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  1. #1
    Registered User Squatticus's Avatar
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    Engineering vs Finance Degree

    Decided recently to go back to school and finish my bachelors, I'm pretty much equally close to my finance and computer engineering degree. Was wanting some insight from those of you that have either degree. I live in texas but plan on moving out of state once I'm finished. and is it worth it getting my associates or just go straight for bachelors
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  2. #2
    SUPERNOVA SouthDakotaBrah's Avatar
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    Firstly, definitely bachelors degree.

    Finance vs. Computer Engineering - depends on your skillset and career goals. Computer Engineering is a much more difficult degree (I have a BSEE and took a few junior level computer engineering courses. I spent enough 3am weekends in the lab to know Computer Engineering is one of the most difficult fields you can study in college, period). Finance is a cakewalk degree in terms of material, the difficult part of finance is (1) getting into the most prestigious school possible, and (2) networking for job opportunities (neither of which you really have to do in engineering, although networking is still important, just not to the same extent as business people).

    Career goals - this is the most important question - do you want to actually work in engineering, or are you instead planning on using your engineering degree to work in business/finance? Computer engineers, as far as I'm aware, are sought after as quantitative analysts in high finance/trading on Wall Street (maybe need more than a BS for these positions). Even with an engineering degree, you can enter business/finance fields such as investment banking, consulting, etc. the more prestigious the university you're at, the more true this is (around a third of MIT graduates find jobs in investment banking/consulting upon graduation. The no name school I went to, next to zero chance for investment banking)

    I studied electrical engineering and now work in consulting. My original plan was to work in engineering and work my way towards a management position, as I enjoy business more than I enjoy engineering, but I realized consulting was the perfect path for me to start working on economics/strategy oriented projects straight out of college. You have a lot of flexibility with an engineering degree in that regard that you don't have so much with a finance degree (it's easier for an engineer to pursue a career path in business than it is for a business analyst to pursue a career path in engineering).
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  3. #3
    IDDQD Austanian's Avatar
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    Associate is a pretty worthless degree. I got mine, but just because I did CC first and didn't need to pay for it. Immediately followed it up with my BBA

    I have a degree in Finance and can tell you it is not the best degree out there. Accounting is the better choice. Every entry level job you can do with Finance you can do with Accounting. The reverse isn't true.

    As for Computer Engineering - Hardware vs Software are completely different.

    They are both good careers that will get you decent living. You will "probably" make more money in Computer Engineering, but will be more restricted on where you need to live. Finance/Accounting aren't the easiest degrees in the world, but they are easier than Computer Engineering. Continuing education will be prevalent in both.

    Really all depends what you are looking for.
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    Registered User DrinkingBull's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squatticus View Post
    Decided recently to go back to school and finish my bachelors, I'm pretty much equally close to my finance and computer engineering degree. Was wanting some insight from those of you that have either degree. I live in texas but plan on moving out of state once I'm finished. and is it worth it getting my associates or just go straight for bachelors
    I'm a senior in Computer Engineering right now.

    I decided to focus more on the software side of things and it's been turning out great career wise. I haven't been having any trouble jobs wise and can actually afford to be picky at this point. My gpa isn't even that great, but to be fair I've done pretty well in some coding competitions and have a portfolio up so I've got that going for me.

    A lot of my classmates who aren't so into the coding side of things don't seem to be having much trouble finding good jobs either, especially the ones who network heavily. Oddly enough the two best programmers in our department hands down imo are into hardware and are working as hardware engineers. Others are going to grad school to study things like machine learning, computer vision, etc, and will probably find good work once they're finished.

    Most people are really into what their doing though so if your not passionate about something within the field I'd really do some thinking about whether it's the right path for you or not.

    And can confirm the upper division coursework can get pretty brutal.
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    Registered User hotdawg100's Avatar
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    Engineering hands down.

    You can do any finance job and more with an engineering degree. Opposite is much much harder - finance degree doesn’t really teach you anything that can’t be googled in 5 minutes. Entire finance undergrad fits into CFA level 1 curriculum that can be digested in couple of weeks.

    Another consideration is engineering sets you up much better for grad school in the future. MBA or anythjng alike (“soft” business degree) will be much better overall package in combination with “hard” undergrad.
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    Depends what u want out of life

    Wage cuck?
    - engineering

    Baller?
    - finance along with other relevant post grad education to get into banking / funds management.
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  7. #7
    It's over for you aleeboy's Avatar
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    I would do both if you have the option too. I will tell you why. It's because graduates these days have multiple majors and some have already completed their CFA Level 1. You also have those who missed the boat when they graduated and are trying to enter financial services after a couple of years work experience. These types also have accumulated additional credentials.

    It's a sad reality that more means less, but you just have to to keep abreast of the supply side.

