Finance or Accounting Degree?

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whodidntante
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by whodidntante » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:09 am

Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
Accounting consists of arithmetic and figuring out what people are talking about, and being skeptical of what they tell you until the numbers confirm it. And then once you get a job, you do everything in SAP.

I'm not sure that aptitude for math is required. Attention to detail is.

Finance is the same thing but with exponents. And if you're lucky you get to trade derivatives.

I may be leaving a few details out. I'm sure the auditors will find my omissions.

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willthrill81
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:19 am

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:09 am
Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
Accounting consists of arithmetic and figuring out what people are talking about, and being skeptical of what they tell you until the numbers confirm it. And then once you get a job, you do everything in SAP.

I'm not sure that aptitude for math is required. Attention to detail is.

Finance is the same thing but with exponents. And if you're lucky you get to trade derivatives.

I may be leaving a few details out. I'm sure the auditors will find my omissions.
Even trained statisticians aren't crunching the numbers themselves. They are merely interpreting the results produced by software. I took about eight statistics courses, most in grad school, and didn't do any manual calculations in six of them.
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Megamill
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Megamill » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:25 am

FrugalConservative wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:04 am
Accounting major with a finance minor.
After reading through all the great responses, I agree with this and then top it off with CPA...

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by 2tall4economy » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:40 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:54 am
Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
Megamill,

With an accounting degree, you can move into the finance field in the future. But, you cannot go into the accounting area with a finance degree. So, in terms of career opportunity, an undergraduate degree in accounting is better.

KlangFool
I normally take klangfools advice as gospel but in this case have to disagree, or more correctly clarify the point.

I have a degree in engineering and then later I got one in finance. I worked as a full fledged accountant, as well as treasury person as well as operations finance (what people usually mean then they say “finance”).

The caveat was that I intentionally made sure I met the requirements to sit for the cpa exam to prove to potential employers that I could do accounting (and it worked well).

Aside from my personal career path, In my 20 years of work experience in the finance function, I’ve seen plenty of non-cpa finance Degreed folks put into straight up accountant jobs and vice versa.

how often it occurs ebbs and flows depending on how often fortune 500s make headlines for restating earnings In the past few years.

so with all that said I have two key data points that tell you everything you need to know, worth what you paid for them:

1) ”big four” accounting firms will only take cpas and they expect you to have a masters in accounting (but cpa is the higher bar) so if that’s the (admitted narrow) career path desired, that’s the answer

2) I had the head of finance hr in one of the largest companies in the world tell me they tried really hard to avoid hiring cpa/technical accountant profile resumes. This is because the company had seen extremely poor results moving technical accountants into any other area of finance while the opposite was never true. We only staffed up cpas when the Wall Street mood on earnings correctness was ebbing.
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PatrickA5
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by PatrickA5 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:54 am

Clarice wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:39 am
Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
I have both. ~5 additional classes. Get to stay in college longer. :sharebeer
I'm having my DS consider that. He's almost done with his Accounting degree, but REALLY likes his Finance classes. I told him I don't have a problem with him getting a second bachelors degree in Finance if he can get it done in one year (I'm paying). He's looking into it. I think he took up Accounting because both of his parents are Accountants.

Cooper62
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Cooper62 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:15 pm

I'm a finance/accounting double major with a CPA. I work for a Fortune 500 company in corporate finance. I started in the accounting department and moved into finance. Similar career path for many of my finance co-workers. Seems like it is easier to move from accounting into finance.

Suggest looking at a double major. I started as an accounting major and realized there were only five extra classes to pick-up the finance major.
Many of the finance classes seemed to be required with the accounting major. I know a lot of kids now start college with some AP hours so it might not extend the time at college if coming in with AP hours.

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Megamill
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Megamill » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:27 pm

Cooper62 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:15 pm
I'm a finance/accounting double major with a CPA. I work for a Fortune 500 company in corporate finance. I started in the accounting department and moved into finance. Similar career path for many of my finance co-workers. Seems like it is easier to move from accounting into finance.

