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Thread: Which university course should I choose?

  1. #1

    Default Which university course should I choose?

    This may be really banal.. But I'm kinda lost here.
    Need those students from NTU/NUS to kinda help me explain something....

    I just finished my A Levels recently, and these were the scores that I got:

    Econs - A
    Mth C - B
    Physics - C
    GP, Chinese - B3

    I have these options in mind: Either I take up Economics or Business Adminstration. I am personally more interested with issues with regards to finance and stuff. But the problem is that there seems that BA & Econs are similar.... (eg, both of them hav finance as well.)

    So could anyone out there explain as to what are the differences between BA & Econs?

    I had originally thought of going to BA (be it be in NUS/NTU), but I've heard from many people that it is a very general degree, and that securing a job will be difficult (with a BA degree). Could anyone comment on this as well? Some of them even commented that its not worth it to take BA full time as a undergrad course...

    I would gladly appreciate if anyone working in the finance sector could shed some light on these questions. I just went to Careers 2003 @ Suntec, but it was so packed that I couldn't ask much questions.

    And one more thing: Is Engineering physics/science related? Science is not really my fort, but then... I heard (again) that Eng courses do have Econs integrated as well... huh?

    Really in a confusion as to what I should take....
    And I really hope that the scores that I have can get me into the course that I want.... Really competitive....

    Thanks a lot everyone!

  2. #2

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    Hmmm.... why are you interested in BA ? Since your interest lies in finance, why don't you pick up a business course in NTU and major in banking and finance ?

    Last time I heard, Econs was made a compulsory subject for all Engineering students because our PM said so...

  3. #3

    Default

    Yup. A professional degree would be better but u should consider your interests as well. It's a big jump from JC to Uni. For example, wat u learn in 2 years during JC time, the uni covers everything plus more in about 4 months. So alot of people i noe made the wrong choice and struggled like hell. Some switched courses after one or two semesters, some even swtiched universities. Even heard of a few who dropped out in their final year.

    Getting 4As doesn't mean he/she will breeze through uni. And not getting any As doesn't mean they will struggle to graduate as well. All of the courses are demanding in its own way. For example although business students have a very slack timetable, they have to do alot of readings on their own.

    In short, consider carefully where your interests lie and in what subjects you are likely to do well in.

  4. #4

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    hmm..in my time, u cld go science fac and major in econs....my friend did that...i grad abt 2-3 yrs ago...so dunno if still can do this..
    some pp say Bachelor of Science prospects may be better than Bachelor of Arts.......



    unless u confirm can be high flyer..i wldn't recommend going to Business Admin....cos too general a degree......difficult to find job...

  5. #5
    ClubSNAP Idol Adam Goi's Avatar
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    Default

    Arts is probably more general than Biz Ad....

  6. #6

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    I think it's more important to go for a course u like. Cos it's better to do well and get a good general degree than to go for a popular course and struggle to graduate. Having a degree is better than no degree.

    In NTU, alot of engineering students fail a few subjects each term. Some take longer to graduate while others dropped out of school. Dunno about NUS heh heh. So hope you won't end up like them! For me i think i won't do very well in science (although i did well for physics in A levels) so i'm doing accountancy now, which is what i'm interested in. You really need that interest when u are ploughing through that 1000 page textbook

  7. #7

    Talking

    ok ..... me am an engineering student in NTU ..... we did take econs ..... only for 1 sem only ..... that'z it .....

    az for which courze u should chooze ..... ( a lot of pple said thiz liao ) ..... me think u should apply for the courze that u like n have interezt in .....

    if the courze that u applied for offerz only a general degree ..... so be it ..... me feel that itz better to have a good general degree compared to a CMI "non-general" degree ..... the mozt impt thing iz u have interezt in wat u r studying .....

    thiz iz my TCW ..... itz ur own choice at the end of the day .....


  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks all for your replies...
    Just to ask, the business courses offered by NTU and NUS are different?

