Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

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Which should I pick

Economics
17
38%
Accounting/Finance
28
62%
 
Total votes: 45

Voltaire_X
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Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Voltaire_X » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:33 pm

Hi TLS,

Well, you see I am not entirely sure if I want to work in law or finance. An accounting degree will probably be much better than an economics degree if I decide to go into finance right out of undergrad. But if I choose to go with law, I've heard that law schools don't like vocational majors. Would a 3.8 in Accounting be worth the same as a 3.8 in Econ to law schools? The automatic reaction on TLS for most posters seems to be "Yes, even underwater basketweaving is the same", yet other sources indicate otherwise.

Any advice appreciated,
V

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FlanAl
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby FlanAl » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:37 pm

tls is going to tell you to get that accounting degree, work in finance and never go to law school. just a heads up

Voltaire_X
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Voltaire_X » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:40 pm

FlanAl wrote:tls is going to tell you to get that accounting degree, work in finance and never go to law school. just a heads up


The job market for finance is about the same as the legal job market right now. The economy is bad all around, there is no "safe" field anymore, other than engineering (which I don't want to do). I'm just going to go with what I think I'll enjoy more. Either way I'll be busting my ass.

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FlanAl
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby FlanAl » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:44 pm

yeah i kinda assumed that would be the case. finance was not an option for me so I'd have no idea. but if you can get a solid job straight out of UG without taking on the extra debt you should probably go for it. if there was a solid job in front of me I definitely would have taken it for a few years before coming to ls. And from talking to people in law school whatever degree that gives you a better shot at working in finance is better. people with whatever kind of experience in the field seemed to do really well job wise.

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john1990
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby john1990 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:47 pm

I am an accounting major and i'm in my senior year. I found accounting very dry and boring, and this is coming from some one with a 3.82 GPA.
However, i do have the option of turning to accounting if i can't find work so there is a benefit. Accounting majors will likely take some finance classes at your school. I found finance to be useful, and it inspired me to start investing in the stock market.

In sum, i go with accounting/finance. Economics is not readily applicable, and i'm not sure about the job market. Accounting will leave you with a degree in a useful field and with your knowledge of finance you may be able to make some coin in the stock market.

Of course, it comes down to what interests you more, since you will likely do better in that field. these 3 majors are otherwise comparable in difficulty.

Accounting FTW imo

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Pato_09
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Pato_09 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:52 pm

Accounting for two reasons:


(1) If you decide not to attend law school later in your undergrad years, accounting will open more doors and you will be able to have a solid career with just your undergrad degree (we are always in need of accountants, even in a recession)

(2) Just finished the OCI process, and employers like accounting grads for several reasons: one is that accounting grads know how to interpret financial statements/other financial info and also typically have solid business knowledge, since you will likely practice corporate law, it is a great plus (if you want big firm).

Also, try to work for a couple of years after undergrad, work experience is also key in OCI.

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Pato_09
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Pato_09 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:04 pm

I agree with "john1990" that accounting is dry and boring, but most of the respectful undergrad degrees like finance or engineering are not fun.

Just focus on getting a high GPA.

Just remember that law school is not dry and boring. So, you will probably be able to enjoy the material when you are in law school

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monkey85
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby monkey85 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:09 pm

Transfer to Wharton UG, concentrate in Finance and Accounting, which will give you a diploma with a BS in Economics. You get all three; now take your cake and eat it too.

But, for my real answer: just get a high GPA - major is irrelevant for lawl school purposes. Take the major you prefer, in case you don't like law and wish to pursue the major field professionally.

