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Economics BA with Data Science minor (10k debt) VERSUS. Industrial & Systems BS (70k debt)

510510510510 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
So I am a junior at Claremont McKenna College pursuing the 3-2 Engineering Program (one spends 3 years at a liberal arts college obtaining a BA in Economics and then spend 2 years at a different university to obtain an Engineering BS). I have been admitted to USC for Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) and am considering attending USC this fall. However, I received no financial aid. The cost of tuition for the 2 years at USC ($142,000) would be split between my parents and me, thus, giving me 70k in debt. If I stayed at Claremont for a year instead I would receive a BA in Economics and a sequence/minor in Data Science and would leave college with only 10k in debt because of Claremont's incredible financial aid. I love math and problem solving but also desire to work with people. Because of this, I don't intend on working in manufacturing and lean towards business oriented jobs rather than pure technical jobs. Is getting the ISE degree from USC worth the money? I heard Economics/ Data Science is similar to ISE but I don't know if the similarities are worth abandoning engineering school. Can I get comparable business/tech jobs with an Economics/ Data Science degree rather than an ISE degree? I don't want to regret not going to engineering school, but saving the money is very appealing. My fields of interest include Product/Project Management, Consulting, Operations Management, Financial Analysis and potentially Human Resources. I'm unsure what fields of work ISE graduates usually go into so any insight on that is welcome.

Replies to: Economics BA with Data Science minor (10k debt) VERSUS. Industrial & Systems BS (70k debt)

  • Lilliana330Lilliana330 Registered User Posts: 1,616 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    You as an undergrad cannot borrow over the federal limit of approx $27k. Unless your parents will cosign private loans for you (unlikely from what you posted?), which are a bad idea anyways, it seems that transferring is not feasible. You can still have a good career with your other degree and could possibly get a master's in ISE later on.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 3,252 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    Finish the Bachelors at Claremont and see if you can find a job that will start you down the path to the type of work you mentioned. If after two or three years the job doesn't seem to do that, find a more relevant job or go to grad school for something like ISE.

    Data Science is a pretty hot field right now. If you can stress that on your resume, you should be able to find a job pretty easily. Try to take as many quantitative economics classes as you can. Ultimately, when it comes to maneuvering into a career field you're interested in, your work experience will be more important than what your degrees were in .

    I have a Masters in IE. The program was interesting and I'm glad I got it, but in reality it wasn't something employers were all that interested in. They cared more about my undergrad CS degree and previous work experience.
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