Business vs Engineering. Go!

<p>I was admitted to NYU Stern (Business-Undecided) and CMU-CIT (Engineering-undecided) recently, and ever since, I have been constantly debating my options. After all, business/engineering degrees seem to send people down totally different career paths. It is not just a decision of what I want to study in college, but also what I want to do for the rest of my life! Given the gravity of this decision that I must make in the next few weeks, I want to make a decision that I wont look back on (too much, anyway) later in life. </p>

<p>If I went to NYU Stern, I would probably double major in Finance and Actuarial Sciences (or something that involves rigorous use of math), and get an MBA if I feel it is necessary. If I went to CMU-CIT, I would probably major in chemical engineering and take classes involving economics/financial engineering where possible, with the goal of eventually getting an MBA and shifting into some business field.</p>

<p>I'd like to hear your general opinions on either option, as well as the respective programs at NYU Stern and CMU-CIT (everything from the culture to the job opportunities). In a way, it is like comparing apples to oranges; they can be quite different. But overall, if you were in my shoes, which program/major/college would you pick, and most importantly, why?</p>

<p>Oh dear god. This will not end well.</p>

<p>If you really want to work in business, you might as well major in it.</p>

<p>flip a coin</p>

<p>Are you serious?</p>

<p>Here's the thing - you capitalized Actuarial Science (sic) but didn't capitalize chemical engineering. Because of their subconscious', people on these boards capitalize words that they exalt as if they're proper nouns. For example, taxguy capitalizes Physics (sic), but doesn't capitalize his other minors. So it's clear to me that you've already made a decision to go with actuarial science/finance.</p>

<p>Nice analysis whistleblower.</p>

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flip a coin

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<p>Coming from a person called "ifailedcalculus," this is not very reassuring at all :P.</p>

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Here's the thing - you capitalized Actuarial Science (sic) but didn't capitalize chemical engineering. Because of their subconscious', people on these boards capitalize words that they exalt as if they're proper nouns. For example, taxguy capitalizes Physics (sic), but doesn't capitalize his other minors. So it's clear to me that you've already made a decision to go with actuarial science/finance.

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<p>This makes me a sad panda :(. I'm trying to remain as neutral as possible before I visit CMU this coming monday (already visited NYU). But I'm afraid yes, I lean slightly towards business at the moment, simply because it seems more interesting than engineering (even though I am alright at engineering subjects in school, I often have to force myself to study the material since it appears to involve a lot of boring memorization...). But then again, what do I know about business? I only hear about business from the news pretty much. I hear that it involves less memorization and more strategizing - which, from the sound of it, would appeal to me. </p>

<p>At this point, I believe that if I went into engineering, it would only be because I want to hedge my bets and pick the safer path before edging into an MBA and a career in business. But at the same time, it could waste valuable time if I decide that engineering is definitely not for me.</p>

<p>In the end, it is a decision that only I can make, but if anyone has anything else (constructive, that is) to say, please feel free to post :)</p>

<p>haha I also have a conflicting position like that.....the way i see it is to not worry about your future plans (i.e careers and stuff) but worry about how you may feel about the subject material by prediction... i understand acturial science is practically statistics and personally I hated stats but since I had a knack for mathematics like you I did well in it but I have no interest in pursuing a degree in it and hopefully avoiding that class if possible.....</p>

<p>My god, can someone please ban whistle already? At least some trolls are funny, but not this one. </p>

<p>Anyways OP, the thing that answers my question is how you characterized engineering as boring and how you have to force yourself to study. Engineering is one of the hardest majors at any school and not something you'll be successful at unless you love it. Even if you don't get into banking or McKinsey right out of undergrad, a 3.5+ from Stern (since you like business) will open way more doors than a 3.0 in engineering (if you even make that given that you seem to have your heart set on business).</p>

<p>That's my advice anyway. Good luck!</p>

<p>Actually, Whistleblower makes a valid point. He's using a psychological basis to draw a conclusion, not trying to incite a flame war.</p>

