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Which is more beneficial? A double major or a Master's degree.

I'm thinking about a career in the Fintech industry. Would it be better for me to double major in Finance and Computer science or just to go for a single major and get a Master's degree?

P.s - I'm in the Early College Program
#majors #career # college #finance #technology #fintech


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Patrick’s Answer

This is a effort vs outcome question. Evaluating this require you to think through a couple of questions below.
- How much additional resources (time, cost) does it take to add additional major vs getting an additional master degree?
- What type of career are you looking to build, near term, and into mid term? Can you meet those without additional major or master?
- How are you planning to differentiate yourself from other job candidate once you graduate?

Think through how much effort you will invest vs outcome you hope to achieve.

For example, if it's an additional semester or two to add one more major tie to what you want to do near to mid term with limited incremental costs, then that might be a good option. Can you achieve your goals without a master? Alternatively if you do one major and it takes six semesters to add master in the same field and increase in expected salary in early years would cover incremental costs and help you reach your career goals? Will that help you better differentiate yourself once you graduate?

There is no single right answer, and research can help you make better decision on your choices. Most importantly, consider what you will need to help you be more successful in areas you are passionate about and hopefully very good at (ability to differentiate yourself).

Hope that helps.

The main reason why I was thinking about double majoring is that I thought the combination of the two would be powerful. Also, I want a career in the business/finance world, but the tech world would be my next option. So I was thinking, why not both? But, I know that a Master's may hold more weight on resumes compared to a double major. And since, I'm going to graduate high school with an AA degree. I know that it may take me about 3-4 years after high school to get my Masters'. I'm torn. Also, I'm don't know what career I want. Aniya W.

You are definitely not alone. Knowing what you want to do is not a common feature during school. Take a look at the intern options that may exist in your area. This will give you opportunity to experience what it's like. Even then ,it isnt too late if you want to pursue a master. As for the fintech, ask yourself if you prefer jobs in finance, in technical or tech implementation. If you want to be the technical management, your expertise in finance isnt going to be key. If you want to be the finance/application of tech, then finance/business will be key. If you are considering project management ie working between both folks, then you will want to specialize in one and pick up the other during your career (a degree isnt mandatory here). All the very best in your search and good luck. Patrick Lim

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Dante’s Answer

It will depend. For me, I would never advise someone to study two majors at one time, unless they are going to actually have a plan pursuing a career in both majors.

In your situation, do you love and see yourself pursuing a career in Finance or Computer Science? Money aside, the major you should choose you involve waking up each day not hating you are doing to help other and for a living.

My first choice would be Finance. My second choice would be Computer science. I'm not sure which of the two fields I like the best because I'm not passionate about them at this moment. But, I don't see myself doing anything outside of those two fields. I do want to own a business one day, but I don't want to major in the business itself. But again, I see my self working in FinTech. Aniya W.

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Luke’s Answer

A double major, if not additional cost or much of an incremental time commitment, would be just as impactful in most cases. I would encourage you to think about what you would like to accomplish with both skillsets, and translate this into internships and extracurriculars that might impress employers and more importantly allow you to get practical experience. In this way, it's arguably more important that you focus on the end goal of heading down a path that interests you and will be a what your version of success looks like.

Practical experience might be an internship (paid or unpaid, unpaid being easier to land and may be more beneficial in the long run if it's something that interests you), a startup, coding project, etc. Acting on your interest shows tangible drive to an employer / interviewer, but also enables you to better refine your interests. Best of luck, can't go wrong so long as you travel own a path that interests you.

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David’s Answer

If you double major you will have the opportunity to see which field you find is best suited to your strengths and whether you could pursue a job that could combine both skills. So often people think they want to do just one thing and they spend a lot of time on that before they realize that was not really what they wanted to do. A double major will allow you to explore different options and combinations that you may have never thought of more quickly and will help you focus on what it is you really are passionate about.

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Robert’s Answer

Hi Aniya,

Given the competitive job market especially in Fintech, I would recommend getting a Masters degree. A master's degree can open many more doors and many companies have higher starting salaries for those with a masters. And if you have the aptitude, why not do a double major in undergrad then a Masters in grad school. Or if you can do a combined Bachelors and masters in a 5 year program that would lower your overall cost.

