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Thread: Bachelors In Finance vs. Bachelors In Business?

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    Default Bachelors In Finance vs. Bachelors In Business?

    I am looking for a good college. I am probably going to go to the University of Maine in Orono which is roughly 3 hours away from where I live. Plus it's in state college so it's cheaper, roughly being $25,000 a year to attend.

    Anyways since UMO has the best business program in the state of Maine I was wondering what I should go for? I love finance and everything to do with it. The numbers, the charts, people looking at me like I'm crazy when I talk about it, it's great. My issue is if I go for just straight business administration what are my limitations? I already have a job lined up at a bank, most likely starting either this summer or when I turn 18. I want to work in stocks and securities mainly and become an investor and venture capitalist. My issue is would you recommend a finance degree or a BA?

    My GPA is about 3.4 right now so Harvard is out of question xD

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    Double major?
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    "Business administration" is essentially the liberal arts of business, people who aspire to be in management but who couldn't figure out what to concentrate it. Always choose a discipline, as there are management roles within each facet. I started as a BSBA student and quickly switched to BS in Accounting once I found that was the discipline I enjoyed most.

    If you want a degree in "business administration" save it for your MBA.
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    I have degrees in business and marketing and, honestly, I only got the business degree because it was only a few more classes to take, and having two degrees sounded like it was worth doing. I don't think my having a business degree has impacted me one way or the other, but then I am a Marketing Director.

    If it were me, I'd specialize. If you like finance and working in that area is your goal, I would say get a degree in that discipline. Truth is, it probably doesn't matter what your degree is in, people end up working in fields that have nothing to do with the degrees they hold all the time. If you do have a specific occupation or field that really interests you though, it only makes sense to get a degree that applies in that field.

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    Owen you probably don't have to declare a major right away. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember most business degrees needing you to declare a major so soon. I'm basing this on my experience long ago, but I would think your first year or two, you can take a variety of classes to meet the general requirements of a degree and in your last two or three years focus more on the specific degree.

    I agree with Evan that when you do declare, choose something specific. You'll gain more useful skills in a specific discipline. You can still gain a similar general knowledge of business through the courses you select. You should have some flexibility in the courses you'll need and you should be allowed some elective courses. You could also major in one discipline and minor in another.

    Mostly don't spend too much time worrying about it just yet. What happens in college, especially when you go away from home, is you'll be exposed to all sorts of new people and new ideas. A lot of things you're sure you want to do now, you probably won't want to do in a few years. One of the benefits of college is it's a time of growth in how you think and how you see the world. At least it can be. It depends on the person. It's good to have ideas about what you want to do and to plan to make it happen. At the same time be open to all the new things you're going to learn and experience and don't be afraid to change your plans.
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    I agree with everyone else that you should specialize in something and not just get general degree. I think it will make difference in how much pay you can demand should you work before going into business for yourself, and it will make you more desirable as part of any start up team.

    JMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    I love finance and everything to do with it. The numbers, the charts, ............... I want to work in stocks and securities mainly and become an investor and venture capitalist. My issue is would you recommend a finance degree or a BA?
    I think you may have answered your own question

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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    Owen you probably don't have to declare a major right away. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember most business degrees needing you to declare a major so soon. I'm basing this on my experience long ago, but I would think your first year or two, you can take a variety of classes to meet the general requirements of a degree and in your last two or three years focus more on the specific degree.

    I agree with Evan that when you do declare, choose something specific. You'll gain more useful skills in a specific discipline. You can still gain a similar general knowledge of business through the courses you select. You should have some flexibility in the courses you'll need and you should be allowed some elective courses. You could also major in one discipline and minor in another.

    Mostly don't spend too much time worrying about it just yet. What happens in college, especially when you go away from home, is you'll be exposed to all sorts of new people and new ideas. A lot of things you're sure you want to do now, you probably won't want to do in a few years. One of the benefits of college is it's a time of growth in how you think and how you see the world. At least it can be. It depends on the person. It's good to have ideas about what you want to do and to plan to make it happen. At the same time be open to all the new things you're going to learn and experience and don't be afraid to change your plans.
    With a bachelors in finance would I be more trusted in asset management, financial management, investments, etc. than someone who majored in plain ol' business?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    With a bachelors in finance would I be more trusted in asset management, financial management, investments, etc. than someone who majored in plain ol' business?
    That's really going to be up to you, and your abilities. A degree isn't a free pass, it just gets you in the door for consideration. You still have to know what you're talking about. Plenty of people with degrees that suck at their job or graduated at the bottom of their class and just barely made it out.

    But at least if you specialize in something you'll be taking the kind of classes that either teach you exactly what you need to know, or are the steps you need to take to get to the next level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    With a bachelors in finance would I be more trusted in asset management, financial management, investments, etc. than someone who majored in plain ol' business?
    Yes. I audited private equity and asset management companies when I worked Big 4. A BS in Finance is fairly standard there, plus an MBA would make you very competitive. A general BS in business they don't know how finance knowledge you have and therefore may think you require more on the job training. That isn't always horrible, but they don't want to be explaining "basics" that you'd have learned in some more intermediate or advanced level finance classes for your finance degree.

    Any class you major in and take the 1000-level classes are always basic concepts and aren't going to get you far in any particular field. 2000-level classes begins some of the applications, 3000-level classes build on this with more advanced concepts, and 4000-level classes should demonstrate a high-degree of proficiency in your subject. If you go the grad school route, 5000 level courses are advanced but more foundational for your degree while your 6000 level classes exist to demonstrate your, well, mastery of the subject matter for which you're majoring in.

    If you get a BS in Business and need to get a MS in Finance to really excel, you're going to be paying graduate level prices for courses while taking undergraduate courses to get you where you need to be in order to get that MS in Finance degree. So save yourself the hassle.
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