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As a high school student, how do I know if a finance is the right college major for me?

I'm a 17 year old rising high school senior, and I've been learning basics about taking spending and investments in my free time for the past year or so. I've decided that I want to study finance in college, but I'm still not entirely sure about my decision. #finance #University #College

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Darren’s Answer

Hey Nora!

Just my opinion, but no one else can tell you whether the field is right for you - only you yourself can. Your path and passion will become clearer through internships, life experiences, talking with people, and envisioning your future. Personally, the internships and networking aspects are the most important. Other considerations would be preferences such as work/life balance, collaboration with others, and money.

For me, I entered college studying finance and computer science. When I graduated college, however, I left with a major in accounting and a minor in finance. Despite the many conversations with friends and professionals, and time put into prep, I switched my study after taking an introductory accounting course and discovering that I was just as passionate for taxes. So don't fret - your journey may be even clearer once you're in college! Keep an open mind and explore as much as possible. Good luck!
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Dan’s Answer

Hey Nora! It's impressive that you're delving into finance even before college. If you're passionate about it, starting college with a finance major is a great idea. But remember, it's okay to switch majors if you discover it's not for you once you dive deeper in college. I myself switched from marketing after my first year to explore other interests.

I'd also recommend seeking internships in finance. From my perspective, gaining hands-on experience in your field of interest is the most effective way to figure out if it's the right fit for you. In fact, I think internships provide a more practical learning experience than college courses, making jobs an excellent way to understand a field.
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Summer’s Answer

Hey Nora,
I can't tell you exactly If finance is for you or not because only you know what you truly want. However, what I can tell you is that if you find a true passion, follow it! But if it takes you down a path that you didn’t imagine that is fine. Everyone who starts out in college doesn’t always know exactly what they want to do hence many of us take the basic classes our first year, i.e. english, science, social science, and math.

On to finance! Finance is such a broad major. There are so many things you can focus on under finance. You have, energy finance, real estate finance, financial management an investments, risk management, so on and so forth. It's like Baskin Robbins, so many flavors to pick from. Some options under finance may not speak to you and some will but again it's all about what Nora wants!
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Sunny’s Answer

Hello, Nora I would advise you to start with reading Robert Kiyosaki's book Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you think it would be fascinating to you, you should consider it your first step toward learning about finance. Due to its vastness, finance encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including investment banking, valuation, market analysis, taxation, accounting, and many more. Learn more about these subjects; when you do, you'll encounter terms in the news that will help you comprehend them. Naturally, you are welcome to post queries here, and we will be happy to assist you.
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Dwight’s Answer

Hi Nora!

I hope all is well! Picking the right major in college can be difficult and can take time. From personal experience, I was unable to take any type of business course in high school. This made entering college feel overwhelming and created a lot of uncertainty as to what I should study. To get around this lack of business exposure, I was able to take a broad range of courses in my Freshman year of college. This included general chemistry courses, finance and accounting courses, spanish courses, and history courses. Having this variety of courses allowed for me to determine what I could see myself doing once I graduated college. Although I was able to decide, it wasn't until sophomore year that I decided on majoring in Finance. I enjoyed both the theory and mathematical implications within the business area and through clubs and internships saw myself utilizing my Finance degree in a future job.

Additionally, once you pick your major, it is not always the case that you can never switch, as I have had friends switch from biology to finance and vice versa. It is important to decide on a major that holds your interest and where you enjoy continuing to learn in that field of study. In the end, choosing a major in college is never easy; however, gaining exposure through different college courses and internship opportunities can help lead you in the direction of choosing a major.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thank you,
Dwight
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Alireza’s Answer

Choosing a major is a big decision, and it's great that you're being thoughtful about it! While your interest in finance is a good starting point, here are some steps you can take to solidify your decision:

**1. Deepen your exploration of finance:**

* **Go beyond the basics:** While learning about spending and investments is good, explore different areas of finance like corporate finance, investment banking, financial analysis, and risk management. Read industry publications, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts related to these areas.
* **Shadow professionals:** Connect with finance professionals through family, friends, or online platforms and ask to shadow them for a day to observe their work firsthand. This will give you valuable insights into the daily life of a finance professional.
* **Take relevant courses:** If your high school offers AP Economics or Personal Finance courses, consider taking them. These courses can provide a more structured understanding of financial concepts and help gauge your aptitude for the subject.

**2. Assess your skills and interests:**

* **Do you enjoy math and problem-solving?** Strong analytical and quantitative skills are crucial for success in finance.
* **Are you comfortable with data and spreadsheets?** Finance involves analyzing large amounts of data and using software like Excel extensively.
* **Are you detail-oriented and organized?** Accuracy and attention to detail are essential in handling financial matters.
* **Do you have good communication and interpersonal skills?** Effective communication is key for building relationships with clients and colleagues.

**3. Explore alternative paths:**

* **Business Administration:** Consider a broader business degree with a concentration in finance. This might give you a wider range of career options while still allowing you to specialize in finance later.
* **Economics:** Studying economics provides a strong foundation for understanding financial markets and systems.

**4. Talk to advisors and alumni:**

* **Speak to your high school guidance counselor:** They can offer personalized advice and help you explore different options.
* **Connect with college advisors:** Contact the finance department at colleges you're interested in and ask about their programs, curriculum, and career paths for graduates.
* **Seek advice from finance alumni:** Reach out to alumni of your target colleges or programs on LinkedIn to learn about their experiences and career journeys.

