Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

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crystalbank
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Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by crystalbank » Wed May 08, 2019 11:50 am

Asking for a relative, he is currently doing his Undergraduate studies in Penn State. He seems to have trouble deciding between B.S. Econ major (College of Liberal Arts in Penn State) or Finance major (Smeal College of Business Penn State). He was initially set on majoring in Economics, but a number of his academic advisors suggested majoring in Finance instead due to better career prospects right after college.

I'm curious what BHers think? Note that he wants to do graduate studies too after undergrad (likely MBA).
Last edited by crystalbank on Wed May 08, 2019 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barnaclebob
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed May 08, 2019 12:09 pm

My friend majored in econ and worked in megacorp administrative paper pushing type jobs until he got his MBA. Now he does the same stuff but is paid twice as much.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Isabelle77 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:14 pm

I have a BS in Finance and it really didn't seem to matter in my case. I was offered a good job at an investment bank right out of school and so were my friends who were Econ majors, I never went on to get an MBA because I switched fields, but many of the people I graduated (with either major) did. They're really two different paths of study so I would recommend whichever interests him the most.

delamer
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by delamer » Wed May 08, 2019 12:38 pm

What type of grad studies?

And what type of career?

123
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by 123 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:48 pm

A Finance major is much more marketable as a gateway to employment with a Bachelor's degree. An Economics major is much more "iffy" when applying it to the job market. But people that get an undergraduate degree in Economics can somewhat correct the situation at the Masters level with an MBA.
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crystalbank
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by crystalbank » Wed May 08, 2019 1:11 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:38 pm
What type of grad studies?

And what type of career?
From what I gather, he's thinking about doing an MBA. As for career, I don't think he has any idea yet.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Meg77 » Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm

Finance degrees are much more generally marketable because there is usually much more of a focus on practical business skills (accounting classes, management, marketing, etc.). If you're at an ivy league school or a school with a particularly robust Econ degree that comes with a network or at which top firms recruit, then there may be an exception. But at many universities, Economics is similar to many other academic focused liberal arts degrees (psychology, anthropology) which can vary in rigor but which focus more on analyzing and writing research.

I recommend he listen to the advisors that his tuition dollars are paying for. They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any). If he doesn't have a goal or isn't sure which way to go, a finance degree is definitely a better launching point as far as starting salary and ability to get interviews at the most places. That may not be his goal, but in the absence of any other goal it's not a bad place to be.

Note: I switched to a finance undergrad degree as a junior 15 years ago when I realized I didn't want to stay in school until age 30 to be a psychologist and wasn't sure what major to pick (I was a psychology/philosophy double major at the time with minors in business and Spanish). I'm so grateful that I did because it opened a lot of doors and saved me from the time and expense of going back for a graduate degree (I'd planned I'd go to law school out of school and considered an MBA in my late 20s, but my salary was climbing enough that those investments didn't make sense).
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by doug1022 » Wed May 08, 2019 2:09 pm

What about majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics? I work in finance and agree that is probably more generally marketable from a career perspective, with several different pathways to long lasting careers. Having a strong working knowledge of Accounting would also help in this regard.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Gill » Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm

Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any).
Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Hockey10 » Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm
Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any).
Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
I was about to say the same thing, but Gill beat me to it. I know people in the Philadelphia area who have no clue that there is a difference between the 2 schools.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by pacodelostigres » Wed May 08, 2019 2:51 pm

I have an undergrad in Econ and a graduate degree in Finance. My career prospects improved immediately when I got the Finance degree, as did my pay. The Econ degree was very limiting, and it wasn't about the BS vs MS.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Gill » Wed May 08, 2019 2:58 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm
Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any).
Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
I was about to say the same thing, but Gill beat me to it. I know people in the Philadelphia area who have no clue that there is a difference between the 2 schools.
It’s been the case since I went to Penn many years ago. At Penn they have a popular t-shirt that says “Not Penn State”.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

supersecretname
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by supersecretname » Wed May 08, 2019 3:00 pm

Finance without a doubt. Not many econ jobs.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 08, 2019 3:03 pm

123 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:48 pm
A Finance major is much more marketable as a gateway to employment with a Bachelor's degree. An Economics major is much more "iffy" when applying it to the job market. But people that get an undergraduate degree in Economics can somewhat correct the situation at the Masters level with an MBA.
This.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Determined » Wed May 08, 2019 3:24 pm

My fiancé teaches at Penn St. Behrend (Erie) at the Black School of Business. He teaches the senior capstone classes and gets all the majors in economics, finance, business, marketing, etc... He also consults with businesses in strategic leadership. He says finance.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Thegame14 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:01 pm

Finance.....