Suggest looking at a double major. I started as an accounting major and realized there were only five extra classes to pick-up the finance major.
Many of the finance classes seemed to be required with the accounting major. I know a lot of kids now start college with some AP hours so it might not extend the time at college if coming in with AP hours.
Indeed, the double major does sound like best of both worlds. Serious food for thought...

lukestuckenhymer
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by lukestuckenhymer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:41 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:54 am
But, you cannot go into the accounting area with a finance degree.
I did exactly that :D

Granted, I've worked in non-profit accounting, not Big 4. If I could have done it over I would have gone with an Accounting major, but I'm still very happy with the path it's lead me on.

The Outsider
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by The Outsider » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:05 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:08 pm
Supurdueper wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:16 am
Although to throw an alternative, the way the world is changing I’d highly recommend some type of MIS minor or focus. If he could interpret code and understand relational databases he will excel at a larger company.
I'd state this even more strongly: comprehending relational databases and being able to adapt to ERP software is a hard requirement for anyone considering a career in accounting today. Many of the routine tasks one used to need an accountant for are being automated by accounting systems. What will be left is data entry on the low end (AP/AR clerks) and the most value-added analysis and judgement on the high end. The staff accountant without a CPA is an endangered species even at very small companies.

However, an accounting degree can still have value in fields that are not strictly accounting.
This is very important in industry. Not sure how important it is public acctg. Lots of good info in this thread to make better decisions, and get your Son headed in the right direction. Don't sweat the small stuff and let things develop as he moves forward in his education. Adjust and adapt as needed.

Best of luck to you and your Son.

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Tamarind
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Tamarind » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:31 pm

The Outsider wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:05 pm
Tamarind wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:08 pm
I'd state this even more strongly: comprehending relational databases and being able to adapt to ERP software is a hard requirement for anyone considering a career in accounting today.
This is very important in industry. Not sure how important it is public acctg.
Maybe less important in public accounting currently, but an auditor who can understand the SOX IT controls requirements and spot discrepancies between the transactions in the system and the transaction in the export file provided for review is going to do a better job. And an auditor who can understand how accounting databases are queried is going to pull ahead of their peers in efficiency and reduced time on site.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by softwaregeek » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:20 am

From my experience (married to an accountant) CPA is an incredibly good career choice.

Above all, it's a very flexible, portable degree. I've worked in multiple industries, including a formerly very hot industry that has fallen on hard times. At a reunion for former employees, many had been laid off over and over. Individual industries go up and down, but the need for qualified accountants crosses all industries.

As an accountant, you can go corporate, you can go tax, you can go audit. Each is a different career entirely. And the degree also allows you to transition into finance which pays more on average albeit not as portable. I went to school with a couple of accountants turned investment bankers.

You also have the choice of working for a corporate, owning your own business (or in a partnership), working as an employee for an accounting firm, or working for the government, all with the same degree and all completely portable to switch back and forth.

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happymob
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by happymob » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:28 am

I would be wary of any finance degree that didn't involve a lot of math. Look at the pre-requisites for the courses. Some finance degrees are very serious. Others are glorified undergraduate business management degrees with just a smidgen more math (of course the best undergraduate business degrees also involve a lot of math). At my local college, for example, the finance majors have to take "applied calculus" (basically a business calc course which dumbs down calculus and "applied stats". Most of the coursework doesn't require these courses as pre-reqs, which tells you that there's not any math to speak of in the courses.

A top program would have you taking calculus almost immediately and would be pre-req of low-level courses - they use the math, sometimes from the very first course.

That said, smaller, less prestigious colleges often do accounting really well.

So where one goes to college might affect what degree one should pursue. Which is a backwards way to do it (pick a college to fit the degree makes more sense), but don't go to mediocre regional statue university and pursue finance.

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Megamill
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Megamill » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:56 am

happymob wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:28 am
I would be wary of any finance degree that didn't involve a lot of math. Look at the pre-requisites for the courses. Some finance degrees are very serious. Others are glorified undergraduate business management degrees with just a smidgen more math (of course the best undergraduate business degrees also involve a lot of math). At my local college, for example, the finance majors have to take "applied calculus" (basically a business calc course which dumbs down calculus and "applied stats". Most of the coursework doesn't require these courses as pre-reqs, which tells you that there's not any math to speak of in the courses.

