Will a Degree in History help me make it in the world of Banking?

<p>I was wondering if I double majored in Finance and History will it help me in the broader world of IB? I heard that history is very helpful and the highest scores on the GMAT are History Majors. Personally I love history and I saw this as a plus point but I hear from a lot of people its very useless. Is all of this true?</p>

<p>Appreciate any Feedback and Thoughts/Comments!</p>

<p>If you enjoy history, by all means major in it. It won't be helpful or useful for banking, but it can't possibly hurt. You can major in anything and get into banking - if you have a good GPA and solid resume, you have a good shot, no matter what your major is.</p>

<p>It's not useful. Besides, some high scorers of the GMAT are history majors because history majors typically have a lot more time to study for the GMAT than econ and finance majors.</p>

<p>^ How do you figure that? At my school being a history major not only entails more credits that Econ/Finance majors, but speaking from experience the classes are much harder, require much more reading outside of the class, and have much more demanding assignments (complicated research papers vs multiple choice midterms). </p>

<p>To the OP's original question:
All you need are the core classes which will give you the backbone of skills, other than that you can major in whatever you like. I don't think that being a history major will give you an edge per say (unless you have a recruiter who likes non-Finance majors, which I tend to meet mostly in consulting jobs; most bankers are pretty indifferent to majors as long as you've taken the basics). </p>

<p>You might get an edge however in getting a better GPA majoring in something you like. </p>

<p>As long as you take Fin. Accounting, Intro to Finance, Intro Econs, maybe a few extras such as Intermediate Macro, Monetary Policy, Money Markets, Managerial Accounting, etc (maybe just one or two in this last pool), you should be fine.</p>

<p>roneald - have you ever wondered why such a big portion of students aspiring for law school opt for history at the undergrad level? Precisely because it's less time consuming, resulting in more time for the students to prepare for the LSAT. I know that history is among the easiest majors at quite a few Ivies. Yes, history involves a lot of writing, but an A is easy to get if you check with your prof a couple of times while writing a paper to make sure the prof likes the idea and the direction. A's are not so easy in econ due to multiple choice questions and much fiercer competition, resulting in forcing students to waste productive energy engaged in somewhat pointless and avoidable competition.</p>

<p>To answer the OP's question. You probably can get where you want to be in IB and consulting easier if you major in history over econ. I know a lot of history majors in consulting, fewer in banking. Have history as a second major won't help you at all.</p>

<p>Ditto to what IvyPBear has said - on average, History followed by English tend to be the ost work-light subjects available.</p>

<p>History is fine as long as you are at a target school. Otherwise it's gonna make it difficult</p>

<p>Double majoring in anything in addition to finance may be helpful as it shows a diversity of interests. Besides the fact that a recruiter who sees a second major which they had will be more likely to give your resume a second look, it can be helpful in telling a story in your interview. For instance, you could talk up your research skills, how you think everything is better understood when placed in a historical context, etc.</p>

<p>I'm not going to get into the matter of whether history is an easy major or not, except to say that as a finance and history major I have found my history classes both challenging and stimulating.</p>

<p>Basically, if you enjoy it, and you can take it on without your GPA tanking (keep it above a 3.5 if possible) I think it's a great idea.</p>

<p>I guess I'm going to have to just outright disagree with IvyPBear and SHawking on this. </p>

<p>I'm going to assume that because the OP is projected to be a strong candidate for IB, he/she is fairly intelligent. </p>

<p>10 page history paper: including reviewing your reading, drafting, writing, speaking with TA's, and revising = 8-10 hours MINIMUM. </p>

<p>Reviewing for an econ final = 3-5 hours MAXIMUM. I know VERY few students who take this long to prepare for an econ test, most will do two practice tests skim the reading and look over some problems ~ 3 hours. </p>

<p>This doesn't even include the reading load of a history major vs the reading load of an econ major. I read maybe 45 minutes - an hour /week for my econ classes doing ALL the reading, and I spend about 2 hours a week on my history/government classes doing MOST of the reading. </p>

<p>At every school I know that's not named Wharton, business/finance are considered to be joke majors academically (speak to your friends at Cornell/NYU/Haas/UMich if you don't believe me; if I missed another target school with an UG Business program my apologies). I also know a LOT of students who are taking Econ so that they can get good GPAs easily for law school, quite the opposite of what you're implying. </p>

<p>
[quote]
roneald - have you ever wondered why such a big portion of students aspiring for law school opt for history at the undergrad level?