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by DartThrower » Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm

I was an econ major so long ago that Adam Smith was still alive (I think).

It was the recession of 1982 and Paul Volker was doing his thing. Anyway I wasn't even able to get a job as a bank teller with my BS in econ so I went to grad school for stats. The graduate program had a fellowship available so they actually paid ME to go. It worked out great since by the time I had my coursework done the recession was lifting and I was easily able to get a job doing actuarial type work. I really LOVED economics and in hindsight I am happy with how things worked out. I guess the lesson is that if he really loves econ he should do it with the understanding that he will probably need to supplement his background in some way, or of course he could go on for a PhD.

Regarding the Penn vs Penn State thing... I remember a joke issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian that had the headline "Penn to Change its Name to Ben Franklin University". Some people actually fell for it and for a while there was chaos! :P
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by TSR » Wed May 08, 2019 4:16 pm

doug1022 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:09 pm
What about majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics? I work in finance and agree that is probably more generally marketable from a career perspective, with several different pathways to long lasting careers. Having a strong working knowledge of Accounting would also help in this regard.
I have a soft spot for liberal arts degrees and think this is a good idea. The recent shift away from humanities and toward STEM fields to me suggests that there will be a shortage of people who can write well and bring a more humane outlook to problems within the job market, so a minor in something a little more heady and academic might be a differentiator in that MBA program and beyond. Hell, I'd say go for a minor in art history or english --- anything that will force someone to write and analyze.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Meg77 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:20 pm

Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:58 pm
Hockey10 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm
Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any).
Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
I was about to say the same thing, but Gill beat me to it. I know people in the Philadelphia area who have no clue that there is a difference between the 2 schools.
It’s been the case since I went to Penn many years ago. At Penn they have a popular t-shirt that says “Not Penn State”.
Gill
Sorry - no offense intended! I'm from Alabama and live in Texas; I don't know anybody from either school haha.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by stan1 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:29 pm

As far as graduate school probably about the same.

If he's an A student it won't make much difference for first job in consulting or tech.

If he's a B or C student then I think there would be a preference for the Business degree as somewhat more marketable.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Gill » Wed May 08, 2019 5:59 pm

DartThrower wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Regarding the Penn vs Penn State thing... I remember a joke issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian that had the headline "Penn to Change its Name to Ben Franklin University". Some people actually fell for it and for a while there was chaos! :P
That’s no joke and has been discussed off and on for many years. As you undoubtedly know, Franklin founded Penn.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

delamer
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by delamer » Wed May 08, 2019 6:02 pm

crystalbank wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:11 pm
delamer wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:38 pm
What type of grad studies?

And what type of career?
From what I gather, he's thinking about doing an MBA. As for career, I don't think he has any idea yet.
If a MBA is his expected route, then a Finance undergrad would prepare him better for that.

If he has any interest in data analytics, then an Econ degree with a heavy dose of programming would be a good path.

delamer
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by delamer » Wed May 08, 2019 6:04 pm

Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:58 pm
Hockey10 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm
Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any).
Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
I was about to say the same thing, but Gill beat me to it. I know people in the Philadelphia area who have no clue that there is a difference between the 2 schools.
It’s been the case since I went to Penn many years ago. At Penn they have a popular t-shirt that says “Not Penn State”.
Gill
Sorry - no offense intended! I'm from Alabama and live in Texas; I don't know anybody from either school haha.
Penn — University of Pennsylvania— is part of the Ivy League. Home of the Wharton School of Business.

Penn State — Pennsylvania State University — is the state flagship school.

Penn graduates don’t like it when the two are confused...

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TxAg
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by TxAg » Wed May 08, 2019 6:10 pm

Try this:

Accounting undergrad degree with Econ electives.
Graduate degree in Finance.

I kinda did it the other way around and struggled with some accounting practices.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Lee_WSP » Wed May 08, 2019 7:02 pm

My economics degree has not proven to be very valuable compared to other possible bachelor's degrees I could have gotten instead. That said, I wouldn't be where I am today if I had taken a different path, but alternative me might've actually used his degree. Not that I don't use what I learned today, but I never went into a field that used the degree. Just my $0.02.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by crystalbank » Wed May 08, 2019 11:29 pm

Determined wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:24 pm
My fiancé teaches at Penn St. Behrend (Erie) at the Black School of Business. He teaches the senior capstone classes and gets all the majors in economics, finance, business, marketing, etc... He also consults with businesses in strategic leadership. He says finance.
Thanks for the response. He's currently enrolled at Erie, Behrend College and doing the 2+2 program. I'll make sure to let him know.
Last edited by crystalbank on Wed May 08, 2019 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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crystalbank
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by crystalbank » Wed May 08, 2019 11:31 pm

Thanks again everyone for the responses. I will talk to him tomorrow and let him know about the various responses given by you guys. Looks like Finance beat out Econ overwhelmingly..

