Choosing a Practical Major

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SweetTort
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Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:59 pm

I want to go to law school, but the more I read this site the more I realize that a backup option is a good idea.

Originally I was planning on double majoring in philosophy and political science, but obviously these aren't very practical majors. Let me preface this by saying that I am horrendous at math and even worse at science.

So, here's the question; would it be worthwhile to pursue a BA in economics (I'm eliminating a BS as an option, since it requires math above Calculus 1 at my prospective school)? Is this practical enough to be considered a backup option?


Thanks for the help!

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typ3
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:10 pm

If you're bad at math and science get a degree that is a little lighter on the math that you could still possibly use in the field like computer science although ideally ME/CE/EE would be better backups than anything liberal arts.

Economics / Finance is a bad backup if you don't have internships / connections in that field.

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SweetTort
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:12 pm

Wouldn't a computer science degree be terrible for someone completely inept with science and math?

And if econ is a bad backup option and I rule out computer science, should I just go for it with philosophy/poly sci?

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby badaboom61 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:21 pm

An econ BA is only going to be marginally more helpful as a "backup" than a philosophy BA. If you're actually set on getting a "backup" to a law degree, which is a great idea, choose a degree that will give you a fairly defined career path and make you employable in a career field that is not law. Finance, accounting, computer science, any sort of engineering, health science all come to mind. And yes, all of these will probably require math. Welcome to 2013.

BA's in pretty much anything are largely useless if you intend to do much other than law, academia, government, education, or retail.

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typ3
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:23 pm

badaboom61 wrote:An econ BA is only going to be marginally more helpful as a "backup" than a philosophy BA. If you're actually set on getting a "backup" to a law degree, which is a great idea, choose a degree that will give you a fairly defined career path and make you employable in a career field that is not law. Finance, accounting, computer science, any sort of engineering, health science all come to mind. And yes, all of these will probably require math. Welcome to 2013.

BA's in pretty much anything are largely useless if you intend to do much other than law, academia, government, education, or retail.


Computer science involves a lot less math than say computer engineering / engineering etc.

You're going to spend more time on writing software learning network / software models etc than you are on learning stuff like computational fluid dynamics / thermotransfer etc.

Most coding / cs stuff is logical based reasoning / math which is very different from diff eq / calculus etc.

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SweetTort
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:27 pm

OK.

So, we're at a consensus that, backup or no, don't do econ if it's not something I'd prefer to study.

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typ3
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:32 pm

SweetTort wrote:OK.

So, we're at a consensus that, backup or no, don't do econ if it's not something I'd prefer to study.


Your only backup is to do something that is going to involve math so you should find a major that involves math but doesn't require complex math. That basically limits you to:

Accounting
Computer Science
Finance

Also FWIW since you haven't applied, my wife struck out on most jobs post graduation in law and her summer associate firms were no offers due to the economy / work environment and she's Top 3 at my law school / journal / dean awards / booked multiple classes / green eyed fit blonde. She had a 4.0 UG in Engineering. Obviously her backup has turned out to be much more useful than her law degree at getting a job.
Last edited by typ3 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:36 pm

So, suppose that taking one of these majors drops my GPA significantly (not to mention lowered QOL doing something I dislike). At that point, is the backup option worth the opportunity cost for law school admissions with a lower GPA?

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:41 pm

SweetTort wrote:So, suppose that taking one of these majors drops my GPA significantly (not to mention lowered QOL doing something I dislike). At that point, is the backup option worth the opportunity cost for law school admissions with a lower GPA?


Look at it this way. Someone I graduated from UG with who was a business major and a complete f*** up in all senses of the word makes more $ managing a Target working 40 hours a week than the people in my graduating class who are for the most part unemployed or being offered jobs paying 45k with no bennies. I know web developers with terrible worth ethic, high school drop outs etc. that are making more $ doing SEO and working at online advertising agencies than most of my class.

Career services my 1L year sat everyone down and told us the people who made the most $ in the last 5 years graduating before us one ran a cupcake bakery, the other sold wedding veils online, and the third was a professional gambler. I don't know how / why you would equate lower QOL ITE to things other than law when most people with law degrees are laid off / unemployed / out of the profession.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:51 pm

typ3 wrote:
SweetTort wrote:So, suppose that taking one of these majors drops my GPA significantly (not to mention lowered QOL doing something I dislike). At that point, is the backup option worth the opportunity cost for law school admissions with a lower GPA?


Look at it this way. Someone I graduated from UG with who was a business major and a complete f*** up in all senses of the word makes more $ managing a Target working 40 hours a week than the people in my graduating class who are for the most part unemployed or being offered jobs paying 45k with no bennies. I know web developers with terrible worth ethic, high school drop outs etc. that are making more $ doing SEO and working at online advertising agencies than most of my class.

Career services my 1L year sat everyone down and told us the people who made the most $ in the last 5 years graduating before us one ran a cupcake bakery, the other sold wedding veils online, and the third was a professional gambler. I don't know how / why you would equate lower QOL ITE to things other than law when most people with law degrees are laid off / unemployed / out of the profession.