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</p>

<p>Maybe because many students interested in law school have subsequent interests in history/government, leading them to major in history/political science/government. </p>

<p>I don't know if you're in school or when you graduated, but I know of very few "easy" history classes. Someone who knows everything about a certain history subject can still get dinged points for missing key details in an essay, not using enough sources, or not getting to the specific point the Professor intended the essay to illustrate when creating the prompt. If you know what you're doing in Econ, it's pretty hard to argue for a MC choice question getting graded "subjectively". </p>

<p>At the Engineering school here, students have to take a certain number of "liberal arts credits" to fulfill distribution requirements. Out of the 5 engineers in my group of my friends (none of which are ORIE), all 5 are taking either Intro Micro or Intro Macro in order to get an easy grade to boost their engineering GPAs. None of them tare taking a history or government classes, and I can attest to the fact that this trend expands across my entire freshman class. </p>

<p>Just my own experience. Maybe at state schools history is a joke major, but out of the schools I visited/looked at attending (Wharton/Yale/Harvard/Stanford/Dartmouth/Cornell), the only one where Econ would be viewed as more intense than History was Wharton, and that does not include Penn A&S.</p>

<p>artfuldodger23 please ignore everyone here. Please remember that there is no natural law out there that states if you studied history, you cannot go in to IB. Only you are the master of your fate and the owner of your destiny. If IB is something you are passionate about, enjoy and can see your self pursuing, then pursue it. If you look around, no one here can stop you but yourself. The journey might be a bit tougher because of your background but it certainly doable if you believe in your self. </p>

<p>There is a famous economist/historian named Neil Ferguson who wrote a book called "The Ascent of Money." You might want to give him a shot. </p>

<p>I wish you the best</p>

<p>roneald-History is a joke at Yale/Harvard/Stanford/Dartmouth/Columbia. Many people at these places study for some exams for 10+ hour. Econ is known to be one of the more rigorous tracks at these schools; history is not. Maybe your Cornell is so competitive that even history requires a lot of work.</p>

<p>
[quote]
roneald-History is a joke at Yale/Harvard/Stanford/Dartmouth/Columbia.

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</p>

<p>Unless you've taken a class at each of these colleges I'd say my opinion is just as good as yours. Also, I think this is just straight false. You're entitled to your opinion, I just don't agree. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Maybe your Cornell is so competitive that even history requires a lot of work.

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</p>

<p>If you're attempting to mock me with your sarcasm, I never once insinuated that Cornell was any harder than another school. </p>

<p>Further, even the fact that Yale's history program is not intensive is straight up ridiculous.</p>

<p>The difference is generally that econ is more popular thus more competition for the grades which ends up being a timesink. Business classes are quite easy but only considered difficult because of the curve, upper level finance is an exception. And no I dont go to one of those so called 'joke' b-schools. </p>

<p>I've found history to be less stressful overall than some econ/polisci classes. There tend to be more setbacks in the latter.</p>

<p>What? I'm at a target and history is a way easier major than econ. I'm doing both, and my history classes have like 3 papers/exams a semester averaging 6-10 pages each. It takes little to no effort to churn out a pretty decent A paper. For econ, it takes actual effort and studying (WAYY more than just 3 hrs for a final!) for me (ok I'm a mediocre student anyway) to get a straight A in a class. Econ classes are largely graded on a curve for the exams so you have to beat a majority of the class to get an A. History classes are graded on papers, written exams, and participation so there's more flexibility in getting an A.</p>

<p>I appreciate all teh feedbafck</p>

<p>Econ can be pretty tough depending on your program. I really can't imagine how any history course would be as cognitively demanding as a course in game theory and linear programming. Upper level courses in game theory are not just a function of hard work; you really have to be very intelligent. There's a reason A Beautiful Mind was based on John Nash. </p>

<p>Finance is easy. Financial engineering is a diff. subject and generally not offered at the undergrad level. But straight finance is easy and I don't care where it's taught. I'm sure the curve is tough at some schools but the material can't be difficult when black scholes is considered to be the toughest part of a finance education.</p>