A top program would have you taking calculus almost immediately and would be pre-req of low-level courses - they use the math, sometimes from the very first course.

That said, smaller, less prestigious colleges often do accounting really well.

So where one goes to college might affect what degree one should pursue. Which is a backwards way to do it (pick a college to fit the degree makes more sense), but don't go to mediocre regional statue university and pursue finance.
Is it possible to find out the prereq's of the courses or even sample syllabus of prospective colleges? (i.e. prior to registering, orientation, etc)?

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by WWJBDo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:21 am

Advantages of accounting include the barrier to entry - there are requirements that are not easily or quickly added to another underegrad degree. To the extent that accountants will be needed, that is a plus.

Accounting is also petty diverse- you can easily work for one of the 'Big 4', a medium shop, a small shop or on your own. As others have said, it is a pathway to being an entrepreneur. Get the audiobook "ShoeDog"- the story of Nike - and listen to it with your DS. It's pretty entertaining and stars Phil Knight (also the narrator in this book), who had an accounting degree.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do not allow your DS to be uni-dimensional. Encourage, scold, push, bribe them to have a second area of expertise- preferably not finance- that will combine unusual areas of competency/expertise. Having an unusual combination (even better if both areas have barriers to entry) makes your DS uniquely qualified for some, as yet unspecified, niche for which there is little competition. Encourage them to always keep learning.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:33 am

Another possibility for those with a strong interest and talent in mathematics is actuarial science.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by JBTX » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:49 am

justsomeguy2018 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:55 pm
Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
Accounting would probably offer better job stability/opportunities, but Finance probably has a higher ceiling IMO.

One suggestion would be to get the undergrad in accounting, then later do an MBA with finance specialization to move the career further.
Basically what I did. I generally agree with the consensus in the thread.

I will say finance was more interesting and conceptual. I found it a lot easier. Accounting is more rule based and I had to study it much more.

There is a lot more accounting work out in corporate America there than pure finance. Finance tended to be banking, corporate finance, treasury or something in the investment field.

While certain accounting tasks could very well be automated, I think there will always be demand for accounting. To the extent it is automated, it requires people to implement automation solutions who often have a background in accounting. Accounting and IT can be a great combination if that route interests DS.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:07 am

JBTX wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:49 am
While certain accounting tasks could very well be automated, I think there will always be demand for accounting. To the extent it is automated, it requires people to implement automation solutions who often have a background in accounting.
While the number of first-time CPA exam candidates has declined about 20% since 1992, many believe that this is due to other fields being more alluring to those who would otherwise have gone into accounting and the increased education requirements in most states. Inflation-adjusted starting salaries have not changed in much in the last 45 years, so increased education requirements for the same pay as before may be a contributing factor to the reduced number of accountants.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by carolinaman » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:13 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:54 am
Megamill wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:46 am
Math has always come very easily for DS and he has no interest whatsoever in anything STEM. Anyone have any input on which degree (Finance or Accounting) would offer better future opportunities?
Megamill,

With an accounting degree, you can move into the finance field in the future. But, you cannot go into the accounting area with a finance degree. So, in terms of career opportunity, an undergraduate degree in accounting is better.

KlangFool
Good point. I have a BS in Accounting. I never had an accounting job per se but I used my accounting training a lot in business. It always gave me an edge over other managers without a solid financial background. It is a more versatile degree than some recognize.

I got my degree in 1977. Accounting was much harder than finance and I think that is recognized whenever people review your background.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by dacalo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:22 am

I am a CPA with about 15 years of experience who worked in a Big 4 firm, now in a corporation.

Contrary to what most people think, accounting has very little to do with math. Most successful accountants/CPA's I've seen have great communication, people skills, and writing skills, traits that are more aligned with extroverts (think CFO's, etc). Also accounting has different branches; when I tell people I am a CPA, they immediately ask me tax questions. I know enough to file our taxes, but know nothing beyond that since my focus is in operational/reporting/technical side of things.

