Have I actually messed up?(30 Posts)
Hi all, I was fairly confident about my decision up until recently but my DP has made me doubt myself.
I'm currently at university and working part time in a finance company. I'm very ambitious and my aspirations are high. I love working with money so I have my heart set on a banking career or possibly accounting.
Up until recently, I was studying a finance degree. I'm okay in the sense that I can pass the tests if I work insanely hard but it became too much too quickly. I really struggle to understand the complex equations and ended up with migraines for days after lectures. Really not ideal.
There were other subjects that I was much stronger at so I have changed to an HR Management degree combined with Entrepreneurship. So far I am much happier with it and a lot less stressed
My DP isn't quite as pleased. He feels that I am setting myself up for a shit life with a "mediocre" degree and that I am now wasting my time doing this. My logic was that I'd rather have the potiential to achieve a first class honours in a subject I enjoy over a general pass in a "smart" course. I've said that if I really struggle to find employment with the degree I'm now doing I can always do a postgrad in something more finance related but he says this is not the point.
He's kinda right, it's better to have a pass in a good subject than a first in a worse regarded one. But it all depends on what you want to use it for. Sure a medical degree might be better regarded. But if your dream is to be a music teacher, a medical degree would be useless.
I do see his point if originally you were all gung ho about finance but it then got difficult and you decided to change rather than push yourself with the trickier subject. But it sounds like you've done it now so I doubt there's any option but to just keep moving forward?
So how do you expect to get a good job in finance if you're going to graduate with a degree in HR? Or do you now want to work in HR? It's a tough job, quite lonely as no-one trusts HR managers.
Working in finance when you have headaches about being able to understand the maths is going to be a miserable existence.
What kind of job in finance do you want? That could cover almost anything?
Sorry I should have been clearer, the degree itself will still be Business & Management, it's just my specialism that I've changed.
I would completely see his point if I have changed to something completely different and non business related. In all honesty, I'm young just now and in the early stages of my degree so the plan is to get as much experience as I can to give me a better idea of what exactly I want to do.
If you want to be an accountant with a large company you need a 2.1 from an RG- subject not as important- so geography etc fine. I don't know any big 4 trained accountants with accountancy degrees- a few with economics
If you want to be an in house type of accountant (LA, utilities etc) then accountancy degree may help.
Would you not be better to try and decide what career you want and then work out what degree would be best suited.
You say your very ambitious and your aspirations are high but then you don't really seem sure what you want to do. Often (but not always) it's easier to become successful if you have a goal to work towards. I've seen so many people to a degree for the sake of it without knowing what job they want to do then having to retrain or end up in a job where they didn't need a degree for and have lost several years where they could have been earning and progressing up the career ladder, not to mention the debt from uni.
If you are struggling with maths then I would say a job in finance isn't for you. You're going to be up against people who can do the maths without thinking and putting their efforts into other aspects of career progression/promotions, etc where as all your energy will be going on doing the maths required for the job.
My accountancy degree actively counted against me when applying for accountancy jobs - just sayin..
When I applied for uni I knew that I would love a graduate job in banking (where I currently work & cope absolutely fine) but I'm keeping an open mind to other areas that I didn't have experience of beforehand. During finance last year I enjoyed the accountancy side of things and was good at that, it was the derivatives etc that killed it.
I think realistically having a degree in HR isn't going to open the doors to a good career in Finance.
There are lots of other careers out there. What is it that particularly attracts you to Finance? Presumably not the maths! Is it the sense of order, organisation, planning ahead and forecasting?
Apart from HR, what other aspects of management are there in your degree?
I would definitely lose the entrepreneurship aspect.
If you're struggling with derivatives then you should consider what exactly you want to do in banking (very broad!). I you do accountancy you can always move into banking so maybe focus on getting a good degree for that?
You work in finance, you know that at the moment the highest paid people are HR and training specialists and as finance and banking moves to become more automated (my tier 1 bank is already talking about replacing the entire finance function by robotics in 5-10 years) traditional banking related degrees such as economics and accountancy will be useless. In fact it will be HR/computing/maths/management science which will fit better. You don’t need me to remind you this, just remind your dh!
I know people who are in banking and accountancy. No-one has degrees in finance or accountancy. Instead, they've got degrees in a range of subjects - history of art, English, history, engineering, maths, etc. A couple have degrees in economics.
Compliance seems to be the one area that isn't having headcount cut!
It sounds like you're not suited to a career in accountancy or banking, I'm afraid. The stuff you do in a finance degree is much easier than the syllabus content you will need to master when doing your professional accountancy exams. If you struggle with the equations at uni, I'd seriously reconsider your career choices.
If you're enjoying HR, why not consider a career in that field? There are plenty of graduate schemes for HR and organisational management, there is a professional qualification etc.
I also agree that you don't need a finance degree to work in accountancy or banking. I have a science and maths degree, friends have history etc (I'm an accountant).
I think the fact you are enjoying the course much more is proof enough you’ve made the right choice. It may mean you need to reconsider your career path, but you ugly find something else to be a better fit for you than finance would have been.
Accountancy will have a wide range of degree backgrounds. For a good role in banking you really need a Maths/engineering/finance/economics degree. In my bank 99% of people I interacted with had those degrees.
Also I did an economics degree and then the ACA qualification. The maths in my degree was harder than the ACA so don't be disheartened. After the ACA I moved to a bank.
You will be fine to do accountancy. I passed my ACA first time, I only have maths gcse. It really wasn't very maths-y.
Honestly OP, that sounds like a bit of a Mickey Mouse degree. What exactly is involved in 'Entrepreneurship', for example?
If you want a good job with good prospects, the best way forward is still to go to a good university - RG or Oxbridge - and get a degree with real academic rigour. That's where the big companies are looking. If you're not up to that standard, you probably won't get through their recruiting process. It's tough, but that's the system!
I attend one of the best business schools in the country and as I've explained the degree is Business & Management but allows you to specialise in certain areas. Hardly a "mickey mouse" degree considering how well regarded it is by employers. My question was specifically with regards to accountancy, I can think of a number of "mickey mouse" subjects but this isn't one of them.
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