    I've heard that NTU allows you to specialize into a specific area (eg, finance) but NUS does not.

    Is that true?

    baiyun > if you are talking about NUS, i think they don't have Econs in Science fac anymore. The people @ the NUS booth said so.

    Anyone taking Econs, and could help me shed some light on the subject?

  9. #9

    Default

    Yah business and accountancy students will take roughly the same subjects for the 1st year and then business students can specialize from year 2 onwards.

    Business Year One subjects should be Accounting I, Financial Management, Statistical Methods, Organisational Behavior, Marketing, Principles of Economics, Business Law, IT.

  10. #10
    nikonnd02
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    Default

    Originally posted by SNAG
    . I would gladly appreciate if anyone working in the finance sector could shed some light on these questions.
    Finance is quite a broad area, what exactly draws u? Dreaming up new products? Drawing new marketing gimmicks? Chasing sales? Customer Service? Or?? What's your strength?

    I spoke to an attachment student once and asked her what drew her to finance? Her answer: "I want to be like you all... wear nice nice to work, work in nice office, then everyone goes overseas for holidays"!!!

    Well, I suppose that's the silver lining ... there's a lot of human relationships to manage, management, colleagues, staff, business associates, customers.... people come and go really fast...

    The working environment is fast-paced.....u need to be on your toes every minute to keep abreast of on-goings and ahead of competitors... young parents don't get to spend enough time with kids.... this's the part that many don't see...

    Hope the above didn't scare u! But good to see things from the other side, right? Anyway, I must say my years in Finance has been quite rewarding. Recommend that u take Economics and Maths and excel in them! But the subjects doesn't really matter, we got people from all educational background! Oh ya, excel in CCA and human skills too!

  11. #11

    Default

    Originally posted by nikonnd02
    Finance is quite a broad area, what exactly draws u? Dreaming up new products? Drawing new marketing gimmicks? Chasing sales? Customer Service? Or?? What's your strength?

    I spoke to an attachment student once and asked her what drew her to finance? Her answer: "I want to be like you all... wear nice nice to work, work in nice office, then everyone goes overseas for holidays"!!!

    Well, I suppose that's the silver lining ... there's a lot of human relationships to manage, management, colleagues, staff, business associates, customers.... people come and go really fast...

    The working environment is fast-paced.....u need to be on your toes every minute to keep abreast of on-goings and ahead of competitors... young parents don't get to spend enough time with kids.... this's the part that many don't see...

    Hope the above didn't scare u! But good to see things from the other side, right? Anyway, I must say my years in Finance has been quite rewarding. Recommend that u take Economics and Maths and excel in them! But the subjects doesn't really matter, we got people from all educational background! Oh ya, excel in CCA and human skills too!
    Thanks a lot.... that was really informative.
    Just to ask, what are the different types of finance?
    I'll find out more during the universities open house next week...

  12. #12

    Default

    Employment opportunities in the financial industry depends on when u graduate. I don't want to pour cold water but opportunities right now in the financial world are few and far between.

    Courses wise, I think doing Biz Ad, Commerce, Business, Econs, Accountancy, mathematics should open some doors for u in the financial industry. Sometimes an engineering degree also can. For instance, I got a civil engineering degree but I am working in stockbroking. Hope this helps. U can PM me if u want to know more. Cheers!

  13. #13

    Default

    Originally posted by lazyfiddler
    Employment opportunities in the financial industry depends on when u graduate. I don't want to pour cold water but opportunities right now in the financial world are few and far between.

    Courses wise, I think doing Biz Ad, Commerce, Business, Econs, Accountancy, mathematics should open some doors for u in the financial industry. Sometimes an engineering degree also can. For instance, I got a civil engineering degree but I am working in stockbroking. Hope this helps. U can PM me if u want to know more. Cheers!
    I read with shock the recent blaze of articles in the papers....
    Sometimes I really wonder what's the use of studying in the U when a poly grad is of equal standing.....

