Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Introducing a New Expert Content Section: Careers!

Chemical engineering and finance double major?

ahabobo.aaahabobo.aa Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
edited November 2010 in Business Major
I am at a community college with 3.94GPA in liberal arts business major + a few science classes.I want to double major in the school I am transferring to. I am applying to transfer to the following Schools:

1. Cornell University
2. University of Penn
3. Penn State University
4. Columbia University
5. NYU
6.Carnegie Mellon
7. Johns Hopkins

I am struggling between which major to apply. Some school only gives me one major to choose. Then I began to wonder if it is doable or worthy to double major in those two different areas. Or do I have to pick only one? Please give me some suggestion.
Post edited by ahabobo.aa on
«1

Replies to: Chemical engineering and finance double major?

  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    Seems like a pointless waste of time.
  • creamgethamoneycreamgethamoney Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    I think that's a really good combination actually. You'll get a good quant background from chemical engineering and will know how many manufacturing plants and the like work from this degree as well. Coupled with a finance degree, which will teach you the basics of business, I think it's a great combination. Otherwise, if you can't double major in both of those, I'd say just do Chem E because you can do just about everything a biz major can do, with a better quant background, and more.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    This only makes sense if you have no clue what you want to do. Some employers will see it as being indecisive.

    If you want to be a chemical engineer, then do things that will productively help you improve your job opportunites..ie spend more time studying, do internships/co-ops, spend more time networking, be more involved in chemical engineering related organizations, etc. Same for finance.

    There is so much to learn in each of these areas that there isn't enough time to everything about one subject...so why waste your time with another subject that you will barely or possibly never use? Frankly, you'd get more out of simply spending that time reaching out to potential employers and spending time working on your resume and presentation/interview skills.
  • aalder4x4aalder4x4 Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Can you even do that? Since finance is in the business school and chemical engineering is in the engineering school?

    I think you can only do either a major and minor or dual degrees in chemistry and finance, since one is a bachelor of science and one a bachelor of business. Unless one of those schools offers a bachelors of science in finance (which I have seen), you might want to look into that before you get set on the double major.
  • ahabobo.aaahabobo.aa Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Thank you guys. If I am accepted into one of those top schools, does it matter which major I choose? If I can choose only one, which makes me more employable? I mean, if I do chemical engineering, can I go into finance too? (If I get into cornell ,columbia, or carnegie mellon)
  • creamgethamoneycreamgethamoney Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    Vector: I would respectfully disagree. I mean, plenty of people get into the business industry with engineering/math majors (just look at MIT, Berkeley, Stanford grads). Although I have little working experience in the corporate industry, I'd say that business and law differ from professions such as doctors and engineers/other science professions in that less of success is based on pure smarts, and much of it is based on intangibles. That's why many corporations from what I've read LOVE engineers. An engineering degree teaches one those intangibles such as teamwork, dilligence, and quant skills that many employers like. Furthermore, engineering is the most versatile degree, and I think it's absolutely false to assume that one must want to be an engineer only with a chem E degree.

    OP: If you get into Cornell, Columbia or the like, you could major in whatever you want because many times, the top investment banks will recruit you mostly for your academic pedigree anyways, so major in what you want and take some finance/economics courses anyways to supplement whatever you end up majoring in, and you'll get some good offers because of your school's name. Networking is key no matter where you go, however.

    good luck
  • ahabobo.aaahabobo.aa Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Thanks a lot. An engineering degree is more versatile; it proves that I can handle a lot of difficult problems.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    It seems to me that your reasoning for doing two majors is because you are indecisive about what you want to do. If not, then I don't understand the need for the dual majors. There isn't much overlap in Chemical Engineering and Finance and to double major in both will likely require you to stay in school longer, take summer school, and/or overload your schedule with extra hours.

    I guess it depends on which school you go to, but if you went to Penn then you should major in business if you want to do business. If you are unsure of whether you want to do engineering or business, then you should major in chemical engineering. Can you get into business from chemical engineering? Sure. Do I think that Wharton would provide you with a better "experience" and more opportunities in finance. Absolutely.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Frankly, I think that if you are going to get a duel major I would pick something like:

    chem engineering and computer science or Chem Engineering and accounting,which is a much more useful business major. Also, majoring in Chem Engineering and English would show that you can be a good writer,which many companies would love to see.

    I just don't get Chem Engineering and Finance though.
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    Chem Engineering and accounting

    Really? That seems like a complete mismatch. What would you do with that combination?

    ChE and Finance is a popular combination (usually BS ChE, MBA Finance) for engineering managers. Besides the fact that finance is one of the more "engineering-like" business degrees, the finance background helps with project analysis and selection. I've also known several people that have gone into banking with a specialization in chemical / energy.

    But, like I mentioned in the other forum, you're going to have a tough time with the double major. ChE is already around 140 credit hours at most colleges, and there are few classes that count towards both degrees. If you can find a way to make it work where you only need 30 hours or so for the finance degree, that's fine, otherwise, you're better off just getting a BS ChE and a finance minor. If you really like business, go back for an MBA later (in fact, many companies will pay for your MBA at night, and many prestigious schools like Columbia, Rice, UT-Austin, etc, offer night or weekend programs).
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    G. P Burdell notes,"Really? That seems like a complete mismatch. What would you do with that combination?"

    Response: Accounting is the language of business. It will also provide a better understanding of business then that of finance. Finally, managers generally have to do budgets. Accounting is better preparation for management. In fact, I would bet that many more CEOs have an accounting background than that of a finance background.
  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    The probably do (or at least, it's close). That's because the traditional path to CEO has always been through CFO. However, I disagree that Accounting is suited to engineering. While a business support position may use more accounting, a traditional engineer, working up through manufacturing, will gain much more functional value from finance and the philosophy of investment. They learn enough about financial reporting from the base accounting courses.
  • JapherJapher Registered User Posts: 1,349 Senior Member
    ChE and Finance is a popular combination (usually BS ChE, MBA Finance) for engineering managers. Besides the fact that finance is one of the more "engineering-like" business degrees, the finance background helps with project analysis and selection. I've also known several people that have gone into banking with a specialization in chemical / energy.

    That's what I'm doing. BS ChemE, MBA (finance). I'm just finishing up some finance homework and I have to say that the data/trend analysis is a lot more akin to what I have done the past 10 years as a ChemE. The accounting classes I have taken are more inline with admin and support functions surrounding Balance Sheets, not something I find exciting at all.

    I know of plenty of engineering graduates who do not work in an engineering field. The analytical and quantitative abilities generated by engineering programs, coupled with the demonstrated ability to interpret complex information in relatively short amounts of time make engineers idealy suited to a number of professions.

    I am biased, for I wouldn't be coupling ChemE with Finance if I didn't think I would benefit.
  • VectorWegaVectorWega Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    ^ ChemE + MBA makes a lot more sense than ChemE + Finance undergrad.
  • JapherJapher Registered User Posts: 1,349 Senior Member
    I agree. I see no reason why you would want or need to add another BS/BA to an engineering degree in general.
«1
This discussion has been closed.