<p>Whistleblower actually did make a nice analysis there.</p>

<p>Here is my take, as an engineer. Get and undergrad in engineering and then get your MBA in business. You will need to get an MBA (IMO) anyway. My s (who is good in math and sci) wants to major in business for undergrad. I am pushing him to do exactly what I just advised him</p>

<p>So your son wants to study business and you are pushing him to do something he has no interest in because it's what you did?</p>

<p>The vital part of this whole equation that engineering advocates seem to completely leave out is the part where getting an engineering degree, while it still leaves you as a fine MBA candidate, only really makes sense if you are interested in working in engineering out of college.</p>

<p>Think about it, a (relative) few engineering students do go into investment banking or a highly quantitative business role, and that's about it even from the best programs. A business student is more likely to be hired for a lot of creative or softer business jobs and a much higher percentage of them will go into investment banking than their engineering counterparts, especially at the top programs.</p>

<p>Then, of course, there's the aspect of relative experience once you have been in the field for about five years if you pursue engineering like the majority of engineering students do and you run the risk of being pigeonholed back into managing engineers.</p>

<p>It just seems to me like choosing engineering because you really want to do business is a backwards decision and is really more likely to screw you over, especially if you hate engineering, than to help you out.</p>

<p>A strong MBA candidate will demonstrate success at his job. There is typically a strong correlation between liking what you do and succeding in what you do.</p>

<p>openedskittles, no worry! We are looking at business schools for my son. I am not forcing him to do anything. Encouraging, yes. I do feel there are more job opportunities out there for engineers than business majors. And it is easier to switch from engineering to business than from business to engineering (IMO) if you decide mid stream that major is not for you.</p>

<p>That's nice, but why would you switch from business to engineering if you have no interest in it from the start? Also you might want to do a little more research if you think engineering has more job opportunities than business. Your logic is flawed, becareful not to ruin your kid's future.</p>

<p>Many kids switch majors in college. Who is to say my S won't start college and decide for one reason or another he wants to switch. The bottom line it is easier to switch from engineering to business. Engineering majors start right off the bat taking core requirements. My S will ultimately make the decision what to major in and like most big decisions he will make over the next few years, he will get input from his parents.</p>

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Here is my take, as an engineer. Get and undergrad in engineering and then get your MBA in business. You will need to get an MBA (IMO) anyway. My s (who is good in math and sci) wants to major in business for undergrad. I am pushing him to do exactly what I just advised him

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<p>Sounds kind of like my situation. While I lean slightly towards business, my parents seem to be a bit hesitant about the whole business thing, and lean towards engineering. I hate to put it this way, but I'm pretty sure that in advocating a career in engineering, they are just trying to take the safest path for me in life. They probably know that I <em>might</em> end up liking business, but engineering offers the greatest security for me and my future. That is to say, business in my case involves subtle risk - and a risk that they are not willing to take, especially when it is their kid's future and 200k at stake. They are generally worried that, since I haven't had much experience in business fields, I may end up deciding that business is not for me in the middle of business school, and then I might end up transferring out and wasting time and money. They figure that getting and engineering degree is the safer option, since one can go from engineering to business, but the reverse is not likely. It does seem a bit too protectionist at times, but it is certainly understandable. </p>

<p>However, I am pretty sure that if business turns out poorly for me, engineering would turn out even worse (I am getting the idea that engineering is more rigorous than business). Also, going by the aforementioned principle, it seems that the engineering degree is just a way of hedging one's bets in case things go terribly wrong (for example, deep economic recession). However, I would imagine that one could similarly hedge one's bets in business as well - for example, with double majors in relatively stable fields, like accounting or perhaps actuarial sciences. Of course, the effect is not as pronounced, but just some food for thought...</p>

<p>I'm also wondering about the "value" of an undergraduate degree in business from a b-school like Stern, and whether it could open me up to a reasonable amount of opportunities (that is to say, if I do well there, am I virtually guaranteed a "good" job?). Likewise, for CMU, what kind of opportunities would be open to me, if I managed to do well?</p>

<p>What school did you end up choosing? NYU?</p>