Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by TyCooN, Sep 26, 2012.
What kind of work did you get into after college?
i was a political economy major... so a bit different. i work in real estate development... specifically, hotels.
Yup. It's a fantastic choice if you plan on getting a PhD (in economics or most anything else). Not so great, I think, as far as getting a job with just your bachelors (probably better off with a BS in finance or accounting).
I moved to Asia for some research opportunities after graduation (2008). Eventually a career in academia awaits me.
Quite a few I know got into finance after internships, but that might have had to do with networking more than their major. A few others are analysts of some sort; I'm not sure if they actually use their degree much there.
It depends on what school you go to. Any Econ major from a school like U-M Ann Arbor will have better prospects than a Econ/Finance major from Michigan State University (just using Michigan schools because I am familiar). Finance majors at U-M have better prospects than Econ majors at U-M though.
You need to leverage experience, work from your initiative, positions of officer in academic clubs, your GPA, etc.. Your major might not be as important as you think it is. Many people don't even work in a field where their major is associated with.
My advice, get involved - usually people in the business school administration know top recruiters from firms that visit your school, if they know your name and have a good association with it - they will help you out if you ask. Try to get a professor to let you assist him in some research, if they are currently working on something it can add a good amount of value, maybe value more stressed for higher education, but can be leveraged elsewhere.
In the end your school brand does make a big deal when you apply for jobs, whether you agree with that or not. Its an absolute fact that fortunately/unfortunately can make/break you from getting certain positions.
To answer your question: A friend of mine did Econ at U-M and worked as an analyst at a big bank. I myself did Finance at MSU and currently an analyst at an F500. My job vs his job are completely different - I manage expenses across the company whereas he worked in much more complex securities based analysis. From my school, my job is pretty good compared to the rest of my graduating class, his for an Econ major is also pretty good (but compared to Finance majors in his school not so much)
i went to columbia. with the exception of wharton, and up and until recently, no ivy has any "pre-professional" programs. no business, not finance, pre-med, pre-law, etc.
columbia just last year started some "financial economics" whatever major. when i was there, all the econ majors went to banks/real estate developers/consulting firms.
it's more about being at a target school for the company you want to work at, and networking, than your major. nobody really cares about your major unless you're going into a quantitative field.
isn't there's like.. "applied econ" or something? not undergraduate "business." similar to columbia "financial economics"... i guess my point was more that the only undergraduate program that will give you the same general training as a proper MBA would, is Wharton.
What school? It can make a big difference from a recruiting perspective but not necessarily from a hiring perspective (i.e. a good candidate is a good candidate...but a good candidate from a heavily recruited program is going to have many more chances to prove it while someone from a smaller/lower ranked school might need to do some more legwork on their own).
I graduated from a good program and went into econ consulting. I like it a lot as the work is quite varied which suits my personality and most of the cases are pretty high profile and interesting. At the PhD level, you'd better be from a top program, but we've made plenty of good hires with BAs from no-name schools.
I would say that major is mostly irrelevant in the job search.
I had a mentor who was an Econ major for undergrad at Emory and he works at UBS atm.
Most of the econ majors i knew went on to become an analyst and a lot often went on for either MBA or pursuing PhD
I would also point out that on my first day in the econ program (top 10 undergrad) the head of the department addressed the incoming freshmen and asked: "show of hands, who here is positive that they want to pursue a PhD in economics?" About a dozen hands went up, and he replied: "you guys are all in the wrong place, head over to the math department and talk to me in four years."
Doubled in Econ and International Studies (with IPE concentration). Worked at a govt consulting company in DC post grad. I think econ is a great major if you know what you're interested in but don't like finance/accounting.
Soooooooo true. Though I would be a bit less extreme and say that pursuing an economics PhD without at least minoring in math (and taking as many econometric courses as possible) is asking for a major headache come graduate school.
Perhaps I should have said "it's a fantastic choice is you plan on getting a PhD (in any of the humanities outside of economics)." I still feel that it makes for a very versatile degree with regards to any graduate pursuits related to liberal arts or social sciences.
I did econ/philosophy. but I had several years sales expereince when I started school. I worked for a consulting company for a year, and since then I've been in sales
Just want to throw it out there...so much of the best work in economics (and even the best BA students I saw in economics) came from people who did not initially intend to pursue economics.
There are a lot of PhDs out there with BAs in physics or math...even people who come from out of nowhere with things like history/political science/psychology.
I don't know who the hell shows up at college their freshman year and says "I want to take economics 101, then major in it, then spend 7 more years getting a PhD in it"...but I would guess that 95% of those people never come anywhere close to a PhD. They probably took something stupid like AP econ and decided that it sounded like a good major (or they heard job options were good for econ)...
I'm not saying the quote from tj100 is right (plenty of PhDs have econ undergraduate degrees) but it makes a bit more sense if you think of economics as a tool. To do really well with a tool, you have to either be
A) *really* good at using it (hence the mathematicians/statisticians/physicists who come to the field with incredibly strong math skills).
B) Use the tool on something people haven't tried it on before (like Steven Levitt or someone like nobel prizewinner Robert Fogel whose history background undoubtedly influenced his research heavily).
Both types of people can come from econ BA -> econ PhD but I would venture to guess that the mathematicians who turn into the type A economists have a slightly easier time getting through school and finding rewarding work. Levitt didn't really know calculus when he showed up in grad school and I bet that made it hard for him until he started coming up with his wacky ideas. Someone who doesn't have really great technical skills *and* doesn't look at problems with a fresh lens, is probably going to have trouble being successful.
edit: I say all this only as something that I can observe. I am certainly not saying that majoring in math is going to lead to success in economics. I am pretty damn sure that the people who major in math before getting an econ phd probably *love* math. People who don't love math don't tend to major in math. They are successful at econ because they love the math that drives econ (and probably decided they didn't like the careers that pure math would lead them to). Someone who comes at it from another path (like Fogel's history) is probably just bringing their love for something else to the field. If your interest is actually in economics (especially if its not certain you want a phd), then by all means, major in economics
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