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Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance?

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Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2008, 22:41
I need some advice. My goal is to land a finance job and eventually get an MBA.

Currently I am pursuing an architectural engineering degree with 3 semesters left. This degree is rather obscure (few know much about it) and I am worried that potential employers won't realize that it is of similar difficulty as a mechanical or chemical engineering degree. I will graduate with an average GPA of 3.5/4.0.

I have two choices.

1.) Finish the architectural engineering degree and get a Masters in Finance afterwards from a good school.

Or

2.) I can switch to that same school and get an undergraduate degree in Honors Finance and graduate with a higher GPA.

Option 1. will give me an engineering degree (although not a valuable one), but I will spend more time in school, and I won't have any finance internship experience because I will be working while pursuing the degree at night. Additionally I will have a Masters but I will still start out in an entry level position.

Option 2. will require me to drop all my engineering work thus far, but I will graduate with a stronger degree, one year earlier, and with finance internship experience under my belt.

Which option will position me better to get a good job in Finance and eventually go on to obtain an MBA?

Thanks in advance for any advice you all can give!
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Re: Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 15:01
Expert's post
I am moving your post to the B-School application section with the hope that you will get more traction there.


headache wrote:
I need some advice. My goal is to land a finance job and eventually get an MBA.

Currently I am pursuing an architectural engineering degree with 3 semesters left. This degree is rather obscure (few know much about it) and I am worried that potential employers won't realize that it is of similar difficulty as a mechanical or chemical engineering degree. I will graduate with an average GPA of 3.5/4.0.

I have two choices.

1.) Finish the architectural engineering degree and get a Masters in Finance afterwards from a good school.

Or

2.) I can switch to that same school and get an undergraduate degree in Honors Finance and graduate with a higher GPA.

Option 1. will give me an engineering degree (although not a valuable one), but I will spend more time in school, and I won't have any finance internship experience because I will be working while pursuing the degree at night. Additionally I will have a Masters but I will still start out in an entry level position.

Option 2. will require me to drop all my engineering work thus far, but I will graduate with a stronger degree, one year earlier, and with finance internship experience under my belt.

Which option will position me better to get a good job in Finance and eventually go on to obtain an MBA?

Thanks in advance for any advice you all can give!

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Re: Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 18:49
Almost every engineering degree is considered more difficult than a business degree...most people know that. I know the joke at some schools is the business majors are the kids who couldnt cut it in the engineering majors...although the business kids probably have the last laugh in the long run. As an engineer you will never be poor but sure wont become megawealthy.

Getting a job in finance at a top level bank is very dependent on schools...much like coming out of an MBA. They do draw from a larger pool of schools than they do for MBAs, but if you they dont recruit at your schools then it might not be the best idea. I know a lot of us on here are engineers or folks working in computer fields, and many of us have had amazing success with schools. I know I went to a no name undergrad and trust me my engineering major is more obscure than yours its only offered at five colleges, all of which are very small and specialized....I think in a way it helped me since I wasnt another ME or EE.

I would say before you make a rash decision, check to see who recruits at your school for finance jobs...make sure places you want to work actually come. Find out who is getting interviewed and hired, I know some people who were engineer or math majors and got hired at banks because they were good at the quant stuff and the bank would pretty much teach them what they needed them to do just like for business majors. Your best bet may be to get an internship.

One thing to think about is a lot of engineering majors are in demand right now, that probably isnt going to slow down all that much. However, with the current state of the economy, you never know what the hiring will be like for business majors in a few years. If you look at the long term and know you want an MBA two or three years down the road, your engineering degree and an unusual job may actually be a great benefit...they do like diversity.
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Re: Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 19:33
I'll put it like this: All four of us at work who have undergrad business degrees agree that if we were to do it again we would get engineering degrees.
Re: Stay in architectural engineering or switch to finance?   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2008, 19:33
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