    Let's hope that the situation improves in the next few years...

    And thanks a lot yah?
    I'll PM you if I have any queries...

  14. #14
    ClubSNAP Idol Adam Goi's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SNAG
    Anyone taking Econs, and could help me shed some light on the subject?
    Okay, I majored in Economics and Statistics and frankly speaking unless (IMO) you are good enough to earn at least a 2nd upper, otherwise you'll probably be no different from other Arts graduates.

    Who knows, we may share similar feelings towards Economics as that was what drove me to go for the A-level route rather than working towards a diploma then.

    Based on your interest in finance, may I be bold to suggest (I wished I did that years ago) that you consider the NTU business course...

  15. #15

    Default

    Just one OT question, does NUS/NTU allow one to choose the no of modules taken in one semester? Eg, can I choose how long/short I stay in uni, just like many overseas (US?) unis?

    Thanks

  16. #16

    Default

    Originally posted by SNAG
    I read with shock the recent blaze of articles in the papers....
    Sometimes I really wonder what's the use of studying in the U when a poly grad is of equal standing.....

    Let's hope that the situation improves in the next few years...

    And thanks a lot yah?
    I'll PM you if I have any queries...
    Hey SNAG .... you r most welcome. Yes... things in the financial industry are real tough at the moment. From what I know, the forex guys are having a great time cos of all the volatility in the market.

    Don't lose heart. I know with all those articles in the papers, people are wondering whether it is really worth getting a degree vis-a-vis a poly diploma given the perceived equal standing. But think long term... for instance, should u decide to pursue a master's program, especially an MBA in a good university, a basic degree is essential to qualify for the program.

    Given the fluidity of the current employment situation and the lack of visibility on where the good jobs are two, three years down the road, it is very hard to pin-point whether your 'dream' job will be there for you when you graduate. In that light, my advice is that you enrol in a course that you really like. Doing well in your chosen course will then be a 'breeze' since it is your interest.

    Yea... let's hope the situation improves. And hopefully I still have a job then.

  17. #17

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    I would honestly suggest that you not pick up a general degree. With your background, you should try something like engineering.

    If you are interested in working in the financial sector, the maths will do you good if you are interested in an entry position of a risk analysts, financial engineers and especially dealers in everything from fx to derivatives. Knowledge in programming are esssential in the first two. A cool mind and quick with figures is required for the third.

    Graduates in accounting/finance will do better at entry level jobs related to corporate banking, project finance, mergers and acquisitions etc where the analysis of accounting statements are much more essential. Here, I do not mean accounting 101.

    If you are looking out for jobs related to sales and marketing, all you need is a flair for it, and of course a degree in zoology will do just fine.

    Just my two cents worth. You can always get a degree in IT/BizAd/Econs/Accounting/Finance on a part time basis, but you can't do it with engineering/medicine/dentistry. And if you are really interested in finance, you can always pick up a book and figure out the concepts on your own during your undergraduate days, or some professional qualification of diploma in Finance as your postgraduate study.

    Go figure.

  18. #18

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    Entry level jobs? Wah. Think you're mistaken haha. Accounting/finance grads do not only analyse the financial statements. The course prepares them for managerial positions and strategic management is the main focus. Most acct grads make it as managers(large firms, not small local ones) in about 3 years time.

    Anyway, the thing is if you have no interest in the course, you might not get a good degree or even graduate. What's the point of having a engineering degree when you wanna do economics? Your time spent slogging for the engineering degree will be wasted cos people will look at the degree in economics instead. And compare a graduate majoring in Econs and one with a part time degree, which one is the likely candidate to be chosen? The background doesn't count for much. The advantage gained by studying sciences in A levels will be wiped out in a semester or two. It'll be a level playing field from then on...

    I think Parchiao's advice would be very suitable for those who are excellant in their studies (4As plus S papers) but dunno what they want to do in the future as yet.

    Anyway, the best thing about Acc/Bus in NTU is...it's a 3 year course... Direct honours if you are good enough.