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 08, 2019 11:59 pm

Finance and concurrently, Business.
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by BionicBillWalsh » Thu May 09, 2019 3:54 am

delamer wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 6:04 pm
Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:20 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:58 pm
Hockey10 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:20 pm


Penn State, not Penn!
Gill
I was about to say the same thing, but Gill beat me to it. I know people in the Philadelphia area who have no clue that there is a difference between the 2 schools.
It’s been the case since I went to Penn many years ago. At Penn they have a popular t-shirt that says “Not Penn State”.
Gill
Sorry - no offense intended! I'm from Alabama and live in Texas; I don't know anybody from either school haha.
Penn — University of Pennsylvania— is part of the Ivy League. Home of the Wharton School of Business.

Penn State — Pennsylvania State University — is the state flagship school.

Penn graduates don’t like it when the two are confused...
That’s because one costs in excess of 50k a year for undergrad tuition and one costs less than 20k. With similar job prospects and pay when graduated. Embarrassing indeed for Penn grads.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu May 09, 2019 4:32 am

delamer wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 6:02 pm
crystalbank wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:11 pm
delamer wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 12:38 pm
What type of grad studies?

And what type of career?
From what I gather, he's thinking about doing an MBA. As for career, I don't think he has any idea yet.
If a MBA is his expected route, then a Finance undergrad would prepare him better for that.

If he has any interest in data analytics, then an Econ degree with a heavy dose of programming would be a good path.
Generally with economics now, that's the thrust of the discipline. Applied statistical work (including programming) on the large amounts of data that the internet is generating. Phds seem to have gone very much the applied route.

The problem with undergrad Finance and then MBA is duplication. The first year finance & accounting & economics courses are basically a waste of time. However if doing a part-time or exec MBA one may be able to get exemptions (the Full Time programmes are tougher about that, I think).

I prefer the liberal arts approach ie economics. But unfortunately in the job market there's a bit of an attitude "Economics is what people do if they don't get into undergrad business school or if they are planning to go to law school".

If you are undergrad at a place like University of Pennsylvania, what matters is you in the round - you will be (trying to) interview at Morgan Stanley for an Associate job (although they hire a lot of Wharton undergrads).

But below that tier of schools, it's going to matter what you studied, and as a job market signal, Finance sounds better than Economics.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Thu May 09, 2019 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu May 09, 2019 4:33 am

Meg77 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 1:27 pm
Finance degrees are much more generally marketable because there is usually much more of a focus on practical business skills (accounting classes, management, marketing, etc.). If you're at an ivy league school or a school with a particularly robust Econ degree that comes with a network or at which top firms recruit, then there may be an exception. But at many universities, Economics is similar to many other academic focused liberal arts degrees (psychology, anthropology) which can vary in rigor but which focus more on analyzing and writing research.

I recommend he listen to the advisors that his tuition dollars are paying for. They will have a much more attuned sense of the value and marketability of Penn's various degree programs as well as which route is likely to get him toward the goal he has set (if any). If he doesn't have a goal or isn't sure which way to go, a finance degree is definitely a better launching point as far as starting salary and ability to get interviews at the most places. That may not be his goal, but in the absence of any other goal it's not a bad place to be.

Note: I switched to a finance undergrad degree as a junior 15 years ago when I realized I didn't want to stay in school until age 30 to be a psychologist and wasn't sure what major to pick (I was a psychology/philosophy double major at the time with minors in business and Spanish). I'm so grateful that I did because it opened a lot of doors and saved me from the time and expense of going back for a graduate degree (I'd planned I'd go to law school out of school and considered an MBA in my late 20s, but my salary was climbing enough that those investments didn't make sense).
This is all sound advice, in my view.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu May 09, 2019 4:36 am

A professional economist now is expected to have a really good grasp of stats and of programming stats analysis (typically in R).

Economics now is about data manipulation and analysis. The internet has produced a treasure trove of data and there is a need for hard crunchy analysis of it.

So for a career as an economist, one will need at least a masters degree, but the undergrad should have a strong background in math & stats, especially the latter.