My QOL statement was referring to my years in undergrad. And would what you're saying apply to t14?

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby snagglepuss » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:52 pm

Actuarial Science would be the number one major I recommend to people, but since you want to limit your exposure to math I'd say:
1. Finance
2. Accounting
3. Education of some sort if you're interested in teaching
4. Economics
5. Business Management
All these majors are rather easy but also give you a chance at a job if your interest in lawl school wanes.

Also, I was a Philosophy (and Biology) major and I was able to secure multiple job offers after graduation coming from an un-prestigious private university. I worked all the way through college in various IT and Tech jobs so I would have practical skills. Then, I found that job hunting was largely dependent on landing internships/jobs while in school and/or making use of your network to get your first job.

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typ3
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:56 pm

SweetTort wrote:
typ3 wrote:
SweetTort wrote:So, suppose that taking one of these majors drops my GPA significantly (not to mention lowered QOL doing something I dislike). At that point, is the backup option worth the opportunity cost for law school admissions with a lower GPA?


Look at it this way. Someone I graduated from UG with who was a business major and a complete f*** up in all senses of the word makes more $ managing a Target working 40 hours a week than the people in my graduating class who are for the most part unemployed or being offered jobs paying 45k with no bennies. I know web developers with terrible worth ethic, high school drop outs etc. that are making more $ doing SEO and working at online advertising agencies than most of my class.

Career services my 1L year sat everyone down and told us the people who made the most $ in the last 5 years graduating before us one ran a cupcake bakery, the other sold wedding veils online, and the third was a professional gambler. I don't know how / why you would equate lower QOL ITE to things other than law when most people with law degrees are laid off / unemployed / out of the profession.


My QOL statement was referring to my years in undergrad. And would what you're saying apply to t14?


You're putting forth the time and investment now so you can have a stable career.

Law isn't a stable career. Legal work / law suits / criminal cases will always be around but jobs in law are not stable at the moment. See economic recession layoffs / government spending freezes. So while you're going to have QOL because you may like the material more in school, you're not going to have an enjoyable QOL post graduation hustling for cases, billing 2000+ hours a year, or at a shit law firm dealing with indigent clients, or fearing whether or not your number is up that month because the firm isn't making what it used to.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:03 pm

snagglepuss wrote:Actuarial Science would be the number one major I recommend to people, but since you want to limit your exposure to math I'd say:
1. Finance
2. Accounting
3. Education of some sort if you're interested in teaching
4. Economics
5. Business Management
All these majors are rather easy but also give you a chance at a job if your interest in lawl school wanes.

Also, I was a Philosophy (and Biology) major and I was able to secure multiple job offers after graduation coming from an un-prestigious private university. I worked all the way through college in various IT and Tech jobs so I would have practical skills. Then, I found that job hunting was largely dependent on landing internships/jobs while in school and/or making use of your network to get your first job.



So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:05 pm

SweetTort wrote:
snagglepuss wrote:Actuarial Science would be the number one major I recommend to people, but since you want to limit your exposure to math I'd say:
1. Finance
2. Accounting
3. Education of some sort if you're interested in teaching
4. Economics
5. Business Management
All these majors are rather easy but also give you a chance at a job if your interest in lawl school wanes.

Also, I was a Philosophy (and Biology) major and I was able to secure multiple job offers after graduation coming from an un-prestigious private university. I worked all the way through college in various IT and Tech jobs so I would have practical skills. Then, I found that job hunting was largely dependent on landing internships/jobs while in school and/or making use of your network to get your first job.



So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?



You should drop both poli/sci and philosophy and pick up economics / business if you want to improve your chances at being employable.

Philosophers / Politicans don't hire post grad. Businesses / banks / investment funds do.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:10 pm

typ3 wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
snagglepuss wrote:Actuarial Science would be the number one major I recommend to people, but since you want to limit your exposure to math I'd say:
1. Finance
2. Accounting
3. Education of some sort if you're interested in teaching
4. Economics
5. Business Management
All these majors are rather easy but also give you a chance at a job if your interest in lawl school wanes.

Also, I was a Philosophy (and Biology) major and I was able to secure multiple job offers after graduation coming from an un-prestigious private university. I worked all the way through college in various IT and Tech jobs so I would have practical skills. Then, I found that job hunting was largely dependent on landing internships/jobs while in school and/or making use of your network to get your first job.



So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?



You should drop both poli/sci and philosophy and pick up economics / business if you want to improve your chances at being employable.

Philosophers / Politicans don't hire post grad. Businesses / banks / investment funds do.



The point of this, though, is that law is my first choice. I just want a semi-viable option if something goes wrong.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:11 pm

.
Last edited by Daily_Double on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby snagglepuss » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:11 pm

SweetTort wrote:So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?