    If you have to pick one, I would pick Finance.
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  8. #8
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    No point in an associates if you're getting your bachelors IMO. You're 'equally close to your finance and computer engineering degree'? So you're really just starting out then. Perhaps take courses in each to see if you have a preference. That said I believe the CE field will offer better opportunities for the standard graduate. However if you're attending a prominent university with a renowned reputation then it may be better to pursue the finance degree as you should have a higher income ceiling.
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  9. #9
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    As an ECE engineer I have to say that computer engineer might be the most all around, hard degree you can get in engineering. Tons of physics, maths, eletronics, programming and so on. Tons of abstract thinking. I would advice computer engineer over finance but never been in finance. I was already with a foot in accounting then switched to computer engineer.

    With that said I actually enjoy now that I am working and will probably go to applied maths PhD soon, mainly to work in ECE themes from a mathematical perspective, at least I hope so.

    If your school is strong in finance then go to Finance if that's what you like.

    But be sure of one thing, you will work on something better be something you like, regardless of opportunities.
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  10. #10
    Biggest loads in the NW IlChosenOne's Avatar
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    Have you already got Calc 1, 2, and 3, Diff Eqs, and two semesters each of chemistry and physics?

    If not, then you are a lot closer to finishing a finance degree than you are to finishing an engineering degree.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Squatticus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SouthDakotaBrah View Post
    Firstly, definitely bachelors degree.

    Finance vs. Computer Engineering - depends on your skillset and career goals. Computer Engineering is a much more difficult degree (I have a BSEE and took a few junior level computer engineering courses. I spent enough 3am weekends in the lab to know Computer Engineering is one of the most difficult fields you can study in college, period). Finance is a cakewalk degree in terms of material, the difficult part of finance is (1) getting into the most prestigious school possible, and (2) networking for job opportunities (neither of which you really have to do in engineering, although networking is still important, just not to the same extent as business people).

    Career goals - this is the most important question - do you want to actually work in engineering, or are you instead planning on using your engineering degree to work in business/finance? Computer engineers, as far as I'm aware, are sought after as quantitative analysts in high finance/trading on Wall Street (maybe need more than a BS for these positions). Even with an engineering degree, you can enter business/finance fields such as investment banking, consulting, etc. the more prestigious the university you're at, the more true this is (around a third of MIT graduates find jobs in investment banking/consulting upon graduation. The no name school I went to, next to zero chance for investment banking)

    I studied electrical engineering and now work in consulting. My original plan was to work in engineering and work my way towards a management position, as I enjoy business more than I enjoy engineering, but I realized consulting was the perfect path for me to start working on economics/strategy oriented projects straight out of college. You have a lot of flexibility with an engineering degree in that regard that you don't have so much with a finance degree (it's easier for an engineer to pursue a career path in business than it is for a business analyst to pursue a career path in engineering).
    Originally Posted by IlChosenOne View Post
    Have you already got Calc 1, 2, and 3, Diff Eqs, and two semesters each of chemistry and physics?

    If not, then you are a lot closer to finishing a finance degree than you are to finishing an engineering degree.
    never thought about using a computer engineering degree and working in finanace...that's a pretty interesting option. I'm about 1-1.5 years off from both, I had calc 1 credit from high school and done my phy and cal 2 already.
    Really I know both are good options what I'm looking for now is to have steady income and a job that I enjoy. Both are a giant step forward coming from running a personal training business
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  12. #12
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    Computer Science.


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    This is a question you have to answer for yourself OP. What do you want to do. Either way it's a win/win but either one can be a lose/lose if you go for one you really don't like.
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    Originally Posted by IlChosenOne View Post
    Have you already got Calc 1, 2, and 3, Diff Eqs, and two semesters each of chemistry and physics?

    If not, then you are a lot closer to finishing a finance degree than you are to finishing an engineering degree.
    Lol, I have all those + statics, dynamics, and mechanics of materials. I majored in Econ btw lol @ me, but I fukin hated the engineering classes.

    Op, I'd go engineering all the way. Finance doesn't seem as viable unless you're a big dog from a top school.
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    Originally Posted by Squatticus View Post
    never thought about using a computer engineering degree and working in finanace...that's a pretty interesting option. I'm about 1-1.5 years off from both, I had calc 1 credit from high school and done my phy and cal 2 already.
    Really I know both are good options what I'm looking for now is to have steady income and a job that I enjoy. Both are a giant step forward coming from running a personal training business
    I suggest doing Computer Science instead. You get more flexibility that way for technical electives. Computer Engineering is really just CS with hardware electives.

    UTA is where I got my degree and they actually hooked me up with my first two internships. FWIW it looks like you're golden on Calculus and Sciences. You can do Geology for an elective instead of chemistry. It's way more fun IMO.

    Try to see if GM Financial has internships if you go to UTA the benefits are incredible and it's a very low stress workplace that pays really well. I know Lockheed used to do co-ops so you can look at that too.
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    Registered User Squatticus's Avatar
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    What i'm taking away is an computer engineering/computer science degree will allow more flexibility. Thanks for the input guys
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    Computer Engineering - You could always do MBA later if you want to add a business layer to your education.
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