I would recommend going accounting route as it has more flexibility. The caveat is that in order to get a good jump start to his career, it is highly recommended that he gets into one of Big 4 accounting firms (PWC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte). He will learn a ton in these firms, but they can be very stressful (80-100 hour weeks with pending deadlines).

Accounting can be subjective and technical in more advanced positions. I can see more mundane tasks (debits and credits of routine transactions) going away and AI taking over, but other areas like auditing, technical accounting research and memo writing, will remain driven my humans, at least until AI is able to navigate through subjective matters.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by abuss368 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:25 am

softwaregeek wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:20 am
From my experience (married to an accountant) CPA is an incredibly good career choice.

Above all, it's a very flexible, portable degree. I've worked in multiple industries, including a formerly very hot industry that has fallen on hard times. At a reunion for former employees, many had been laid off over and over. Individual industries go up and down, but the need for qualified accountants crosses all industries.

As an accountant, you can go corporate, you can go tax, you can go audit. Each is a different career entirely. And the degree also allows you to transition into finance which pays more on average albeit not as portable. I went to school with a couple of accountants turned investment bankers.

You also have the choice of working for a corporate, owning your own business (or in a partnership), working as an employee for an accounting firm, or working for the government, all with the same degree and all completely portable to switch back and forth.
This a a good overall summary. I would definitely agree there are a lot of possibilities and portability with an accounting, and especially if one has a CPA, between different industries and practices.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by chrisam314 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:32 pm

Double major in both would be ideal and would offer the most flexibility at graduation.

A) Investment banking
B) Management consulting
C) Corporate finance
D) Public accounting (auditing or tax)
E) Wealth management, financial sales, etc.

Also, ability to obtain CPA, and/or CFA, and/or MBA.

A lot of other factors would influence this such as grades, work ethic, leadership ability, and school choice. But if done correctly could really open a lot of doors. A good amount of overlap in degree programs too so assuming he's a good student could be done on-time or close.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by justsomeguy2018 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:31 pm

Megamill wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:33 am
Lots of really good info from all your posts. Thank you all--it means a lot coming from you all. Consensus appears to be Accounting degree, which is what he had thought to pursue on his own. I thought maybe Finance would be the better route, so I'm glad I asked the question here. I do see him also thriving in data analytics.

Data analytics is a GREAT field for the mathematically-minded, just keep in mind it is typically a field that is going to require a lot of coding skills (even more so in the future), putting it in the "T" category of STEM, IMO.

Typically you will need to know SQL for data extraction and another language (Python, R, SAS) for running machine-learning algorithms.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:47 pm

My finance colleagues now do a lot of data science.

It used to be all about financial reporting and indeed we do have accountants for that. Basically audit on huge financial models written in Excel.

But my colleagues tend to have math and economics or math and finance degrees and to program in R etc. They then tend to do CFA although some are doing CMA (CIMA in UK ie Certified Management Accountant).

Agree re SQL for data extraction.

I would say math and economics is a very good preparation for this kind of work. At a prestigious university or college I would suggest that major.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm

The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.

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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by patrick013 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Accounting you need to know how to handle the chart of accounts and do pro-formas or
if in an auditing firm do an audit program.

In finance there is corporate finance which should be involved in working capital management
or just sound financial management.

Also investment finance where your or other peoples money is allocated to various investments.

Not everyone can be a manager so there are alot of entry and mid-level jobs that need to be done. There are alot of applicants in either field.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by goodenyou » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:22 pm

Have a child in an iMPA program. 4th year. Heavily recruited by Big 4 since it is a ("the") top program. Doing an Internship at Big 4 as part of curriculum in Winter. He chose accounting over engineering, even though he was a good math and hard science student. He went to an engineering-type STEM high school. He's very happy he chose iMPA (so far).
Last edited by goodenyou on Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm
The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.
I was not aware of that. Would have thought that elite and Ivy League schools would offer for anyone interested in a career on Wall Street.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by goodenyou » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:42 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm
The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.
I was not aware of that. Would have thought that elite and Ivy League schools would offer for anyone interested in a career on Wall Street.
Many years ago, a close fiend of mine from high school went to MIT. He was an EE major. He finished in 3 years with a straight 4.0 and got his Masters in EE in his 4th year. He NEVER took a finance course in his life. He was recruited out of MIT by O'Connor & Associates, a Chicago-based options trading firm, specializing in financial derivatives. He was (is) a financial genius in derivatives. He became the youngest Partner in the history of the firm, and when it was acquired by Union Bank (Later UBS), he became the Chief Risk Officer of UBS at 26 years old. He is very very well known in the Finance World especially in Europe. He is cited in the book When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein, a story about LTCM, as the person that helped UBS out of the mess (before he got there).

