each time and carefully select textbooks. When you rush, you get crushed.
And oh, when you get deep in the game, it gets fxxking difficult. Even within the same subject, there are many different levels of abstraction. Like you said, undergraduate is a big joke.

Oct 23, 2011
GekkotheGreat:

To W.Beach

Math is useful even if you don't want to work for a quantitative field. Math refines your analytical and logical reasoning ability. It sharpens your mind. The downside is that if you don't see the beauty of it, it's a torture. And a lot of times it is because you decide to make a leap, when you are not ready for it, and end up banging your head against wall. Whoever tries to learn Math should really take small steps each time and carefully select textbooks. When you rush, you get crushed.
And oh, when you get deep in the game, it gets fxxking difficult. Even within the same subject, there are many different levels of abstraction. Like you said, undergraduate is a big joke.

This. Also, realize you don't have to master a topic before you move on.

Oct 23, 2011

W. Beach, gave you a SB because that was a great read for me.

I was also "pretty good at math" before undergrad, and until this day wished I had gone into a major that was more math intensive than finance. I guess the grass truly is always greener.....

Oct 23, 2011

You are certainly correct Gekko. There are aspects of my math experience I do find extremely valuable .Having an intimate knowledge of math, but more so statistics, is extremely useful in every aspect of life. That being said, I will leave the real gritty stuff to those who have comparative advantage in it.

The reason I am advising such serious caution is because like I said it was the wrong path for me. I will never do quant anything after I am out of here. But none the less, everything you claim is certainly true.

I am the master of sudoku puzzles because matrix theory sucks. Evil in three minutes. Suck it!

"I'm short your house"

Oct 23, 2011

Thanks a lot W.Beach,

I've talked to a few people in ''real life'' and with what has been said here the general consensus is to stay as a finance major and just grind through those dumb classes. I think I may end up doing that.

Thanks everyone else also, and lol sudoku master :P

Oct 23, 2011

Something else to think about. I did ibd after my ba and decided to do a quant phd after. If i had graduated econ, that would not have been an option. The math ba is way more flexible.

Oct 23, 2011

BS in Economics is virtually the same thing as a math degree minus the ugly senior level courses. My BS puts me 12 hours out from a degree in statistics and maybe a bit more from math. The only gap is in some stupid requirements like computer programming and stuff.

This will be different at every school though....that is hard to blanket statement for all schools...the gap that is.

"I'm short your house"

Oct 23, 2011

^ what?

Typical math BA: two semesters of calculus in one variable, one semester of linear algebra, one semester of vector calculus at the intro level. Junior year and beyond: real analysis, complex analysis, advanced linear algebra, abstract algebra. Plus area requirements in geometry, logic and methodology. Most of the math major coursework is done after sophomore year. And though this stuff is hard, I have never heard it described as boring. It might bore you if you sit through lecture, unprepared, not understanding the ideas. In the same way I might find a Swahili lecture boring but that says more about my comprehension than the content.

BS in econ gets you nowhere near a math degree. They take the first year calc and that's it. Some places even water down the calc. Your post is some of the most ignorant shit I have ever read on WSO. A math degree gets you any job an econ degree can, and it gets a lot more respect. Econ is a fucking dime a dozen, and its only use is for HYPers who don't have a business program. Please stop giving advice because you don't have any clue what the fuck you are talking about.

Oct 23, 2011

Well I guess the BS requirements at my school in Economics goes a bit further into the math....There are two routes I could have gone, and I chose to do it with an emphasis in statistics over math. So the core requirements regardless of focus is calc 1-3, linear algebra, diffeq, and Adv calc1/abstract (1 of 2). The next can be done in a variety of ways, but in the end you have to choose either focus and complete 15 hours in that area. Soooo those extra five classes will likely cover a few of the classes you mentioned.

I was suggesting the economics route might be a little less intense but still offer considerable mathematics. I also mentioned the degree and its requirements are likely unique at every school. I never said anything about it being a superior degree or anything else. I do admit I should have chosen my words more carefully because "virtually" was not ideal.

Did you cry after finishing that post?

"I'm short your house"

Oct 23, 2011

Math-Phil. Majors don't matter.

Oct 23, 2011

beach, i would surely cry if i ever made the mistake of hiring someone like you.

you've listed what is essentially the sophomore-level requirements of a math major. any upper level math class is a quantum leap in difficulty over what you describe. the first rigorous math course is when most math major wannabes wash out. i don't know any school that will let you finish a math BA with only five courses. each one is a herculean labor, and it is anywhere between 8-10 at a school worth going to. reqs vary, but not by that insane amount. i doubt it would even be that easy at your school.

the economics route is far more than "a little less intense." you can ace econ courses only showing up for the exams because econ coursework at the UG level is a fucking joke. take an econ degree if you want to spend 4 years playing beer pong while pulling a 4.0 so you can get GS TMT. but for you to try to put a gut major like econ up there with math is a fucking insult.

don't bother choosing your words more carefully if you aren't going to choose your thoughts more carefully. guys like you truly diminish the value of WSO because you don't know enough to be even wrong. i don't know if you are truly this ignorant or if you are really trying to fuck with people deciding on educational paths.

Oct 23, 2011

You must have really had it rough sitting on the bench during recess kickball games. I mentioned it neglected the ugly stuff etc etc. Loosen up that dumbass sweater tied around your neck. Nuff said.

"I'm short your house"

Oct 24, 2011

Calm down guys. To ivoteforthatguy and a lot of math majors, the ugly stuff you mentioned is what defines a math major. Otherwise math major would be no different with any engineering major. The core of the program is real analysis, complex analysis, advanced linear algebra, abstract algebra. I took measure theory instead of complex analysis when I was a undergrad last year. More or less, the requirement is the same. For calc 1-3, linear algebra, ODE, you solve follow a certain process and solve some problems, so there is very limited abstraction or logical reasoning.

Oct 27, 2011

people care way too much about majors. My finance major roommate told me that I was a moron for majoring in econ if I wanted to go into business. No one cares that much at all. My friend just got a job at a HF with a chemistry degree.

Oct 28, 2011
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Oct 31, 2017