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Deciding between Economics and Accounting for Bachelor's degree.

freewayfreeway Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited August 2011 in Business Major
I definitely know that I am going to get my Master's degree in Accounting, but I'm trying to decide between Economics and Accounting for my Bachelor's degree.

I want to be a CPA, but I also want to be well-rounded and be able to keep my options open. Is it better to get my Bachelor's in Economics or Accounting? Which will look best and be the most helpful?
Post edited by freeway on

Replies to: Deciding between Economics and Accounting for Bachelor's degree.

  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
  • jdnelyjdnely Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I'm still unclear on majors like Economics. You major in accounting and get a job at an accounting firm. Do they have economics firms? Do corporations have economics departments? I know you can get a job, but my point is it isn't as clear cut for a grad seeking employment is it?
  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    There are economics departments and there are titles such as economist, and chief economist. Most economists have PhD's in economics, a few have masters. You find the in government, banks and investment firms, and research firms that are investment advisers, and publication firms that are investment advisers.

    For example: The national association of realtors has an economics departmenty. The Chief economist give out quarterly reports on the state of the economy and how it effects the real estate industry. He reports on what has happened, where we are, and what this may mean for the future. This data is used by local firms for local economic analysis done by local economists. the local economists change the language into something that Realtors, the press, attorneys, Real Estate Managers, REITS, and everyday people can understand.

    If you want to go into business and undergraduate degree in economics is not good enough. Accounting is better. Much better. Economics is Theory, philosophy, and mathematical analysis and prediction, and policy. It's academia. There is very little practical training for economists other than how to conduct research and experiments. Economics also covers a broad range of subjects beyond business.

    Economists do become financial analysts but they all have masters and PhD's.

    Undergrad economists tend to go to law school or MBA. If you work as an economist from undergrad you will work in data collection and data entry. Undergrad business students (and Economic PhD's) are better prepared to interpret the data. The business students know how to apply it to practical matters. For example: How does the consumer price index (a measure of inflation) effect rental rates in Austin Texas? What should you do as a REIT property manager (Probably an MBA with finance or real estate specialty) or a small company property manager (A Realtor with an accounting degree maybe?).

    Most graduate economists come out of mathematics, physics, and finance disciplines.

    You can not really be a solo economist like you can be a solo accountant or financial adviser. You need credibility and that comes from academia.

    Unless the economics department is apart of the b-school. Usually it's not. Economics is considered a science and a humanities subject. You find it in Liberal Arts or Science departments. If it's in the b-school, you should be required to take some core business classes as well, and then my description will not apply to you.
  • freewayfreeway Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Well, like I said before, I am going to get my Master's in Accounting, but I was wondering if it is better to get my Bachelor's in Accounting or Economics. Is it better to have that variety of Bachelor's in Economics and Master's in Accounting or to just go with accounting for both?

    Also, I'm going to UF so I would be earning my Economics degree from the Warrington College of Business Administration, not the humanities department.
  • maxellismaxellis Registered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    Take a couple classes of each subject and find out which one you like more. They are very different subjects.

    I am majoirng in finance and accounting right now (and am seriously considering upgrading my econ minor to a major). I enjoy economics much more, but as people have already said, it is much more theory whereas accounting is more practical.

    If you are deadset on getting a masters in accounting, you should probably major in accounting to have a better understanding of it.
  • Josh66Josh66 Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    well a degree in economics from a top 20 school is MUCH more valuable than an accounting degree, however, accounting would be a much better choice for someone from a lesser school.
  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    I disagree.

    Economics departments are ranked differently than business schools. It about the professors - what and how much they publish; and from what school of thought they teach.

    Accounting is more versatile for business no matter what school. To get anywhere as an economist you need to get a PhD or go to Law School which is what most undergrad economists do. MA & PhD economists mostly come from math and physics programs, not undergrad economics.

    You can get good government economist jobs with an undergrad degree.
  • Josh66Josh66 Registered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    Anyone at harvard, yale, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, northwestern, duke or any other elite school who wants to go into business, especially IB or management consulting, would major in economics. It is foolish to assume that if you major in economics the only job you can get is as an economist.
  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    :) :)
  • WatermarkWatermark Registered User Posts: 214 Junior Member
    I thought they choose econ major in these top school because there's no under business program in most of the top schools. That's not true?
  • openedskittlesopenedskittles Registered User Posts: 954 Member
    I think the big thing here is that if you want to be an accountant, you will likely want to be a CPA, and to do so you need to take accounting classes and have 150 hours. The best way to do this is to do an integrated bachelor/master degree program where you go through it in five years. Getting an economics degree first costs more because you have to pay for more grad school and it delays the time until you can start earning good money.
  • jakolmasterjakolmaster - Posts: 31 New Member
    Tortfeasor, you are assuming that an economics major will ONLY lead to becoming an economist. I am guessing a history major will only lead to a historian and an english major.. and english teacher? What about the art history major in harvard? What does he become?

    Tell that to a Brown university English major who is probably your boss right now.

    It doesn't matter what you major in but because accounting is a technical, specialized field, I would say it is necessary to major in it if you are deadset on getting the CPA. However if you plan to major in accounting just because you feel unsafe entering the business industry, let me assure you that an economic major will take you just as far, if not, even further than an accounting major.
  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    I didn't say anything like that. I'm responding to Op's concerns. The answer is accounting.
  • whatasunnydaywhatasunnyday Registered User Posts: 261 Junior Member

    I'm a very happy economics major that's working on completing the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. I found a great thread sometime ago that articulates why being an economics major is awesome.


    I also tend to notice that a lot of people in the Business Major forum don't care much for economics. Just thought I would be a swing of the pendulum in the other direction.
  • TortfeasorTortfeasor Registered User Posts: 570 Member
    I don't look down on economics. In fact I seriously considered a PhD in Economics. I love Economics.
This discussion has been closed.