Great Debate: Wharton vs. HYPS. Which is best for Finance?

FTPiper's picture
Rank: Baboon | 156

For people who are deciding on colleges, I think this is a great debate.
Lets be real, in my opinion, Wharton is less selective than HYPS, and I can see people getting into HYPS and Wharton.

So when it comes down to it, if you are a high school senior, and you know you want to do investment banking / private equity / hedge funds, would you still choose HYPS over Wharton? Wharton provides finance opportunities that HYPS does not provide and the finance education.

However, it is alot more competitive here at Wharton since everyone wants to enter Finance, while HYPS are liberal arts schools, and not all of those students want to enter finance.

However even though the kid wants to enter finance, is it really worth having a business education and not have that liberal arts education where you can really be intellectually challenged?

In the end, I feel like my college experience would have been better if not at Wharton, but I would not have the same job opportunities for finance... so its a trade off.

What are your thoughts?

Comments (14)

Dec 21, 2009

harvard, yale and stanford places alot of kids in finance so technically, where's the trade off?

better name and still comparable placements into finance....

princeton is another story....dont see as many in finance.

Dec 21, 2009

It's true. BB recruit pretty balanced from each of the schools.
However Silver Lake, Qatalyst, there are many PE and boutiques that recruit exclusively at Wharton because we have the technical background and wouldn't need formal training.

That's the tradeoff.

Dec 21, 2009

In my experience, Stanford places to WC but not NY as much as the others.

Dec 21, 2009

yeah thats true too.

I think H,Y,Penn and Columbia places the most around the EC.

But your right, Wharton would have the benefit of the boutique hirings but I think BB wise, no difference since they all get formal training before work starts.

Dec 21, 2009

I completely agree with alwayshere86. I got accepted to HYP and Wharton but chose CU because it places as much as the others and is in NYC(also my hometown).

Dec 21, 2009

touchme: columbia vs. wharton would be a tough decision too. columbia does have the better location...
however if you knew you wanted to do finance, wharton gives you the education.

thats more of a tossup.

Dec 21, 2009

PM sent to you, touchme.

Dec 21, 2009

Non-wharton Ivy here. Here's my perspective. I think that while it is true that you see kids at Wharton are INITIALLY better equipped to dissect balance sheets. build models, etc., I would not give up the education that I received for the world.

During college, I've taken classes ranging from the Classics (plato, herodotus etc.), to music (Mozart, bach, jazz, modernism) to the metaphysics (Russell, Quine, Loux), to Cognitive Neuroscience, to Quantum Mechanics. Ive become friends with people passionate in politics, violin virtuosos, amazing writers, and incredible atheletes. I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty sure none of these will explicitly help me make a buck in the future... but at the same time I'm glad I know them.

I know it sounds incredibly sappy, but I guess at the end of the day for me, my knowledge, my ability to appreciate and contemplate the natural world, and humanity is something I find enriching. I can imagine that if I had gone to Wharton--- and here's the worse part-- I wouldn't even have known how much I didn't understand about the world. I see myself as only living once--- how sad is it if you lived your only life striving to earn something that you can never make enoug of, and can't take away with you when you pass?

And to be honest, the few firms that recruit exclusively at Wharton aside, really, how longdoes ittake to learn the "technicals" that will get you into a BB? A week? Two?

Dec 21, 2009

In my opinion, any high school senior who knows he wants to do finance is, at best, delusional. Most likely, he's retarded. Hell, I don't think there is a single college senior who can honestly say that. If you can, it shows a lack of imagination, intelligence, and passion. That is certainly not to knock finance, but to commit yourself to anything before you have to is ludicrous and, if we want to put it in terms some high school finance geek might understand, is going to increase your beta and therefore decrease your risk-free rate of return.

Given that everything I've said above is true, you're better off going to a school where you will get a liberal arts education in the classical tradition rather than an indoctrination in finance that any monkey with half a brain can learn in two weeks, and is likely to be useful for just as long.

    • 1
Aug 11, 2012
drexelalum11:

if we want to put it in terms some high school finance geek might understand, is going to increase your beta and therefore decrease your risk-free rate of return.

Beta doesn't affect the risk-free rate...

    • 1
Dec 21, 2009

I don't know about all the bashing on learning finance in two weeks... The finance courses are much more in depth than what it is in training, so I guess that is the intellectual experience... learning the theory.
I see another trade off also:
Wharton prepare students for professionalism while liberal arts education you are still learning about the world.
There have been articles about this how recent college graduates have become more unprofessional, however business school education really prepares you for the real work force.

It's a pretty big trade off though, since you don't really get that intellectual experience.

Dec 21, 2009
PiperChiangAccent:

:
Wharton prepare students for professionalism while liberal arts education you are still learning about the world.
There have been articles about this how recent college graduates have become more unprofessional, however business school education really prepares you for the real work force.

Well I guess if you see value in turning your entire collegiate career into finding a job... this may be the case.

More "unprofessional"? I'm not sure that's something school can teach you. Are you saying there's a qualitative difference between the rest of the Ivy League and Wharton students? To be honestly blunt, the one thing Wharton excels at indoctrinating into its student (not in all cases) is teaching them how to be striving, toolish gunners that have a knack for rubbing people the wrong way. ... But at least they're better than Stern kids...

Dec 21, 2009

@ibhopeful532,
I am saying the Wharton curriculum as a whole prepares us for the professional work force. You are right also. The whole curriculum is to value it into finding a job, not really for the intellectual experience.

That is why I am saying there is a big tradeoff. I feel like sometimes college should be a place where we learn more about our past and world and be intellectually challenged. However, I guess the ends justifies the means.

Aug 11, 2012
Comment