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john1990
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby john1990 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Pato_09 wrote:Just remember that law school is not dry and boring. So, you will probably be able to enjoy the material when you are in law school


+1
Looking forward to LS right about now, although i'm sure it will be 5x harder than accounting

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Pato_09
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Pato_09 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 pm

john1990 wrote:
Pato_09 wrote:Just remember that law school is not dry and boring. So, you will probably be able to enjoy the material when you are in law school


+1
Looking forward to LS right about now, although i'm sure it will be 5x harder than accounting


Law school is harder because of the competition and the amount of material. But I think that accounting is hard too in its own way. Law school is just a different animal because of the pressure and the amount of material you need to learn. But if you are able to handle it the right way, you will enjoy it a lot. The majority of the professors are great and the material is very interesting

adc18
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby adc18 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:57 pm

Wait a sec, sorry to hijack...if I graduated from Wharton, should I be reporting my major as "econ?" it does say BS of Economics on my diploma, but I always wrote marketing and legal studies (my actual concentrations) as my major.

FYI everyone from Wharton gets a BS of Economics regardless of field of concentration.

Also as you can see from my concentration choices, I did not have a fun time with finance or accounting and could not stand concentrating in either.

I personally think you should do acct/finance. Sets you up nicely for corporate law, IMO, which would be a nice synergy between your interests.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:11 pm

if you find learning about whether the date goes above or below the the words 'general ledger' be an accountant.
if you like an income floor of 60 and ceiling of 150, accountant.
otherwise, econ ftw.

apollo2015
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby apollo2015 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:52 pm

Economics is extremely fun and intellectually stimulating. Its excellent if you are good at thinking abstractly.

Zero job options with it though. (Unless you have friends or family members who can give you the "hook up," in which case you wouldn't need to take it anyway.) Also, if you are not good at thinking economically, the curve could hurt you. Furthermore, Economics requires you to take Calculus, so you can't fear math.

Voltaire_X
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Voltaire_X » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:23 am

I've already taken calc 1 which is all that's required for both economics and finance (at the undergrad level) so I'm not worried about that :)

justinp
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby justinp » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:41 pm

apollo2015 wrote:Economics is extremely fun and intellectually stimulating. Its excellent if you are good at thinking abstractly.

Zero job options with it though. (Unless you have friends or family members who can give you the "hook up," in which case you wouldn't need to take it anyway.) Also, if you are not good at thinking economically, the curve could hurt you. Furthermore, Economics requires you to take Calculus, so you can't fear math.


This actually depends on the school. All of the folks I know who are in investment banking or hot corporate finance jobs (GE Financial Management etc.) are Econ majors, and it seems like that's often the preference (at least for folks from elite schools).

A lot of the big banks and top boutiques actually prefer liberal arts majors, and their favorite LA degree is Econ. (Source: many conversations with bankers from analyst to MD level. Reason given is that liberal arts folks make the best MDs in the end, and the difference in terms of analyst/associate duties is fairly minimal once the lib arts guys get up to speed, which isn't terribly hard.)

That said, getting finance jobs is pretty hairy right now. I had several final round interviews and struck out; in each case, there was a 20:1 ratio of final round prospective hires to actual jobs.

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chem
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby chem » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:44 pm

Voltaire_X wrote:Hi TLS,

Well, you see I am not entirely sure if I want to work in law or finance. An accounting degree will probably be much better than an economics degree if I decide to go into finance right out of undergrad. But if I choose to go with law, I've heard that law schools don't like vocational majors. Would a 3.8 in Accounting be worth the same as a 3.8 in Econ to law schools? The automatic reaction on TLS for most posters seems to be "Yes, even underwater basketweaving is the same", yet other sources indicate otherwise.

Any advice appreciated,
V


Exactly the opposite. The two fields of law that are doing the best? Intellectual Property law and Tax law. Its highly preferred to have an engineering or hard science degree for the first and accounting for the second, both of which are vocational degrees

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20130312
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby 20130312 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:45 pm

I was a finance major, was successful in finding a job after about 20 interviews my senior year (no joke). Everyone that has said finance is a rough field for jobs right now is spot on. I think once you start taking classes in these things, though, you will find which major suits you the best. Econ vs accounting vs finance students tend to be very different people. I was able to take classes in all three fields, so I got a good flavor of what I liked and didn't. You should try to do the same with some intro courses.

Econ actually does give you some good job options though, despite what the poster earlier says. Honestly, there isn't much that you learn as a college student that you will use on the job, so an econ kid with a great GPA is gonna beat out an average finance major when it comes to business positions.

