Liberal-Arts Failure Is Wall Street’s Gain

Explanation for why Ivies feed Wall Street - because the smart kids there are too incompetent and lack the skills to do anything else but continue to apply for for jobs that will teach actual skills.

What do you think WSO? Fact or fiction?

"In effect, Wall Street -- like a few other professions, including law, management consulting and Teach for America -- is taking advantage of the weakness of liberal arts education.

For many kids, college represents an end goal. Once you get into a good college, you've made it, and everyone stops worrying about you. You're encouraged to take classes in subjects like English literature and history and political science, all of which are fine and interesting, but none of which leave you with marketable skills. After a few years of study, you suddenly find it's late in your junior year, or early in your senior year, and you have no skills pointing to the obvious next step.

What Wall Street figured out is that colleges are producing a large number of very smart, completely confused graduates. Kids who have ample mental horsepower, incredible work ethics and no idea what to do next. So the finance industry takes advantage of that confusion, attracting students who never intended to work in finance but don't have any better ideas about where to go."

Full article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-16/harvard-l...

Comments (34)

Feb 16, 2012

"Explanation for why Ivies feed Wall Street - because the smart kids there are too incompetent and lack the skills to do anything else but continue to apply for for jobs that will teach actual skills. "

I do not understand that sentence.

Feb 16, 2012
wadtk:

"Explanation for why Ivies feed Wall Street - because the smart kids there are too incompetent and lack the skills to do anything else but continue to apply for for jobs that will teach actual skills. "

I do not understand that sentence.

I read that sentence like 3 times too.... No clue what the fuck it's saying.

Feb 16, 2012

spot on

Feb 16, 2012

LOLOLOLOLOLOL

I can see it.

Feb 16, 2012

I'd take someone who thinks out of the box and is interested in random subjects at harvard anyday over a business major at a random univ. I personally despise business majors, they are major tools, who have seen too many wall street movies and read too many of those books. They are usually goofballs and try to dress up slick in school, to be one of "them". Anyway I've seen many of these goofs unsuccessful at what they tried to do, I don't feel pleasure in seeing it.

Your passion shouldn't be to make money, money should be a consequence of your passion, whatever that is.

The masked avenger par sexellence

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Feb 16, 2012
lambertoscar:

Your passion shouldn't be to make money, money should be a consequence of your passion, whatever that is.

Hey man, people can't choose their passion, I'm sure there are some people out there who's passion really is making money.

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.

Feb 16, 2012
lambertoscar:

I'd take someone who thinks out of the box and is interested in random subjects at harvard anyday over a business major at a random univ. I personally despise business majors, they are major tools, who have seen too many wall street movies and read too many of those books. They are usually goofballs and try to dress up slick in school, to be one of "them". Anyway I've seen many of these goofs unsuccessful at what they tried to do, I don't feel pleasure in seeing it.

Your passion shouldn't be to make money, money should be a consequence of your passion, whatever that is.

aaaaaaand that is why you don't recruit

Feb 16, 2012

Drivel.

News flash -- liberal arts educations aren't practical, and when it comes time to make money instead of getting As, some people prefer to make more rather than less.

Feb 16, 2012

Liberal arts education was traditionally reserved for the ruling class, just like studying foreign policy. It's probably better in the big picture to have informed citizens but I have a liberal arts degree and learned 100% of what I do either on my own or on the job. Colleges really could offer condensed liberal arts requirements and cut down on liberal studies in favor of degrees that are actually usefull. Or just make everyone double major: one practical major, and one 'interest' major. But that would make sense and academics don't want to hear it from anyone, so I suppose in a generation or two they'll figure this out for themselves if their college hasn't gone bankrupt.

As for Wall Street taking advantage of these students, or people's desire to make money..........yeah, and? What's the point of the article? 20 year olds getting a job that pays $100K, what's the problem?

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Feb 16, 2012

If I run a McDonalds and need people to work 100hr weeks flipping burgers and an honors grad from Princeton wants to work for me but does not have a degree in hamburgerology (http://money.howstuffworks.com/mcdonalds4.htm), am I going to turn him down? I have plenty of resources to teach him everything quickly, plus he has demonstrated in our interview that he knows my business and has practiced flipping burgers outside of class.

...because the smart kids there are too incompetent and lack the skills to do anything else but continue to apply for for jobs that will teach actual skills.

Actually, what you're thinking of is milk-and-cookies liberal arts majors who don't take time outside of class to prepare for the real world and therefore couldn't get an actual job - such as something in banking, etc. - and end up in law school or in a masters program. Not on wall street.

Feb 16, 2012
prospie:

If I run a McDonalds and need people to work 100hr weeks flipping burgers and an honors grad from Princeton wants to work for me but does not have a degree in hamburgerology (http://money.howstuffworks.com/mcdonalds4.htm), am I going to turn him down? I have plenty of resources to teach him everything quickly, plus he has demonstrated in our interview that he knows my business and has practiced flipping burgers outside of class.

That's a weird f'n example

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.

Feb 16, 2012
scottj19x89:
prospie:

If I run a McDonalds and need people to work 100hr weeks flipping burgers and an honors grad from Princeton wants to work for me but does not have a degree in hamburgerology (http://money.howstuffworks.com/mcdonalds4.htm), am I going to turn him down? I have plenty of resources to teach him everything quickly, plus he has demonstrated in our interview that he knows my business and has practiced flipping burgers outside of class.

That's a weird f'n example

It's not weird at all. By the same token, an honors grad from Princeton - w/o any sort of finance or accounting degree - is totally qualified if not overqualified for a job entering data into models and processing deals. I hope this is not news to you, but a high schooler could do it. A monkey could do it.

