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which degree?

 
#1 which degree?
10/12/2010 10:16

josh

im a student currently studying AS levels my ex's dad was a consultant himself i learnt a bit about what he did and its something im feeling interested in as a career but i dont know which degree would be best to do at uni to get me into a good firm? thanks for any suggestions guys

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#2 RE: which degree?
10/12/2010 10:46

mark to josh (#1)

why don't you ask your ex what her dad had studied? or take a look at the websites of firms you might be interested in?

you can't go wrong with economics or engineering, although esp in the UK what matters more than the subject you study is the uni at which you study. get into osbridge and that'll boost your chances.

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#3 RE: which degree?
10/12/2010 10:46

mark to mark (#2)

*oxbridge, not 'osbridge'

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#4 RE: which degree?
10/12/2010 10:54

Anon to josh (#1)

Josh,

A reputable uni is more important than what degree you did. You can literally do any degree - so do something that interests you.

That said, economics will probaby be the best option if you want to do consulting. You can pass it off as analytical, covers off some business knowledge and is always highly topical for relevant discussion.

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#5 RE: which degree?
10/12/2010 11:36

ABC to Anon (#4)

Josh,

Economics is indeed a good call. Finance too. Anything numerical with a business twist. Alternatively, Engineering + a one-year MSc from a good business school sets you up for a great career in consulting (or even banking (M&A) - similar work, a lot more money).

The subject of your degree is less important than the nature of what you're studying. A Uni degree trains you to think in a certain way, which is why engineers make good consultants. Engineering, in a very crude definition = taking data (often in a mess), making sense of it, and turning it into a finished and useful product. Consulting is not too different. The business school will gives you contacts, key business concepts/models, and plenty of case studies to help you hit the ground running in business.

All that being said, I know people with History and English degrees working at McKinsey and BCG (2 of the best firms in the industry). What they all have in common is that they are Oxbridge grads. Like it or not, top consulting is pretty elitist in that way, and understandably so. Interviewing grads is very expensive for consultants, so they need to put all possible filters in place, and can afford to do so given the thousands of applications they get.

My ultimate advice: study something you think you can potentially love (with SOME consideration for your professional ambitions), at the best Uni possible. You may realise in a couple of yrs that consulting is for suckers anyway :)

Your Uni years are likely to be some of the best of your life. Enjoy them!

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#6 RE: which degree?
13/12/2010 12:07

Duke to josh (#1)

Josh,

First and foremost - study something you can enjoy. You'll never get good marks otherwise.

Study at the best university you can - universities are also a brand and individually targeted for recruitment by top firms. So try for Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial etc...

Do something quantitative - mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering, economics - with as much options as possible in the business space. The subjects will give you a good academic grounding and you'll be seen as an overall smart guy. It's easier to get a strong analytical basis and do something business related later (MBA) than the other way around. Moreover, if you decide to avoid consulting in the end these subjects will get you a job in a huge variety of sectors.... you'll be surprised at how many different employers would jump at the change to employ a top graduate physicist, for example.

Work hard enough to get a first. My old supervisor once said - get a first and you avoid eating from the s**t bowl of life.

Lastly, enjoy whatever subject you pick. You must enjoy the ride!

Hope this helps,

Duke

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