TheVassarBro
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby TheVassarBro » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:45 pm

In investment banking, there are a lot of economics majors because the majority of top recruit schools don't offer accounting/finance/business (except for Michigan, Northwestern, Wharton, etc.). You also see every kind of liberal art major imaginable, because so much of it is on the job (did 2 summer internships in NYC). Most economics programs require you to take accounting and finance classes, or atleast make them available for major distribution requirements. I like economics because it trains you how to think in a way similar to philosophy majors. It is just a different medium for evaluating relationships and causality. I don't think you get that training in accounting/finance.

Finance isn't really a legit job option right now. I talked to a high school friend and a couple of his classmates from Wharton. They said that their whole class is panicking because a lot of them took out substantial loans for what they thought was a sure fire route to high finance, but no major banks are hiring. I think it was something like 200,000 finance jobs were cut in NYC over the past 2 months. My friend also has crazy work experience and well connected. The jobs just aren't there unless you want to live overseas e.g. Singapore. Most of my friends from college and high school are moving home and working at regional middle market banks if they are lucky.

Anyways, finance and law are fucked right now and probably for the most of the rest of the decade. Your choice isn't going to change that. These are the times where you fall back on any and all connections. I know there has been a pretty hard push by Vassar alums to hire as many graduating seniors as possible.

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JDizzle2015
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:05 pm

Honestly, it's not going to make a difference in the long run. Pick a major where you can take classes that are the most interesting to you/you'll be able to get the best grades.

I worked in the finance industry (for about a year) and graduated with a degree in business and finance (had a econ minor).

Major in accounting/finance if you want to diversify your skillset from the rest of the people in law school (long term job hunt benefits if you want to go into M&A); majoring in finance trains quantitative skills that law schools won't ever touch on. However, if you want to get some type of leg up for law school (this will be minute, if at all), you might take more classes in econ since it'll train you to remember broad theories and you'll hopefully learn how to apply those theories to real world events--something that would be similar to a law school exam.

As far as a preference in law school admissions goes, econ and finance are going to be treated as one and the same.

This is all 0L speculation so take it as nothing more than my opinion.

accountant4life
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby accountant4life » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:02 pm

I would definitely agree with what other people have said and I personally think accounting is a perfect degree to have in today's world. It is an amazing degree to have and if you decide to pursue a position with a big4 there is endless amounts of growth in your future. Like others have said as well I would choose a major that you are excited about and have done your research on as well. Too many students I have spoke with have picked a major with no real justification behind it and just went with it. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Fin ... ditors.htm check this website out as it will give you information that in my opinion an incoming college student would want to know. It includes Salary coming out of college, different career opportunities after you graduate and plenty of other helpful information.

I think if you do get a finance degree or complete different certifications, it will only enhance your chances for law school and make you out to be a better candidate compared to others. http://accountingcertificateprograms.net/ is another resource you can use in order to find different certifications that you might be interested in getting. Obviously the main goal would be to become CPA certified, and this is a great resource to look up different programs that might offer you that help to get there.

I hope this helps and best of luck!

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Mr. Somebody
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby Mr. Somebody » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:13 pm

TheVassarBro wrote:In investment banking, there are a lot of economics majors because the majority of top recruit schools don't offer accounting/finance/business (except for Michigan, Northwestern, Wharton, etc.). You also see every kind of liberal art major imaginable, because so much of it is on the job (did 2 summer internships in NYC). Most economics programs require you to take accounting and finance classes, or atleast make them available for major distribution requirements. I like economics because it trains you how to think in a way similar to philosophy majors. It is just a different medium for evaluating relationships and causality. I don't think you get that training in accounting/finance.

Finance isn't really a legit job option right now. I talked to a high school friend and a couple of his classmates from Wharton. They said that their whole class is panicking because a lot of them took out substantial loans for what they thought was a sure fire route to high finance, but no major banks are hiring. I think it was something like 200,000 finance jobs were cut in NYC over the past 2 months. My friend also has crazy work experience and well connected. The jobs just aren't there unless you want to live overseas e.g. Singapore. Most of my friends from college and high school are moving home and working at regional middle market banks if they are lucky.