Feb 16, 2012
prospie:

If I run a McDonalds and need people to work 100hr weeks flipping burgers and an honors grad from Princeton wants to work for me but does not have a degree in hamburgerology (http://money.howstuffworks.com/mcdonalds4.htm), am I going to turn him down?

i'd use his chemistry to help perfect my crystal. don't run a maccas though just 14 'los pollos hermanos'

Moving tonnes of product. Making fat stacks.

Feb 16, 2012

Story of my life.

Feb 16, 2012

How about the whole $45,000 a year in tuition thing...

Feb 16, 2012

Hah - sorry fellas, was a bit rushed in creating the post and didn't really take the time to gather my thoughts properly. What I meant to say was this:

Explanation for why Ivy League grads feed into Wall Street: Ivy League grads have no tangible skills and are too incompetent for any technical field + Wall Street exploits that weakness by offering a familiar recruiting pitch (we're selective!, you need to demonstrate "leadership"!) and offers to them teach real-world skills.

Being a bit of a cynic, the articles argument makes much more sense than "I want to be around other high achievers".

Feb 16, 2012

That's a crazy generalization.

Feb 16, 2012
Thurnis Haley:

That's a crazy generalization.

No it isn't.

Feb 16, 2012

I know plenty of guys at target's who literally fell ass backwards into banking. One dude I know, showed up to a JPM info session to "see what investment banking was about" - he literally knew NOTHING at the time. He's now a VP1. A lot of you guys need to get off your high horse. Granted this was in 2006-07.

Feb 16, 2012

This is becoming less and less of an issue, and I think liberal arts majors will continue to get squeezed, even from top schools.

CS + Applied Math is where it's at.

Feb 16, 2012
blackrainn:

This is becoming less and less of an issue, and I think liberal arts majors will continue to get squeezed, even from top schools.

CS + Applied Math is where it's at.

That is true for quant fields, but it is completely unnecessary for basic i-banking, M&A, ect.

Feb 16, 2012

So true.

Feb 16, 2012

I know, but one would think that an honors grad from Princeton would be working at McDonalds for a day or two before he says "fuck this shit" and goes and gets some job almost anywhere else... seems like a waste of training and paperwork to me. I'd rather be sitting in some office doing crap work than in fast food again. That may be because the place I worked at had a hole in the hose that you sucked the grease out of the broilers though, so I was always freaked out that I was gonna get shot in the eye with hot grease. That and getting burned was a daily thing.

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.

Feb 16, 2012

What UFO said. Also why are we assuming that a liberal arts education is comprised of art history and poli sci? Since when can you not study any math or comp sci at Harvard? Generalizing that liberal arts colleges breed useless, albeit smart, grads is somewhat of an insult to their intellect and hard work.

Feb 16, 2012

On the one hand, I too, am perplexed when I see a kid from a top school w/ a double major in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science, 4.0 in each, incredible research projects and start-up companies they've got off the ground want to get into banking. Seriously, kids like that need to be fixing shit in this country, not putting together PIB's and spreading market comps.

The only companies that really reward kids like that > Wall Street seem to big oil companies (Shell's paying u.g. Chem Engineers +$80 base and send them home at 5 everyday). The rest of the industry needs to step up and start paying smart kids w/ technical degree's top dollar if they want to keep them off of WS.

Feb 16, 2012

Who is "Wall Street"?
This seems spot on.

The Four E's of investment
"The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

Feb 16, 2012

Lol this article might as well be about me

Feb 16, 2012

One of my friend's requirement for undergraduate business major with an accounting concentration:
He did not go to a liberal art program. Studied outside of the US.

Minimum Requirement: 90 accounting credits = 30 courses of accounting
Duration: 5 years: 1 st year: General business courses;
2nd,3rd,4th year: accounting and finance courses + inernship
5th year: study abroad, capstone courses ( taught by foreign professors) memoir and full time job training

During this 5 years, her accounting concentration requires:

Freshman Year:

Personnel Management
Principles of Accounting I
Principles of Accounting II
Business Law
Macro-Economy
Micro-Economics
Applied Maths (for Management)
Applied Statistics (for Management)
Introduction to Computer Science / Programming
Financial Mathematics

Total 30 credits.

Sophomore year:
Fiscalite I
Comptabilite Intermediaire I
Comptabilite Intermediaire II
Audit I
Accounting Information System
Cost Price Analysis I
Cost Price Analysis II
Introduction au Marketing
Corporate Finance
Gestion de Projets

Total 30 credits

Junior Year

Accounting theory
audit II
Chart of Accounts for the Country Specific
taxation II
Specialized Accounting I
Specialized Accounting I
audit III
International Business Law
Financial Analysis
General policy of the company

Total 30 credits.
Grand Total :90 Accounting credits

5th year :Thesis (6 credits)
Study abroad or full time job training
Capstone courses with foreign visiting professors/ executives/entrepreneurs

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Feb 17, 2012
freeloader:

Explanation for why Ivies feed Wall Street - because the smart kids there are too incompetent and lack the skills to do anything else but continue to apply for for jobs that will teach actual skills.

In the GMAT this would be an explain the paradox critical reasoning question.

Go!

Feb 17, 2012

"Audit III" during junior year? Truly, there is another, far more undesirable end of the spectrum.

Feb 16, 2012
understatement:

"Audit III" during junior year? Truly, there is another, far more undesirable end of the spectrum.

It's better than philosophy, Pr. of Marketing and most of the gened courses or the chore courses for typical business major

Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

Feb 16, 2012

liberal arts is for sissies and faggots

Moving tonnes of product. Making fat stacks.

Feb 17, 2012
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Feb 18, 2012
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