    PS: Not trying to argue with parchiao but i have this view cos i see alot of my frens regret doing engineering, computer engine, chemical engine etc despite getting 4As and stuff for their A levels... So do what you like and excel in it, rather than follow the crowd and get left behind.
    Last edited by Mr Fish; 9th March 2003 at 10:07 PM.

  19. #19

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    Dun be too cocky my friend, and good luck to you on your job search when you graduate. Your accounting degree will not count for much against the hundereds of others who graduate with an ACCA and an overseas graduate majoring in accounting. BTW, most employers generally prefer overseas graduates to local graduates, and experience (those who start out with a diploma, gaining an ACCA qualification part time) over those with nothing. A good piece of advice, you had better make yourself distinct from the others in your cohort while you still have time on your side. looks, a different slang, a special way with words, an additional skill or whatever you can muster.

    You are correct that accounting/finance trained people do not only look at financial statements, but they are the only people who have the ready skills to handle them, especially in audit and taxation. In my context, I was looking at the perspective of a fresh graduate looking for opportunities in a bank, and where the opportunites would appear for them. Nowadays, you take a stone and throw at the people in a dealing room of a bank, and you will be lucky if the stone hits someone at the dealing desk who has just a general degree in business of even in accounting. But you can't say the same for the people in corporate banking. Consumner banking is for anybody with a sales flair. You can verify this for yourself.

    And a fallacy that most graduates become managers within 3 years. More often than not, they get managed by people from the top, and if the are too cocky, they get managed by the people from the bottom too. The organisational structure in a typical office is in reality flat, and except for the person in the fish tank, everybody else outside is pretty much the same. The people who make it to the top are the people who are hungry, strictly not the paper holder. You can again verify what I have put down with someone else.

    In any case, I was simply giving my opinion to SNAG. Dun be too defensive because of what you are studying, cause I was not far off from what you are doing now. One point to ponder over. Ultimately, the $$$$$ will overtake your personal interest as a driving force and motivating factor at a later stage in life.

  20. #20

    Default

    Oh dear. Did i appear as too cocky? If i did i sincerely apologise.

    I'm not trying to say that my course is the best there is out there. Never did. The only point i'm trying to get across is to choose a course that you are likely to do well in. From what i see, SNAG's preference seems to be in the line of Finance. He did get a C for physics which seems to be the weakest subject among the 3. And thus when i see that u recommended him to pick engineering instead, i was genuinely worried that he would make the mistake that many of my own frens did, which is to choose the more popular engineering courses. They themselves told me that they regret the decision to do engineering. I didn't decide on that myself!

    I will not and didn't talk about my own abilities. Cos it's useless info for SNAG. I was juz trying to give SNAG the advice that will hopefully give him the brightest future. The cohort's results are getting better and better by the year. It makes it even more important to make prudent choices duncha think?

    I come in peace! And i actually do agree with you that engineering is probably a best course to take if one can go thro it with flying colours without much effort, even though the person might not like engineering in the first place. The reasons you stated is very true. What you mentioned is all very true, but in the case of mere mortals like us, it would be wiser to choose a course in which we will excel in. That's my whole point. My own brother was a high flyer and graduated with masters in mechanical engineering from imperial college. He returned and got head hunted by a investment corporation as a investment officer. That was his first job. He wasn't really sure of where his future was then but he was very sure that he will graduate with good results. Thus he chose to do engineering. However, he did tell me he would have chosen a business/finance related degree if he knew what he wanted to do then... Would have saved him a couple of years...

    It's a competitive market out there. I'm very aware of that. I myself dun intend to make a living by working as an accountant when i graduate.

    Perhaps i overreacted when you said that acct/finance grads will do better at entry level jobs... That's becos i feel that all graduates, no matter which course they are in, are being groomed as future managers in the universities.

    Decided to type so much cos i think you have seriously misunderstood my intentions. Hope you understand.

    Cheers
    Darren

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