Remember, choosing a major is a journey, not a destination. Don't be afraid to change your mind as you learn more about yourself and the field. By actively exploring your interests, skills, and different options, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about your future in finance.
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Stuart’s Answer

Hi Nora, I would recommend that you reach out to people already working in finance that you may already know, or find through LinkedIn and other platforms. This will give you an idea of their day to day lives, and how they differ between industries.
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Anthony’s Answer

Hi Nora. I would suggestion pursuing finance if you enjoy the intersection of math, strategy, and presentation. A degree in finance can help you pursue a career as a Financial Analyst, Financial Advisor, and Investment Banking.
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Richard’s Answer

The important thing to remember is that your for your University degree is going to be a gateway to a career!

Finance is a fantastic area of study because every single business every single government and every single nonprofit all have to be fiscally responsible.

Financial expert could work for a sports team or a local church or synagogue or place of worship just the same. Finances a Gateway career and it's an excellent choice because Airlines need Finance experts just as much as soccer teams and universities need them.

It's important to remember that a career track like Finance would let you get out into the industry and work for 5 or 10 years before going back for a master's degree which you could then leverage to take your career an entirely different direction.

Maybe one day, when you are in your 60's, you will be a professor at an amazing International University.
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Mayank’s Answer

That's a fantastic question! Let's break it down a bit. Do you find numbers intriguing? Do you possess a keen eye for detail? And most importantly, are you ready to commit to this role for an extended period, while also finding the time to enhance your skills and guide others? If so, then Finance is definitely your cup of tea!

Finance is a vast field, with numerous areas to explore. It includes:
- Crafting Financial Plans and Analyses
- Creating Reports
- Developing Budgets
- Managing Treasury
- Conducting Audits
- Providing Assurance
- Investigating Frauds and Forensics, and much more.

Take a moment to ponder over what you'd love to do in the long run. Start by strengthening your basics and then choose your specialization based on your interests.

Wishing you all the best on your journey!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Subject: Is Finance the Ideal College Major for You?

Dear Nora,

The choice of a college major is a pivotal decision that can influence your future professional journey. If finance is a field you're contemplating studying at college, here are several key factors to weigh up to ensure it's the right match for you:

1. Passion and Interest: The first and foremost factor to consider when picking a college major is your enthusiasm and interest in the subject. If you've been independently exploring topics such as expenditure, investments, and financial theories in your leisure time and found it stimulating and enjoyable, this could signal that finance is a fitting major for you.

2. Abilities and Strengths: Evaluate your abilities and strengths to see if they coincide with what's needed in the finance sector. Proficient analytical skills, meticulousness, critical reasoning, and a talent for solving problems are all beneficial traits in the finance field. If you exhibit these qualities or are keen on honing them further, finance might be a suitable choice for you.

3. Professional Aspirations: Reflect on your long-term professional objectives and how a finance degree can facilitate their achievement. Investigate the various professional routes available to finance graduates, such as investment banking, financial analysis, corporate finance, or financial planning, and check if any of these resonate with your career ambitions.

4. Employment Prospects: It's crucial to study the employment prospects for finance professionals. Delve into employment trends, potential earnings, and the demand for finance graduates in the industry. Comprehending the job opportunities can aid you in making an informed decision about pursuing a finance degree.

5. Engage with Professionals: Connect with professionals in the finance field to gain insights into their daily tasks, career progression, and guidance for prospective students. Networking with professionals can offer invaluable information that can assist you in deciding if finance is the right route for you.

6. Internships and Practical Experience: Think about engaging in internships or obtaining practical experience in the finance field before deciding on it as a major. First-hand experience can provide a deeper understanding of what a career in finance involves and help you ascertain if it's the right match for you.

In summary, deciding if finance is the appropriate college major for you entails evaluating your interests, abilities, career aspirations, employment prospects, engaging with professionals, and acquiring relevant experience. By thoughtfully considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision about pursuing a finance degree.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Wall Street Journal
Harvard Business Review

May God Bless You!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Eduardo’s Answer

Hi Nora

Great question!! I see you already started a possible path. I’ll start by assessing your skills and real interest based on what you have experienced so far in the finance world combined with a vision of yourself in a future. Remember, not always is what you want to do but what you want to become in a future. How you want to see you in the future, expectations, and others.

Personally, I entered in the finance world at early age as you. Finance career was a thing where a visualized me at that time, after that all was about to work towards that goal. Many years after that here I am steel enjoying my finance career. Good Luck!!
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Sai Sudha’s Answer

Hello Nora,

Ask questions to yourself.
First, ask if subjects like Mathematics and Statistics interest you. Second, ask yourself do you wish to pursue a career which has majority of calculations, projections, analysis and understanding of a company's finances.
If your answer to both these questions is a yes, then you can go ahead and pursue a career in Finance.
Finance is a great domain to work with and it is ever evolving. Now, technology is also getting combined with finance so that the works get easier and we get time to explore the unexplored areas in finance.

Life is about taking risks in bits and pieces. No matter what career path you choose, it will still be risky. Go only for what interests you.
You will have a great life ahead! Thank You.
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