Help! Is an M.A in economics worth it?

lovelygirl's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

Right now I'm in my second year of community college with a bad gpa, and I plan on transferring to a not so great school, because my parents won't let me go anywhere else. I know this will restrict me from breaking into finance i.e consulting or investment banking. Also internships will probably be hard to come by. So should I go to the not so so good school ride it out get all As, graduate and then get like an M.A in economics? Could this M.A help me break into finance, given my situation? The school I'm looking at says on their website that their graduate have gone on to Goldman Sachs and the like, and investment banking and consulting. If not the M.A what should I do? Should I try to go to a good school for undergraduate?

Comments (20)

Feb 22, 2010

aren't you getting ahead of yourself a little?

"community college with a bad gpa"

you need to deal with that first

Feb 22, 2010

I know I know, I'm working very hard on my gpa right now. But, my future is looking so bleak that I need some options.

Feb 22, 2010

You said your parents won't let you go anywhere else...are you implying that you think you could transfer to a great school with a bad GPA from a community college then??

Feb 22, 2010

Not worth it - non-MBA masters programs are generally not well recruited. Many Econ MAs work for the government as you get paid more on their pay-grids. The pay per hour of actual work is much higher. I know tons of people that value the low stress low expectation government work while earning a decent salary.

Feb 22, 2010
eric809e:

Not worth it - non-MBA masters programs are generally not well recruited. Many Econ MAs work for the government as you get paid more on their pay-grids. The pay per hour of actual work is much higher. I know tons of people that value the low stress low expectation government work while earning a decent salary.

Exactly what he said.

OP, worry about getting your GPA up first and then transfer to a respectable 4 year university. You are thinking too much about things.

Best Response
Apr 26, 2013

Really depends on what you value I suppose. I love academic economics, econometrics, game theory, and so on. So I decided to enroll in a MSc at the age of 22, after working for a year. I have a significant number of friends recruited into IBD at big banks. I'm more interested in research though. The program only costs me $18k, and it's one year (I saved money before hand working for a year at a mid market asset management firm).

I have also spoken with a pretty hefty number of successful Wall Street persons with MA/MS/MSc in econ/political econ/intl finance/public policy finance (etc).

You are correct that it is not the optimal path for the standard sophomore who wants to go into banking (i.e. not summer internship, 2 year bank, 2 year mba, so forth). But I find it very rewarding.

As a side note to the OP: Stop comparing yourself to others, particularly others on this forum. There is always someone better than you. I promise you the people you envy on this forum, they all envy someone else. It's a big envy circle that leaves everyone miserable. Start competing with yourself, OP. Set goals for yourself, succeed for yourself, go to a school and study whatever you want for yourself. Afterwards you can choose from a list of options. One option would be to major in accounting, work for a mid-tier accounting form for a few years, transfer to a position in audit (or something not particularly competitive) at a big-4. Get a CPA. Work your way up over a few years. Get an MBA at the best school you can (if that's what you want). And proceed from there.

Go on linkedin and look at the list of profiles of people you aspire to be. One thing I noticed is that the vast majority of very successful people did not just do Target->Banking->MBA. I mean, a handful did, but lots have less traditional paths. I worked under a very very successful female who studied Art History and French in her undergrad, and didn't enter Finance for 8 years after. The CIO worked at Nike as a salesperson for 5 years after undergrad, and now is the MD at a hedge fund.

Stop forcing yourself to be miserable and measuring yourself against rat-race-WSO-posters. Compete with yourself, be the best YOU that you can be. Be happy with your achievements, and aspire to do better. Don't turn success into an absolute based off the WSO "gold standard." Let success be your own hard work and ambition.

    • 3
Feb 22, 2010

First and foremost you really need to correct your GPA situation and transfer to at least a semi-target school for investment banking. Frankly I don't think an MA in Econ will necessarily be the greatest option. I'm going to be blunt: I suggest working your fucking ass off at the school you transfer to, securing internships, contacting those GS alums, and doing everything under the damn sun to network and secure that junior year internship. If it's not such a great school, you will need to do more than get all A's, you'll have to do extraordinary things that will make your resume stand out like starting up your own club and really getting off your ass waking up at 6am to watch bloomberg and trading your own account etc... starting from a CC is not a good sign but at least you aspire to much more.

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Feb 22, 2010

dyb,

I stil have time to bring my gpa up, i have about half of my credit hours left to complete at cc, I had a bad first year, but I could transfer somewhere decent like my flagship state school if I do well, which I'm trying to do. This school that my parents want, is just what I said not that good, with like no recruiting at all....sadly.

Feb 22, 2010

PJC,

I originally got into my state's flagship public school, but my parents wanted me to go to the school that they want, so they made me go to CC. Again, I'll try to do everything in my power to get all As, but are you saying that my only option is to transfer to a semi-target (which my state's flagship public school is) or even as a very high reach nyu?

Feb 22, 2010

Why the hell would your parents want you to go to a shitty school? Get the GPA up and then go do whatever you want to do.

Feb 22, 2010

You can be a receptionist at your local Edward Jones branch.

..Goldman Sachs with a shitty grade from a community college. You must be out of your mind.

Feb 22, 2010
SirBankalot:

You can be a receptionist at your local Edward Jones branch.

..Goldman Sachs with a shitty grade from a community college. You must be out of your mind.

Classic.

Feb 22, 2010

Not just for Wall St

Nowadays a blah school won't cut it for most corporate jobs let alone Banking let alone GS, MS or JP. All the class of 09 and 10 I know, that have semi-decent corporate jobs paying in the low-mid 40s (ie slave to student loans), have 3.0 + GPAs from northwestern, NYU, Columbia, BU, etc. Kick butt in CC and x-fer to whichever big name school you can get into. It doesn't have to be Ivy League but it needs to be a "name brand school" that doesn't need any explanation: Tufts, Northwestern, Cornell, Duke, etc

Feb 22, 2010

Honestly just don't read this forum you'll just become depressed. I would focus to try to raise your gpa and transfer to the best state school you can get into asap. That way your gpa starts fresh and you need to grind out a 4.0. After your first semester then maybe come back here to learn about coldcalling and whatnot and how to get an internship. good luck.

ps. seriously dont read this forum

Feb 22, 2010

He only got bad grades at the local community college. Once he gets into this "great" university, THEN he's going to make straight A's, and then it's on to the elite GS. I almost think its a joke...why would your parents want you to go to a community college?!?! And why would you let them force you to go to it?

Feb 23, 2010

it's much cheaper, that's why

Feb 23, 2010

I agree with excelsior.

You are young enough to bounce back academically. Just see it as a second chance and work your arse off

Feb 23, 2010

As for all the community college bashing, let me say this. I have seen kids totally bomb their freshman and sophomore years because they were party animals or morons. Their parents pissed away 100k because of immaturity. If I thought my kid wasn't ready for the big leagues I would send them to community college to get their heads straight and then let them transfer to a better school. The OP is bombing her CC classes and her parents are out 3-5 grand because she can't take things seriously. Better to lose 3-5K than 100k.

Mar 29, 2013
AnthonyD1982:

As for all the community college bashing, let me say this. I have seen kids totally bomb their freshman and sophomore years because they were party animals or morons. Their parents pissed away 100k because of immaturity. If I thought my kid wasn't ready for the big leagues I would send them to community college to get their heads straight and then let them transfer to a better school. The OP is bombing her CC classes and her parents are out 3-5 grand because she can't take things seriously. Better to lose 3-5K than 100k.

I know this is an old post, but I am just curious about this. How do you know it is 'she'?

Mar 29, 2013
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