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Kimberly’s Answer

I recommend the Master's Degree. It shows that you are dedicated and willing to work to be a subject matter expert in that field. While have a double major in undergrad is impressive, a Master's Degree may benefit you with a higher paying job and more challenging/exciting career opportunities (in addition to experience such as FT/PT jobs or internships along the way). For undergrad, I recommend choosing one major and minoring in the other. You want to make sure you will not burn out in the process of enjoying undergrad as well!

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David’s Answer

If you double major you will have the opportunity to see which field you find is best suited to your strengths and whether you could pursue a job that could combine both skills. So often people think they want to do just one thing and they spend a lot of time on that before they realize that was not really what they wanted to do. A double major will allow you to explore different options and combinations that you may have never thought of more quickly and will help you focus on what it is you really are passionate about.

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Richard’s Answer

My son has worked in fintech-adjascent roles so I will answer from his experience.

The key thing you need to answer for yourself before this question can be answered is: do you want to work completely on the finance side, completely on the tech side, or somewhere in between? The rest is subjective but I would recommend a double major for anything but the most technical / coding heavy roles, which might require a masters.

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Jesse’s Answer

Great question. I double-majored in undergrad and then went back for a Masters a few years later. I found both to be valuable, but the Masters only after I had a concrete sense for my career direction.

A lot may depend on whether the two majors complement each other and are in the same general field. That may influence the total course requirements, but it can also set you apart from other candidates who pursue the same roles but are less deep in the subject matter. If they are unrelated, then it can be about having multiple career options (short and long term) or deciding that the second major makes you happier in some way.

A Masters is mostly valuable for the specific field it is earned for, and is largely a trade-off in tuition/time upfront and perhaps a faster growth trajectory in your career over the long term. Some industries value them more than others, so definitely do your research on the value of the Masters before jumping in.

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Nicole’s Answer

I believe that continued education is extremely important especially if you can can continue through to get a Master's degree. Trying to focus on two majors can be overwhelming for some and for other could be quite fun, so it does depend. If you were choosing between double major or Masters than i would say Master's degree will be extremely valuable. Being able to focus your energy on one strength and follow it through to a Master's degree will benefit you in your career and help you become a subject matter expert. Also something wonderful to know is often you do not need to pay for the Master's degree. You can get a job as a teaching assistant and that often pays for your education!

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Luiz’s Answer

In my case I have two master degrees, one in Administration and the other in Education.
In addition to having a master in Administration, I am also an engineer. The work of the engineer is very focused on financial budget.

Today I would have completed two degrees that adds value to each other: financial administration and accounting. Because I see that there are more job possibilities and more personal satisfaction for working on what you focus on, in the case of finance and accounting.

That's what I recommend. Good luck!

Luiz recommends the following next steps:

Accounting

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Evy M.’s Answer

It will depend on what type of career you're aiming for upon graduation. I will give you my own personal perspective on two angles: Bachelors and Graduate. Even though FinTech and Computer Science (CS) are somewhat related, the pre-requisites for each of these degrees can be very demanding and very different. For example, CS requires you to take science courses (i.e. Physics I and II, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) which FinTech might not require. Those non-major courses for CS (as an example) are really not used in most CS careers (of course it depends on what you end up doing, but just as a rule of thumb). So an alternative for you could be to major in FinTech and minor in Computer Science (or vice versa). When you get a minor you are just taking the major-specific courses, therefore bypassing the core pre-reqs. Now, with regards to getting a Graduate degree, especially right after Undergrad, it really depends on what you would like to do. Something to consider, which was my case, is the starting salaries for students who have a Bachelors versus those that have a Graduate degree. In my case, the company that hired me, had different starting salaries for those with a Bachelors and those with a Masters. The difference was about $10-15k. The difference in pay will grow exponentially upon pay raises.

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Junaid’s Answer

masters degree

Hi Junaid, could you please elaborate on your answer? Why did you pick Master's? It would make your answer more helpful Gurpreet Lally

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Craig’s Answer

I echo everything that has been said; it will depend on what kind of career or industry you envision. We also need to stress here that time changes everything; our advice for you today will change in 5, 10 years time primarily due to technological breakthroughs and changes in peoples' behavior. Not to mention, you will also discover many things as we all "mature" differently in life. We also begin to fall in (or fall out of) love of certain things; it is human nature. In regard to getting a master's degree, you may need this terminal degree when working for a corporation in order to get a leg up from your competition; a master's degree helps when getting a promotion.

Education is never a bad thing regardless of which path you choose. I ended up double majoring, and then got a master's degree. If I were you, I would consider taking classes that will benefit me both in the short-term and long term (i.e. computer science or management courses).

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