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Hi! Whichever one you choose, it might be a good idea to pair your numbers-related major with a minor in Information Systems or something else related to technology. I work in HR operations at an accounting firm and technology is revolutionizing the way our accountants and consultants perform their work. Get a leg up on the competition by learning about automation and the digitization of work so you future proof your career with numbers! Best of luck!
Great question! Choosing a major is a big decision and can feel overwhelming for many students! It is so important to consider all factors when choosing as it creates the path for the rest of your years in school and shapes your professional career.
I do not believe that any of the majors you are considering are better or worse than each other on their own. But, you have to really think deeply about what you want your career to be after school!!
My advice would be to get connected with Student Professional Organizations on your campus (each major should have a few groups to get plugged into) While you're at the meetings, chat with the upperclassmen already pursuing each major and learn about their career plans. Occasionally, student professional organizations will also bring in companies that are recruiting their students. You could attend information sessions about these companies to learn more about the type of work you can do with each major that way as well.
Once you gather that information you will have a clearer picture of each major and hopefully be able to choose the one is best for you and your career goals!!
Best of luck!
PwC TID Recruiter
Jacklyn recommends the following next steps:
As commented by Rachel, the path may depend on what area of business interests you. I am part of an insurance company Corporate Planning department whose the leaders have been Actuaries, Accountants and Financial Analysts. So one can get ultimately get to Finance leadership roles from any of these options, as long as you can learn the business, as Nuno points out.
Note that, depending upon your particular university, Actuarial Science may be a minor in a Math degree, a stand-alone major in that School, or a stand-alone major in the Business School, or none the above ("just" a Math degree). Successful actuaries have come from all of these options.
Accounting is the formal language of business. Having it will make you an attractive candidate for jobs, especially entry level. The big four routinely hires a large class of entry level every year, and they're looking for (in most case) people with accounting major. To make partners at most of the consulting/accounting firms like the big four requires you to have a CPA.
Finance (in my opinion), at least at the undergraduate level is too broad and offers little to differentiate yourself against other candidates. You're better off majoring in math or accounting. Or, why not both?
Experiencing the "real word" will help you in deciding what you are comfortable with and enjoy. While in school, take a variety of classes so you can learn the details of each major.
I think this question all depends on personal preference. In highschool I was really into math and originally wanted to go into engineering, but after taking various science courses I learned that engineering was the wrong path for me. I always had an interest in business and thought that either accounting or finance was a good balance between math and business. Ultimately I chose accounting because I felt that it would be easier to transition from accounting to finance rather than the other way around. I ended up sticking with accounting and really happy where it has taken me.
Emilio recommends the following next steps:
I would advise any career in accounting is great. You have so many opportunities in the field. You can even get a full time offer before getting out of school.
I think it depends on what you intend to do with your degree. If you want to become an actuarial, I would suggest math. If you are interested in becoming a CPA, accounting. If you enjoy financial planning, finance. I would do some research into the career path you intend on persuing and determine which majors align most closely. Those majors are certainly a trifecta of success for any career you choose (speaking as an accounting and finance major). Consider the possibility of double majoring or majoring in one and minoring in the other two.
Best of luck.
I too love numbers and ended up with a degree in accounting as I assumed that this was a natural career path. If i had my time over, I would have gone a broader finance route/business major to use my passion for numbers to help businesses grow, rather than just sit in the background and pump out information.
I agree with most of the other answers that are given. There is no 1 major that is better than the others. Rather, I would ask yourself what do you want to do with the numbers?
Do you want to use your love for numbers to drive analysis?
Do you want to interact with other stakeholders? or run fairly solo and leave the stakeholder mgmt to someonelse?
I had a similar question when I was deciding my major. If you want to go the business route, I would lean more towards finance than accounting. Many people tend to think accounting jobs (especially public) is all number crunching but it has a lot of analytical and writing to it as well. You obviously deal with numbers day to day so if some analytical thinking and writing interests you I highly suggest it! It also gives you the ability to see how different companies work.
In my opinion, if you are leaning towards either finance or accounting, you would benefit from going into accounting as that will help you gain a good understanding of the background of how the financials of a company work. From there, having an accounting background is great for a finance career as it gives you a different perspective on how everything works.