Absolutely; Economics is a major improvement on your current preferences. If I could redo college, I would be an economics major - but that's because I've developed a genuine interest in the field and I know the job has decent employment possibilities - or at least some useful variety of a business major. The courses are cake so a 3.9+ GPA can be very easily had; that GPA effectively opens the door to a variety of consulting jobs.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:16 pm

Alright, guys, thanks for the advice. I'm going to look into the possibility of either a triple major or (more likely) demoting philosophy to a minor.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:24 pm

snagglepuss wrote:
SweetTort wrote:So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?

Absolutely; Economics is a major improvement on your current preferences. If I could redo college, I would be an economics major - but that's because I've developed a genuine interest in the field and I know the job has decent employment possibilities - or at least some useful variety of a business major. The courses are cake so a 3.9+ GPA can be very easily had; that GPA effectively opens the door to a variety of consulting jobs.


I think finance / business /accounting is more employable in the job market than economics.

Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby snagglepuss » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:41 pm

typ3 wrote:
snagglepuss wrote:
SweetTort wrote:So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?

Absolutely; Economics is a major improvement on your current preferences. If I could redo college, I would be an economics major - but that's because I've developed a genuine interest in the field and I know the job has decent employment possibilities - or at least some useful variety of a business major. The courses are cake so a 3.9+ GPA can be very easily had; that GPA effectively opens the door to a variety of consulting jobs.


I think finance / business /accounting is more employable in the job market than economics.

Just my 2 cents.

I agree. Economics is much better than Philosophy or Poli Sci, though. Our world would be just fine if no one ever majored in Political Science again.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:47 pm

snagglepuss wrote:
typ3 wrote:
snagglepuss wrote:
SweetTort wrote:So you're saying an economics degree would be at least somewhat useful post-grad, as compared to, say, poli sci?

Absolutely; Economics is a major improvement on your current preferences. If I could redo college, I would be an economics major - but that's because I've developed a genuine interest in the field and I know the job has decent employment possibilities - or at least some useful variety of a business major. The courses are cake so a 3.9+ GPA can be very easily had; that GPA effectively opens the door to a variety of consulting jobs.


I think finance / business /accounting is more employable in the job market than economics.

Just my 2 cents.

I agree. Economics is much better than Philosophy or Poli Sci, though. Our world would be just fine if no one ever majored in Political Science again.



From what I've heard from friends/family (though, obviously, that's not the best source for info) a business degree is essentially interchangeable with a general business degree in the eyes of an employer.

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SweetTort
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby SweetTort » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:02 pm

Wait! One last question, and then I'll let this board die.

The school I'm looking at has an option for an economics major (required 30 credit hours), but has a special finance/economics double major which requires 36 hours, essentially two classes more. Would THIS make me somewhat employable?

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:08 pm

SweetTort wrote:Wait! One last question, and then I'll let this board die.

The school I'm looking at has an option for an economics major (required 30 credit hours), but has a special finance/economics double major which requires 36 hours, essentially two classes more. Would THIS make me somewhat employable?


Wait....a double major with only 36 credit hours?!

But to answer your question -- as compared to polisci/philosophy, yes.

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typ3
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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby typ3 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:10 pm

SweetTort wrote:
From what I've heard from friends/family (though, obviously, that's not the best source for info) a business degree is essentially interchangeable with a general business degree in the eyes of an employer.


Right, but all employers are businesses. The question you need to ask yourself is in what capacity do I want to work at a business and what are businesses actually hiring for.

If you strike out with law having a business background will help you get into sales at a company (an area where companies are usually hiring) or management.

The two most stable part of businesses are usually 1.) engineering and or techs (people who build products or install them / service them for the end user) 2.) and sales and people who foster business.

In down economies such as this businesses cut costs such as lawyers / clerks / accountants etc. and invest the money in more sales / business development / marketing / process efficiency (revenue and profit driving things.)


Finance and economics is employable at banks and investment firms / hedge funds / money management / consulting etc.

Yea get the double major in them if you can, but I would definitely say get business + finance / econ. With business background + finance you can essentially work in any industry. Law limits you to only the legal industry which absolutely blows at the moment and has tons and tons of excess supply.
Last edited by typ3 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing a Practical Major

Postby snagglepuss » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:10 pm

From what I've heard from friends/family (though, obviously, that's not the best source for info) a business degree is essentially interchangeable with a general business degree in the eyes of an employer.

What do you mean a business degree is interchangeable with a general business degree? Like all business degrees are interchangeable? Or did you mean an economics degree is interchangeable with a general business degree? Whatever you're hearing, you should know that anecdotal evidence should be taken with a grain of salt. The WSJ shows Finance > Economics > Accounting. --LinkRemoved--
Everywhere I've seen Finance, Accounting, and Economics surpassed all other business degrees in employment outcomes. These 3 fair much better than general business, business admin, marketing, comm, internationLOL business, and whatever other bullshit business degrees they offer now.

Employers/Schools/People that matter don't look and say "wow, this cat has 17 majors". Just pick one (or the double option for two more classes) and get that 4.0. Alternatively, pick one of the business degrees and pair it with your favored degree of interest (e.g. philosophy or something.)




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