Anyways, finance and law are fucked right now and probably for the most of the rest of the decade. Your choice isn't going to change that. These are the times where you fall back on any and all connections. I know there has been a pretty hard push by Vassar alums to hire as many graduating seniors as possible.


I guess finance is worse off than law though, going from this? The equivalent of Wharton is HYS or maybe CCN and most students at those schools will be fine.

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20130312
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby 20130312 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Mr. Somebody wrote:
TheVassarBro wrote:In investment banking, there are a lot of economics majors because the majority of top recruit schools don't offer accounting/finance/business (except for Michigan, Northwestern, Wharton, etc.). You also see every kind of liberal art major imaginable, because so much of it is on the job (did 2 summer internships in NYC). Most economics programs require you to take accounting and finance classes, or atleast make them available for major distribution requirements. I like economics because it trains you how to think in a way similar to philosophy majors. It is just a different medium for evaluating relationships and causality. I don't think you get that training in accounting/finance.

Finance isn't really a legit job option right now. I talked to a high school friend and a couple of his classmates from Wharton. They said that their whole class is panicking because a lot of them took out substantial loans for what they thought was a sure fire route to high finance, but no major banks are hiring. I think it was something like 200,000 finance jobs were cut in NYC over the past 2 months. My friend also has crazy work experience and well connected. The jobs just aren't there unless you want to live overseas e.g. Singapore. Most of my friends from college and high school are moving home and working at regional middle market banks if they are lucky.

Anyways, finance and law are fucked right now and probably for the most of the rest of the decade. Your choice isn't going to change that. These are the times where you fall back on any and all connections. I know there has been a pretty hard push by Vassar alums to hire as many graduating seniors as possible.


I guess finance is worse off than law though, going from this? The equivalent of Wharton is HYS or maybe CCN and most students at those schools will be fine.


The difference is that in finance, it's not big bank or bust. There are plenty of branches that you can hit on the way down to save you from unemployment and misery in finance.

zanzbar
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby zanzbar » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:10 pm

This article is very outdated now, and I doubt it meant much to begin with, but at one times there may have been some correlation to being an Econ major and being paid a higher salary. I went Econ just because I had a lot of older friends who went accounting/finance, and they kind of hate their jobs. Also, I noticed there is a lot of people that seem impressed when I tell them my GPA, and its in Econ. Evidently a lot of people have trouble with the intro-classes and think its a really difficult major. http://www.wsbe.unh.edu/node/13830

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20130312
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby 20130312 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:22 pm

zanzbar wrote:This article is very outdated now, and I doubt it meant much to begin with, but at one times there may have been some correlation to being an Econ major and being paid a higher salary. I went Econ just because I had a lot of older friends who went accounting/finance, and they kind of hate their jobs. Also, I noticed there is a lot of people that seem impressed when I tell them my GPA, and its in Econ. Evidently a lot of people have trouble with the intro-classes and think its a really difficult major. http://www.wsbe.unh.edu/node/13830


Love how the article's title implies that Econ majors make the best lawyers... based on their high LSAT scores or high salaries. Derp.

zanzbar
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Re: Economics vs Accounting/Finance for undergraduate major

Postby zanzbar » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:41 am

Nothing wrong with some good ol'e bias from a business & econ school, its not like schools has never miss lead their students before. I especially liked the "Click here for our suggested program of study for economics majors interested in enrolling in law school at the end." Seriously, I doubt anyone wanted to read the real 20 pageish study so I just linked a summary article. I do think having the former UC berkley director of admissions commenting on it shows that at one time they may have glanced at you're major for admissions, but this is a 2003 article so its really outdated today. I doubt its especially true now, but hell if there is an off chance that any of this holds the slightest bit of water, even if it were merely to get a second glance at my resume when I mass mail for a 1L internship than I'll take it haha.




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