Bottom line, Wall Street recruits talent. You don't necessarily need formal programs.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:23 pm

goodenyou wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:42 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm
The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.
I was not aware of that. Would have thought that elite and Ivy League schools would offer for anyone interested in a career on Wall Street.
Many years ago, a close fiend of mine from high school went to MIT. He was an EE major. He finished in 3 years with a straight 4.0 and got his Masters in EE in his 4th year. He NEVER took a finance course in his life. He was recruited out of MIT by O'Connor & Associates, a Chicago-based options trading firm, specializing in financial derivatives. He was (is) a financial genius in derivatives. He became the youngest Partner in the history of the firm, and when it was acquired by Union Bank (Later UBS), he became the Chief Risk Officer of UBS at 26 years old. He is very very well known in the Finance World especially in Europe. He is cited in the book When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein, a story about LTCM, as the person that helped UBS out of the mess (before he got there).

Bottom line, Wall Street recruits talent. You don't necessarily need formal programs.
Incredible story. I am assuming it is very difficult to make a career in Wall Street.
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by inbox788 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:56 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:23 pm
Incredible story. I am assuming it is very difficult to make a career in Wall Street.
No, no that difficult. Incredible story, yes. Every decade there is a story about some Harvard (or other) dropout who starts a Fortune 500 company. The other 99% wind up graduating with a degree and go on to long careers in their field. I'm pretty sure we're talking about the latter here.

Anyway, one other consideration I don't recall being mentioned is that maybe it's not about which degree as much as which one is a stronger program at the institution being attended.

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goodenyou
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by goodenyou » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:53 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:23 pm
goodenyou wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:42 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm
The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.
I was not aware of that. Would have thought that elite and Ivy League schools would offer for anyone interested in a career on Wall Street.
Many years ago, a close fiend of mine from high school went to MIT. He was an EE major. He finished in 3 years with a straight 4.0 and got his Masters in EE in his 4th year. He NEVER took a finance course in his life. He was recruited out of MIT by O'Connor & Associates, a Chicago-based options trading firm, specializing in financial derivatives. He was (is) a financial genius in derivatives. He became the youngest Partner in the history of the firm, and when it was acquired by Union Bank (Later UBS), he became the Chief Risk Officer of UBS at 26 years old. He is very very well known in the Finance World especially in Europe. He is cited in the book When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein, a story about LTCM, as the person that helped UBS out of the mess (before he got there).

Bottom line, Wall Street recruits talent. You don't necessarily need formal programs.
Incredible story. I am assuming it is very difficult to make a career in Wall Street.
It really is an incredible story. He taught Fischer Black and other traders how to monetize his Noble Prize winning theory on derivative pricing. He was one of the original "quants". When we caught up in Chicago when I was a surgical resident in the early 90s, he tried to explain it over lunch to a financially illiterate doctor just out of medical school what he was up to. I had no idea until he became "famous" years later. It blew my mind.
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HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Finance or Accounting Degree?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:01 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:52 pm
The fact that very few elite universities offer Finance nor Accounting degrees says something, IMO.

Nothing wrong with studying accounting or finance, as long as that is the student’s academic interest. Otherwise, pick something else that she / he will do well in.

And I say this as a Philosophy major who has spent the last ten years at hedge funds, consulting firms, and corporate finance and strategy.
I was not aware of that. Would have thought that elite and Ivy League schools would offer for anyone interested in a career on Wall Street.
Finance can be taught in a matter of weeks during investment banks’ onboarding programs.

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