I am interested in both finance and in programming. Both require I take statistics and college algebra. Right now, I am in college algebra, and sucking royally at it. My question is, considering I suck at algebra (but I am alright with basic arithmetic), which degree would be better suited for me? I like programming, but I also like investing, and would like to eventually be a private investor.I took netowrking and business management, as well as C in high school (home schooled) So would I be better off career wise to be in finance or MIS? Thanks.

Hi Vivosmith and sorry for the slow reply.

Choosing a career shouldn't depend on your skillset but instread on your end goal - where do you want to be in 20 years time?

Get a pencil and some paper, in the middle draw a line - you're about to utilise the 'rubber band' model. On the left hand side write all of the things pulling you towards MIS and on the right hand side list all of the things pulling you towards finance. When you're done the side with the greatest weight (personally to you) will cause the band to break - this is the option you should choose.

Alternatively, if you feel you can handle the work load, do both. Degrees in finance are often overlooked as the market is saturated (Everyone has a bloody degree!) so what you could do is sit a degree in MIS whilst studying vendor certifications such as AAT and CIMA for finance and finance management in your spare time or visa-versa. You should however note that according to sociologists and some other no-life-boffins, training in multiple skills makes you, in their terms, a 'slasher'. Slashers are supposedly less effective in all of their skills due to their lack of focus on a single trade.

I hope something above helps you to make your decision but you must remember that this is a HUGE decision and will play a key role in the next few decades of your life. The choice must be yours and yours alone.

I couldn't help but notice that you have self-taught C... perhaps you could go into finance professionally and program as a hobby/in your spare time? There is a huge market for freelance programmers. Just an insight from a third party.

Good luck,

+1 for a great response by Michael.

I'll also say that you cannot look at a single class to determine what you should do with regard to a a degree and/or career choice. You are not going to be great in every class or every component within a particular field of study.

What is very important is that you focus on an area that you are really interested in. Passion is what will make you successful and will help you stand out.

In any case, having a background in programming and technology is a good thing even if its not your primary field of interest. Programming helps you become a logical thinker and problem solver. Good traits for any field you choose.

Hmm, I never really thought about the certifications for financial planning and such. I kinda sat down and thought about that, although not in list form. I like the investing side of finance, just not so much the finance side, if that makes any sense. I like finding an undervaleued security, buying it, and then selling it when the time is right. I also like researching them, and finding gems.

As for computers, I am not into fixing them as much since my computer is now in storage, and I am borrowing someone else's. I am however interested in Android as a platform, and creating apps for it. I want to use computing to empower humanity through software. I know i sound a tad lofty, but that is why I want to learn programming. But anyways, back to computers. I am learning Java right now, although I am stuck on the GUI part, and on why paint won't work. But anyways, I am digressing. I guess I am a tad more interested in the software side now, more than administrating. So I am going to go into my counselor's office, and see what I can do. With finance, there is a glut of them, and you have to step on people's toes to get to the top. With MIS, I could do some consultancy, and travel, which would be nice. I am thinking about MIS. I guess I was wondering if MIS was just a weak degree. It seemed that MIS degrees were weak in comparison to CS degrees. The only reason I decided against CS was because of how much math you would need in comparison to finance.

As far as writing code, I was a little fatigued with C, since I don't get to see anything, unless I learn the libraries. I tried learning allegro, but that did not work out quite. I then tried looking for a modern graphics library for C, but I couldn't find anything. So I gave up on C. I also played with PHP, but did not have any time with school to learn it past the MYSQL, plus I did not have a proper PC to run mysql in, thus I decided to pause that. I am half way through Dietel's Java book, and liked almost everything, except their explanation of abstract classes and the example I am having a trouble with. I think I am getting abstract classes somewhat, but that is off topic.

So yeah, I would like to create games and apps for android. So I am going to work on that, and maybe get a certification eventually. I already have my health and life insurance certification for my state, but no one want to hire me where I live. I am not a salesman, all I wanted to do is learn about financial products, but apparently I am not mr. suave. Oh well. Back to the lab :D . Thanks again :D .

No worries Vivo, whatever your choice - good luck!

Perhaps you could combine the two and develop a game or training app for investment banking / market trading :D who knows!


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