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Advice on Education Path (BCom vs Economics)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was hoping the hive mind could give me some advice on my education and career path. I am not sure exactly what I want to do as a career, but real estate development or banking are most interesting right now.

I am currently in my second year of university at okay school, but one that has little name recognition. I am debating about the value of my undergrad, especially considering that I plan to get an MBA later. My options are to go to a good BCom program, likely UBC's Sauder, but it will cost my significantly in terms of time. I will likely have to add at least a semester to pick up the needed preqeqs and possibly longer because the area of focus that I want would likely be full for this year's entrance. The other option is to stay at my current school and go to their relatively poorly ranked school but I would be able to complete it more quickly and it would save a substantial amount of money because I could live at home.

Also, considering many of you would be the people hiring my future self, how would an economics degree be seen by hiring managers? I am debating between an economics degree and a BCom. This is an area that interest me and although it deals in a far more theoretical realm seems to teach many of the same skills. I have little interest in actually being an economist, but rather plan to work in a large firm. Would it be seen as more of a worthless liberal arts degree? It seems with a plan to get an MBA that an earlier BCom degree is fairly redundant.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I am generally an A+ student (though the odd A creeps in). Please give me the benefit of being in the positions I want to hold in ten or twenty years.
post #2 of 10
gimme like 2 years and ill let you know
post #3 of 10
Here's my 2 cents (as a bit of background to it, I went to business school at the UofA, got a BCom and went into the CA program, so feel free to judge it accordingly)

Economics jobs are hard to come by, so if you wanna do that, you gotta be dedicated. I found the difference between BCom and Economics is pretty vast, Economics is quite theoretical, whereas a BCom will make sure you graduate ready for the workforce with skills to get started in hand. I know a few economics majors who actually went back to get their Bcom because they couldn't get jobs.

MBA is actually rather redundant if you've already done a BCom, but for some jobs like consultant, it still looks good to have.
post #4 of 10
Stay with your current uni, and do as well as you can. Try to pick up a more technical major along with Econ, if econ is too easy for you. Stay low on the loans for undergrad, and use the money saved for the MBA later.

Transferring to uni's for a higher rank or more name recognition is unnecessary. Instead, focus on getting good summer internships in things that interest you. If you can get those, getting a good job after graduation should be easier.
post #5 of 10
Where do you go? Royal Roads? UVic? If you're getting A's and A+'s at UVic then you're fine.

Banking..
The big banks don't really hire from UVic or Royal Roads. The market for investment banking in BC is small, so the recruitment out of BC universities for banking is small. Your best shot in BC is of course UBC Sauder. Even then, it's not that great. I don't think they'll really if you have the BA Econ versus the BCom. What matters is GPA and school rep.

Your best bet would be to transfer to U of Western Ontario Ivey to do the Hons. BA... it's basically a BCom. I believe the program is specifically for third and fourth year and they take many transfers from all over Canada, so you're in perfect position as a second year. It's a competitive school to get into though. Queen's also does very well in terms of investment banking recruitment. Consider transferring there as well.

You can also enter banking with an MBA. Of course, you need to be at a top MBA program.. and that typically requires you to have good grades/job exp.

Real estate development..
UBC Sauder is the best for this hands down. They have a great real estate program. I don't know how many real estate development jobs are out there though.
post #6 of 10
If you want to do investment banking in Canada and go to a Canadian school, you more or less need a BCom/HBA from: Ivey, McGill, Queens, Rotman, Sauder or Schulich. Mayble throw in Calgary or Alberta for Calgary-area recruiting. Also note that in Canada, unlike the U.S., almost every school offers an undergraduate business degree, so an econ degree will put you at a disadvantage re: banking recruiting.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by warmpi View Post
Where do you go? Royal Roads? UVic? If you're getting A's and A+'s at UVic then you're fine.

Glad to hear that. I am at UVic.

Thanks for the advice. I am just going to apply to a variety of schools and hope for some cash. It will make the decision easier if one of them decides to pay for my to come.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryB View Post
I was hoping the hive mind could give me some advice on my education and career path. I am not sure exactly what I want to do as a career, but real estate development or banking are most interesting right now.

I am currently in my second year of university at okay school, but one that has little name recognition. I am debating about the value of my undergrad, especially considering that I plan to get an MBA later. My options are to go to a good BCom program, likely UBC's Sauder, but it will cost my significantly in terms of time. I will likely have to add at least a semester to pick up the needed preqeqs and possibly longer because the area of focus that I want would likely be full for this year's entrance. The other option is to stay at my current school and go to their relatively poorly ranked school but I would be able to complete it more quickly and it would save a substantial amount of money because I could live at home.

Also, considering many of you would be the people hiring my future self, how would an economics degree be seen by hiring managers? I am debating between an economics degree and a BCom. This is an area that interest me and although it deals in a far more theoretical realm seems to teach many of the same skills. I have little interest in actually being an economist, but rather plan to work in a large firm. Would it be seen as more of a worthless liberal arts degree? It seems with a plan to get an MBA that an earlier BCom degree is fairly redundant.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I am generally an A+ student (though the odd A creeps in). Please give me the benefit of being in the positions I want to hold in ten or twenty years.

How old are you?

(1) Canada is for quitters. Go to a U in the A.

(2) I've got no idea what a BCom is. I'm guessing it's something akin to a BA in Business, which is essentially a worthless degree. If it has something to do with communications it's even more worthless. As a hiring manager for an entry level job, I'd much rather see a degree in economics than communications or general business.

(3) In my experience, anything above a 3.9 can actually hurt you when it comes to professional hiring. One of my employers, and I've heard through a friend of a different big name consulting firm, has a 3.5-3.9 GPA screen. The thought being that less than a 3.5 and they can't hack it and more than a 3.9 and they work excessively hard to hack it. When it comes to grad school (MBA excluded), the higher the better. If you can pull a 4.5, go for it. Otherwise, stop working so hard and go have some fun.

(4) My overarching advice is to follow your interests. This may run counter to my suggestion to pursue econ over comm/biz, but at least you know you'll be studying something you're interested in learning about. It worked for me despite being counter to what my guidance counselor in HS suggested and I'm more and more convinced that it's the only route to professional happiness and fulfillment. If your field doesn't interest you, how motivated and passionate about it could you possible be?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am 20. Your comment regarding GPA is interesting, though a solid GPA really isn't that hard to come by. If one stops bitching about profs and actually spends a few hours with a textbook it is fairly easy. I am largely taking quantitative courses so by merely applying a few formula I can easily walk out with a 95+% average.
post #10 of 10
I don't mean this as a knock on UVic, but I just want to pass on what I've heard: UVic is notorious for grade inflation. Something about having more high GPA undergrads, so they can gain admission to good grad schools and from there push up the reputation of UVic.

I don't actually know how true this is. If you're already in the top of your class, I suspect you'll be fine in other schools too. I'm just saying you should stay humble, and be prepared for a hit on your GPA when switching. I've heard that U of T is pretty much the worst, as they like to keep averages low so they can identify the genius types.
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