For a general business career, setting aside the grasp of statistics (which is essential to many, many jobs), economics is not particularly favoured over say, history, but it may be easier to get that crucial foot in the door of an internship or first job.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:36 am

Finance

/thread

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by runner540 » Thu May 09, 2019 6:54 am

crystalbank wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:29 pm
Determined wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:24 pm
My fiancé teaches at Penn St. Behrend (Erie) at the Black School of Business. He teaches the senior capstone classes and gets all the majors in economics, finance, business, marketing, etc... He also consults with businesses in strategic leadership. He says finance.
Thanks for the response. He's currently enrolled at Erie, Behrend College and doing the 2+2 program. I'll make sure to let him know.
If he does Finance, make sure he takes econ and other subjects. Finance will help him get his first job, but after that you need more skills and well rounded knowledge. Also, he should not do an MBA right after undergrad - needs to work a few years first.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by ModifiedDuration » Thu May 09, 2019 6:56 am

BionicBillWalsh wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:54 am

That’s because one costs in excess of 50k a year for undergrad tuition and one costs less than 20k. With similar job prospects and pay when graduated. Embarrassing indeed for Penn grads.
You believe that people who graduate from Penn have similar job prospects and pay compared to people who graduate from Penn State?

Interesting, especially considering that Wharton Undergrad students have an average starting salary of $80,000 and Penn State’s Business School graduates have an average starting salary of $60,000.

https://cdn.uconnectlabs.com/wp-content ... Report.pdf

https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservic ... Report.pdf

And that Penn’s engineering students have an average starting salary of $92,000, while Penn State’s is $71,000.

https://career.engr.psu.edu/students/un ... alary.aspx

https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/careerservic ... s-SEAS.pdf
Last edited by ModifiedDuration on Thu May 09, 2019 7:18 am, edited 5 times in total.

ModifiedDuration
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by ModifiedDuration » Thu May 09, 2019 7:02 am

Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:59 pm
DartThrower wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Regarding the Penn vs Penn State thing... I remember a joke issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian that had the headline "Penn to Change its Name to Ben Franklin University". Some people actually fell for it and for a while there was chaos! :P
That’s no joke and has been discussed off and on for many years. As you undoubtedly know, Franklin founded Penn.
Gill
Yes, that was the headline to one of the Daily Pennsylvanians’ April Fools issues years ago and, yes, that idea has been discussed seriously.

One of the problems with that idea is that the school would then be Franklin University......or called “FU” for short.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Gill » Thu May 09, 2019 7:21 am

ModifiedDuration wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:02 am
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:59 pm
DartThrower wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Regarding the Penn vs Penn State thing... I remember a joke issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian that had the headline "Penn to Change its Name to Ben Franklin University". Some people actually fell for it and for a while there was chaos! :P
That’s no joke and has been discussed off and on for many years. As you undoubtedly know, Franklin founded Penn.
Gill
Yes, that was the headline to one of the Daily Pennsylvanians’ April Fools issues years ago and, yes, that idea has been discussed seriously.

One of the problems with that idea is that the school would then be Franklin University......or called “FU” for short.
Yes, it was being discussed when I was an undergraduate but I had forgotten about the acronym problem. :happy
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Andyrunner » Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 am

Finance. I knew people who got economic majors but to get an MBA had to take additional classes because it wasn't a business undergrad.

I would also look into whether he can get a double major, many of the classes might cross over.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Leemiller » Thu May 09, 2019 7:45 am

TSR wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:16 pm
doug1022 wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 2:09 pm
What about majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics? I work in finance and agree that is probably more generally marketable from a career perspective, with several different pathways to long lasting careers. Having a strong working knowledge of Accounting would also help in this regard.
I have a soft spot for liberal arts degrees and think this is a good idea. The recent shift away from humanities and toward STEM fields to me suggests that there will be a shortage of people who can write well and bring a more humane outlook to problems within the job market, so a minor in something a little more heady and academic might be a differentiator in that MBA program and beyond. Hell, I'd say go for a minor in art history or english --- anything that will force someone to write and analyze.
Agree. My humanities degree has served me very well in this regard.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Ben Mathew » Thu May 09, 2019 9:30 am

I taught finance in the economics department at a liberal arts college. The institutions that I studied or taught at did not offer finance as an major for undergrads, so I'm not familiar with the difference in job opportunities for economics vs finance majors. But here's my perspective about the academics:

It's important to know when choosing between economics and finance that finance is a subfield of economics. So it's impossible to understand finance well without understanding economics well. The logical progression that makes the most sense to me for someone who wants to learn finance is to take introductory and intermediate core courses in freshman and sophomore years and focus on finance in junior and senior years. I imagine that an undergrad program in finance could set things up this way, requiring core courses in economics from the economics department. Or it could be done within an economics major, as long at they offer enough finance courses. I took a look at Penn State's finance curriculum and it looks light on economics to me. Unfortunately, the economics department don't seem to offer enough courses on finance . So neither option looks like a perfect solution for learning finance. If he decides to major in finance through the business school, I would encourage him to take more of the core economics courses beyond the finance program requirements, especially if there is a chance that he will do a Ph.D. in either economics or finance.