Most importantly, you should take classes in college that encompass all three of those fields. This way you can get a better perspective and understanding of how all of them work for you and which one you like best.
These are all great majors and there are lots of things you need to consider like what you are good at etc. I would definitely recommend accounting and would even suggest adding a second major or minor in management information systems or some other major in that field as it pairs very well and there is always a high demand for people with both of these skills especially within the Big 4 and other big accounting firms that offer a ride range of professional services.
Suggest finance since it will give you a solid foundation for you to grow your career in business. Check how many CFO's become CEO's...I myself did business administration, had math, accounting and finance and started my career as an auditor. Knowing the connect dots, understanding company's financials is a fundamental capability and skill you will be able to leverage in your future career
I was in a similar situation as you when I was deciding what I wanted to major in. I loved math so I chose accounting and finance. With accounting it has allowed me to use the things I loved in math and then finance is a way to build on my accounting knowledge. Accounting will provide you with a great base and allow you to go many different directions in your career path.
Good luck in your future!
Best of luck to you!
Best wishes on your journey!
Danielle recommends the following next steps:
Douglas Lemmo, P.E.
My vote would be for Finance. I believe in finance, you will be a lot closer to the actual "money" and the closer you are to the "money" the more you will be in a position to make.
If you like investments, investment decision making, the idea of assisting companies in raising capital, math or finance would be more suitable. A math degree could help you end up at a quantitative hedge fund (aka quant fund). These firms make investment decisions based on statistical and mathematical models (very complex). There are other types of hedge funds that like employees with math degrees, but this is the most common type of hedge fund that utilizes math majors. Finance majors can also work at hedge funds, private equity firms, amongst investment banks.
If you like understanding how businesses work from a financial standpoint, following rules and protocols, and figuring out variances accounting may be for you. There is a lot of structure to this type of work, and the industry has a few different professional licenses associated to it. One of the most coveted licenses is the Certified Public Accountant license (aka CPA). Having a CPA license can open many doors for you, and can differentiate yourself from accountants that do not have their CPA license.
I hope this helps!
Timothy recommends the following next steps:
It depends on your career goals. I did my first degree in Mathematics and loved the coursework. After working in nonprofit financial administration I decided to go back to school and earned a BBA in Financial Accounting. Both career paths allowed me to use analytical and problem solving skills and work with data manipulation. Accounting offers a more defined career path where mathematics will require graduate coursework to advance your career.
I had the same question when it was time for me to pick a major. I like math since it was fun and I enjoy working with numbers, but at the same time I am well aware that having a business related degree will get you far in your career path.
There is not really a 'better' major as all majors exist for a reason and serve different purposes. There are definitely more popular majors as they provide job security most of the cases. It doesn't mean you cannot have both. For example, there are majors like math business that goes into detail in mathematical applications in a business setting. What my point is to say do not limit your selections and keep your mind open. It is good to have a rough idea of what you want to go into but try each of them out and see how you feel, because people change and these majors develop as time goes too. No matter which one you choose though, I do appreciate the soft skills I learned from my business degrees, such as communicating, working with people, learning your own work style, etc. This will be applicable to every job in the world, and is essential to personal development.
Hope that helps!
None of these subjects are better or worse than the other but they could be more or less valuable to the career you wish to follow and to some degree how you like to learn and how you approach problem solving. Of the three Math is the most theoretical and will likely push your quantitative skills the most. The application of Math to a business situation is less obvious than the others. Accounting is more focused around the manner in which businesses record financial activity. While the focus is on understanding rules and techniques similar to pure math it does introduce real world business situations that need to be considered, understood and accommodated. It provides a very useful foundation in how businesses are run but still remains somewhat separate and independent from the operations of the business itself. Finance is perhaps the least theoretical of the subjects and is the most practical in its application. The interrelationship between Finance and the business is much stronger and requires both a solid understanding of numbers as well as an ability to develop string working relationships and address a broader range of problems. Net, net think about the type of work you see yourself doing and the type of working relationships that are most appealing to you and that may help guide you as to what is the better option for your situation.