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β€’ 12/23/2020 at 06:03PM

Is it better to get a major in business field or applied math major?

I'm a sophomore who's interested in both business (entrepreneur/finance/econ) and math. However, I'm not sure which one will be better for my future. My dream is to start my own company in trading/investing or work for an investment company. I know investment companies like to hire people coming out of a business school major. But at the same time, I feel like applied math will let me understand more core knowledge and give me more choices in the future. Can someone please let me know the pros and cons? Thank you!

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2 answers

β€’ 12/23/2020 at 07:07PM

I can't give a full answer to your question for pros and cons of each, but it seems like a business major would be best for you. If you want to start your own company or work in an investment company, understanding the business side of things will be extremely helpful and much more important than having a math major. Your business degree will also include business related math classes, such as statistics and calc 1 and 2. You can always do a math minor to show your understanding in other math courses and make you stand out a bit more. Or you could double major, if you're up for that workload.

As for having more choices in the future, a business degree will already give you many choices and job opportunities, probably more than a math degree.

Accepted Answer
@ajdekoninck12/23/2020 at 07:09PM

You also said you're a sophomore, meaning you have a lot of time to figure this stuff out. I would suggest focusing on your high school courses and getting more involved in both math and business activities. This will allow you to figure out if there is one you enjoy more than the other, and you can "finalize" your degree choice by your senior year

@DebaterMAX12/23/2020 at 08:26PM

I second this and also you can pursue a math minor and still graduate in 4 years with some minor planning.

β€’ 12/23/2020 at 08:08PM

Hey @ulafu! Cool that you're asking the hard questions early!

I wouldn't worry too much about trying to solve for how to start a company by going to school and studying it as a subject. The unfortunate reality is that no academic setting is going to teach you the skillset you need to be a startup founder. Instead, if you're able to operate a small-scale business as an extracurricular activity while in HS, that would probably be the best training ground. But you will ultimately find that the challenges facing each business are extremely market-dependent, so if anything, being a good problem solver with steady endurance is what will give you the best chance at success (over time - it doesn't have to work out the first time, and statistically speaking, it won't).

As for what to study in college, there are several categories of "investment companies" you might be referring to. I'll assume you meant "investment banking" or "quantitative analysis" for now. If the former, then yes, a business major is probably more in line with what your job is going to be like, but honestly, I've seen I-banks recruit from all majors. It seems to matter more that you're well-disposed and willing to work really, really hard (and not ask too many questions about why you're working so hard ;) to be recruited into that field of work.

If, on the other hand, you meant the "quant" side of trading, then the people I've seen end up in that line of work are extremely talented mathematicians and even physicists. Like these are the people that do math olympiad in high school because BC Calculus tastes too much like Cheerios. If that describes you and you love math, then I say lean into that. You might find that not many people with a strong math background become entrepreneurs, and oftentimes, it is at the intersections of our unique interests and abilities that we find our niches.

(Source: started a company, went to a college where many of my classmates went into finance)

[🎀 AUTHOR]@ulafu12/23/2020 at 09:47PM

thank you for your answer!