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DartThrower
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by DartThrower » Thu May 09, 2019 10:15 am

ModifiedDuration wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:02 am
Gill wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 5:59 pm
DartThrower wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 4:05 pm


Regarding the Penn vs Penn State thing... I remember a joke issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian that had the headline "Penn to Change its Name to Ben Franklin University". Some people actually fell for it and for a while there was chaos! :P
That’s no joke and has been discussed off and on for many years. As you undoubtedly know, Franklin founded Penn.
Gill
Yes, that was the headline to one of the Daily Pennsylvanians’ April Fools issues years ago and, yes, that idea has been discussed seriously.

One of the problems with that idea is that the school would then be Franklin University......or called “FU” for short.
Strangely enough that acronym was never a problem for the First Union center (which eventually became the Wachovia center and then the Wells Fargo center). Home of the Sixers and Flyers.
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by HenryBemis » Thu May 09, 2019 10:19 am

Loved Econ, was told by the Econ Professor to major in Finance instead. I am very happy I took that advice. As others have already pointed out, Finance is much more marketable.

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DartThrower
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by DartThrower » Thu May 09, 2019 10:27 am

From the above comments it sounds like econ/software engineering might be a good combination. Econ/stat worked great for me, but software engineering didn't really exist as its own subject back in 1982. I hear Penn State has an excellent software engineering program too.
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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by ohai » Thu May 09, 2019 10:48 am

The material of either major matters less than the recruiting opportunities. More companies will habitually hire Finance majors at most schools, and it sounds like the advisors in this school even stated this blatantly. Even the company I work for will tell us to find resumes of Business major types, which I think is kind of silly, but that is how it works.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by delamer » Thu May 09, 2019 3:04 pm

Andyrunner wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 am
Finance. I knew people who got economic majors but to get an MBA had to take additional classes because it wasn't a business undergrad.
I ran into that myself, which is why I suggested finance if a MBA was the ultimate goal.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Gill » Thu May 09, 2019 3:08 pm

Ben Mathew wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:30 am

It's important to know when choosing between economics and finance that finance is a subfield of economics. So it's impossible to understand finance well without understanding economics well.
Your explanation sheds some light on something I've always wondered about my own degree. All Wharton undergraduates receive a BS in Economics even though they may major in many other fields such as Finance, Marketing, Actuarial Science or whatever. The fact that these are subfields of economics seems to be the explanation. Economics is a required first year course.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Determined » Thu May 09, 2019 4:30 pm

crystalbank wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 11:29 pm
Determined wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:24 pm
My fiancé teaches at Penn St. Behrend (Erie) at the Black School of Business. He teaches the senior capstone classes and gets all the majors in economics, finance, business, marketing, etc... He also consults with businesses in strategic leadership. He says finance.
Thanks for the response. He's currently enrolled at Erie, Behrend College and doing the 2+2 program. I'll make sure to let him know.
Small world!

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by topper1296 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:26 pm

Finance. I have a BS in finance and have done pretty well with it. And if wanting to pick up a minor, I'd suggest accounting and/or computer science.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by Ben Mathew » Fri May 10, 2019 11:16 am

Gill wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:08 pm
Ben Mathew wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:30 am

It's important to know when choosing between economics and finance that finance is a subfield of economics. So it's impossible to understand finance well without understanding economics well.
Your explanation sheds some light on something I've always wondered about my own degree. All Wharton undergraduates receive a BS in Economics even though they may major in many other fields such as Finance, Marketing, Actuarial Science or whatever. The fact that these are subfields of economics seems to be the explanation. Economics is a required first year course.
Gill
That's interesting. I'm not as familiar with the other business concentrations. I believe marketing has some economics, but it takes from pyschology as well. And leadership, teamwork, and ethics type courses probably have little to no economics content. But finance is pretty much the principles of economics applied to financial markets. And accounting is related to finance. Between finance, accounting, economics and business strategy, there's probably a lot of economics in a business degree. And the math and statistics requirements might be comparable to the requirements in an economics degree, further adding to the similarities in the programs.

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Re: Undergrad major in Economics or Finance?

Post by JBTX » Fri May 10, 2019 11:32 am

If he plans to actually go into finance, some additional accounting would be helpful also. It isn't as fun or enjoyable as finance and Econ, as it is more rule based and less theory, but in corporate America most finance jobs require a solid understanding of accounting. Also it is unlikely you will get much accounting in the MBA program, unless you seek it out.

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