Major Complementing a MBA?

<p>OK I first intended to major in Engineering but I am not sure if Engineering is the best option for me.</p>

<p>My graduate school plans are more or less fixed on a MBA and I was just thinking what would be the best major (undergrad) that would help and complement a MBA!</p>

<p>I am thinking along the lines of a combination of Economics,Finance or Accounting! </p>

<p>I am still keen on engineering but I don't think it would further my business aspirations.</p>

<p>I am most probably applying to Northwestern, UMichigan, UChicago (NYU and UPenn is also on the list but not concretely decided) so if someone could provide the best options for each school independently it would mean tons!</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>You can do any major and go on to get an MBA, but you are going about this in the wrong order.</p>

<p>An MBA is not something that most people need. The vast majority of even accounting and finance students will never get an MBA. You typically enter and MBA program about 5 years after completing your undergraduate degree, so you will need some serious motivation to leave a decent paying job to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for school again.</p>

<p>Accounting majors usually get an MPA/MAcc (master of accountancy or similar) degree and do not get an MBA. Finance and economics majors are some of the most likely to get an MBA, but that's still mostly limited to the ones that want to do investment banking or consulting and an MBA would not be worth it in most fields. Engineers commonly go back for MBAs so they can move from the engineering side of the business to the business side.</p>

<p>Your pre-MBA work experience will affect your ability to be accepted into a good MBA program (you need to do something interesting and possibly exclusive more or less) and it will affect the types of jobs you will be looking for when you get your MBA. You will also likely have to work in the field that your undergraduate major is in for half a decade or so as well, so keep that in mind.</p>

<p>What you should be doing is focusing on what you want to study and getting your undergraduate degree at a good program for that. Because you are so set on an MBA and mentioned three business-related fields, I assume you are leaning toward that and the engineering is likely something your parents/teachers want or appeals simply because of the starting salaries, or for whatever other reason makes it hard for you to finally rule it out completely, right?</p>

<p>That said, Northwestern and Chicago have excellent economics programs, and Penn, NYU and Michigan have excellent finance programs. Keep in mind that Northwestern and Chicago do not have undergraduate business programs. Economics is somewhat similar to finance, but is still a social science. It will likely lead to many of the same jobs still. However, when there is a finance program, it is almost always recruited ahead of the economics program.</p>

<p>Good luck in the admissions process! Remember that prestige is nice, but not worth getting six figures of debt over!</p>

<p>Well I am leaning on investment banking and consulting as job options after my undergrad and according to you Economics or Finance would help me in that!</p>

<p>I know I am going in the wrong order but MBA is something that is inevitable in my future plans (Does this make me sound like I planned my whole life?? :P ) </p>

<p>As for my pre-BA work experience,I think both my career options would provide plenty of areas to progress in.</p>

<p>And you hit it spot on. Engineering is hard for me to rule it out because my parents want me to do it and my teachers think it would be the best fit for me (Maths,Physics, Chem being my strong suits) and the high paying job doesn't dampen the option.</p>

<p>But I am planning not to do Engineering because it is something that I can't see myself working in after my undergrad.</p>

<p>So finance is a better option over economics. And the college-wise break up helped tons.</p>

<p>Just one more question economics and finance would lead to investment banking and consulting jobs right?</p>

<p>Thanks you were very helpful!</p>

<p>If you are going to get an MBA be sure you know what you want to do with it. In some cases, an MBA degree will get you roughly the same starting salary as a bachelors if you lack work experience. An MBA degree isn't worth much without the work experience to go with it.</p>

<p>To add on... I was just reading today on the McCombs website that the majority of MBA students were not business majors.</p>

<p>Yes majority of MBA applicants aren't business majors because they want a change in their job path.</p>

<p>Business majors only need the MBA to further their position in the firm.</p>

<p>And as for the work experience I know how critically important it is.</p>

<p>Though openedskittles more or less helped me make up my mind on my undergrad for sure!</p>

<p>If after my undergrad, my job keeps progressing I might not even need a MBA unless I reach a plateau in my job.</p>

<p>MBA gives you breadth, not depth of understanding/knowledge. So it would make sense that business majors wouldn't need an MBA, a lot of the stuff will be the same.</p>

<p>Investment bankers I know have PhDs in Physics. Top consulting people generally have advance degree, connections, or pedigree.</p>

<p>The best degree will be in something you enjoy, has value to others, and can be exploited by the application of business knowledge.</p>

<p>MajorQuest ... I spent 8 yrs at a bulge bracket IB (and it still exists post 2009!) as an Equity Analyst and IBanker in the technology area. Engineering/Hard Science would be a very good UG. Analytical skills are critcal because as an entry level analyst/associate in IB you are doing all the financial modeling and research to generate pitches or executing deals. If you go the MBA route it needs to be a top ten program and you need to do well. Almost everyone on my staff and the management above me went to HBS. I did not but I was an outlier and we only recruited from the top programs. Note to make it to MD and become a calling officer, it is the deals you bring in and the quality of your relationships and contacts that matter.</p>

<p>@XTXN2CAL</p>

<p>Thanks a ton, this was exactly what I was looking for! I might not end up doing MBA for a while and Investment Banking is something I see myself doing!
Just one more question:
If I double major in Economics and Industrial Engineering from Northwestern(my most probable choice) does that keep me in the running for an IB job? I plan to try for m&a!</p>

<p>I think so ... maybe other IB types can weigh in ... I am on the west coast so I am not familiar with the Midwest recruiting schedule .... we recruited from the usual suspects - Stanford/Berkeley/UCLA ... and on the east coast Harvard/Wharton/MIT etc. ... If you want to land at a top bulge bracket bank GS, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, DB, Citi, then you need to be at the top end of the class... for local/regional banks the requirements are a little lower ... keep in mind the life of a entry level IB employee in the IB department is massive hours, pressure, and no life ... if you thrive in that type of environment you can make a lot of $ ... note there a number of types of jobs at an investment bank ... not just investment banker ...</p>

<p>Regarding Economics and IE it sounds like a good combination to me ... if you get a dose of hardcore Corp Finance in your Economics program I would think it would be a plus ... IB operations are divided up by industry groups, Media, Tech/Telecom, Internet etc so as an entry level employee they are looking for "raw talent" and focus on GPA, rigor, analytical skills, writing skills, ECs etc. ... analytical/modeling skills are critical, since over time you will be expected to develop financial models for different types of situations ... M&A, Leveraged finance, Equity offering etc. You will also have to generate the presentation so you will end up with world class powerpoint skills as well ... all of this will be done under the supervision of the Sr Banker until you move up.</p>

<p>If you want investment banking/consulting, get into a great school first. That's the most important thing, since your first job often determines the type of MBA you'll get into. If you get into the McKinseys, Goldman Sachs, Blackstones of the world, then the rest is history, if not, you'll be fighting an uphill battle. So my advice to you is focus on getting into a top notch school and a job at a blue chip company. After that, provided your GPA/GMAT is half decent, it'll work itself out.</p>

<p>Now having said that, engineering + high GPA is probably the best possible background for the top jobs, but not everyone can get a high GPA in engineering. Plus, finance + high GPA probably will be better than engineering + low/mediocre GPA, so you need to hedge your bets and judge from your own knowledge how well you'd do in engineering.</p>