How tough is it to get into finance with a history degree?

Watch
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
At the moment, I'm debating either doing History at university because it's my passion, or Economics, as I like but less so, and I'm not too fond of maths. However, I know the job prospects for that are far better. My main goal though, is just to end up with a stable career with a good income. I was thinking about going into accountancy or data analysis, just something to do with finance, but I don't know how tough that would be with a history degree. I love History, and I also love the theoretical and real world side of Economics, but the maths worries me, so I don't know if I'd hate it. I feel like its better to take a degree that I would thoroughly enjoy rather than one I might enjoy but can't be sure.

I've seen that there are graduate schemes from finance firms which take on students from all degree types, but realistically, is it a good idea to go into History with the sole goal of going into finance, or is it unlikely that this would happen, as I know that said schemes are highly competitive?
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#2
(Original post by J-SP)
If you hate maths, why are you pursuing finance though? Even if it doesn’t require a specific degree discipline, by default the job I’ll be one that is highly numerate. If maths isn’t your thing, I can’t see why a finance job would be.
Yes you're right, but it's not necessarily that I hate maths, it's just I'm not as passionate about as people who do economics are. A lot of people love numbers, while I just tolerate it. I feel like if I did economics I'd constantly feel behind because of this. That said with economics you're applying it to the real world, which may make it more interesting. The job doesn't matter really, I just want stability and a decent income, whether theres maths involved or not. I'm often just worried by the stories you see of people choosing the wrong degree and just hating it then dropping out or changing. That's something I really don't want to do, as I will have to take a year out anyways, because my original plan was to fo Graphic Design, but realised I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought. However I'm halfway through exams now so I can't just change degree. Plus for economics I need a maths a level, so I'd have to self study for a year
0
reply
username738914
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by J-SP)
Data analysis work typically requires more of a STEM background, so neither degree will necessarily help.

Accountancy - really won’t matter what you study.

“Finance” is a broad set of jobs - some will need a specific degree subject, but again neither Economics or History will necessarily help you with that. Most wont require one though.

If you hate maths, why are you pursuing finance though? Even if it doesn’t require a specific degree discipline, by default the job I’ll be one that is highly numerate. If maths isn’t your thing, I can’t see why a finance job would be.
data analysis really doesn't require anywhere near a stem background. a lot of the work is pretty trivial stuff - sifting data, categorising it, writing reports.. that can be done by anyone with a brain. if you're talking about data science or advanced analytics then sure.

vast majority of vanilla finance jobs don't require a specific degree. the only real exceptions are quant finance (prop firms, quant-y market making desks in banks, quant HFs/AMs, risk modelling, sellside quant research etc) and some economic research jobs in banks or at macro funds. maybe... biotech research or biotech VC.

tbf, OP probably hates advanced maths. numerical literacy is really all you need in most white collar jobs - basic stuff learnt in elementary school to gcse.
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by Princepieman)
data analysis really doesn't require anywhere near a stem background. a lot of the work is pretty trivial stuff - sifting data, categorising it, writing reports.. that can be done by anyone with a brain. if you're talking about data science or advanced analytics then sure.

vast majority of vanilla finance jobs don't require a specific degree. the only real exceptions are quant finance (prop firms, quant-y market making desks in banks, quant HFs/AMs, risk modelling, sellside quant research etc) and some economic research jobs in banks or at macro funds. maybe... biotech research or biotech VC.

tbf, OP probably hates advanced maths. numerical literacy is really all you need in most white collar jobs - basic stuff learnt in elementary school to gcse.
Cool, thank you. So, does that mean I will always have a backup job that pays decent then? My worry with doing a History degree is that I don't fully know where I want to go with it, and I'd hate to be unemployed or working minimum wage after uni. So would any 'vanilla' finance job be a backup for me? Or if I wanted to go into that sector is it better to decide on that before I go to university so I can do internships etc?
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#5
Yeah it is a big couple of jumps, its really annoying. Anyways thank you for the help
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by J-SP)
Have you studied economics before?
Yes, at A-level, and enjoyed it, but from what I gather its vastly different at university
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
Have you looked at other economics related degrees - such as PPE? What are your particular interests with history?
0
reply
username738914
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by ErvinBoyes)
Cool, thank you. So, does that mean I will always have a backup job that pays decent then? My worry with doing a History degree is that I don't fully know where I want to go with it, and I'd hate to be unemployed or working minimum wage after uni. So would any 'vanilla' finance job be a backup for me? Or if I wanted to go into that sector is it better to decide on that before I go to university so I can do internships etc?
no.

nobody has a "backup" job. there are people who graduate, didn't do anything to make themselves employable and still get rejected for low level service jobs.

my 1 week internship at a "vanilla" finance firm had 2000 applicants and 50 people got offers. finance is an elite graduate job, it's not anybody's "backup" even if you're at Oxbridge.

figure out what kind of graduate career you would like, then figure out what sort of touchpoints you need to build a competitive profile (grades, uni brand, ECs, work exp, portfolio, course if required etc etc) for that (or those) career(s) then try to execute on that. stop thinking about backups and what your history degree can do for you (in most cases, it won't do jack - I would say the same thing about any standard uni degree).

the process of getting into uni and getting a decent grade at uni =/= the process of being employed in a decent job after uni
Last edited by username738914; 2 years ago
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by Princepieman)
no.

nobody has a "backup" job. there are people who graduate, didn't do anything to make themselves employable and still get rejected for low level service jobs.

my 1 week internship at a "vanilla" finance firm had 2000 applicants and 50 people got offers. finance is an elite graduate job, it's not anybody's "backup" even if you're at Oxbridge.

figure out what kind of graduate career you would like, then figure out what sort of touchpoints you need to build a competitive profile (grades, uni brand, ECs, work exp, portfolio, course if required etc etc) for that (or those) career(s) then try to execute on that. stop thinking about backups and what your history degree can do for you (in most cases, it won't do jack - I would say the same thing about any standard uni degree).

the process of getting into uni and getting a decent grade at uni =/= the process of being employed in a decent job after uni
Understood. Thank you
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by ajj2000)
Have you looked at other economics related degrees - such as PPE? What are your particular interests with history?
I haven't, no. I like all of history, the government side of things, the economic side of things, all of it, so perhaps I would like PPE because I also like Politics. Still though, are the job prospects not similar?
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 years ago
#11
(Original post by ErvinBoyes)
I haven't, no. I like all of history, the government side of things, the economic side of things, all of it, so perhaps I would like PPE because I also like Politics. Still though, are the job prospects not similar?
I'm not sure to be honest. I could advise on accountancy - which is my field of work - but not broader finance jobs and especially not high finance.

There are lots of courses at university which differ from those people study at A level. If you have the time it may be worth noting what you like about history (perhaps on one of the history boards) to see what other people would recommend that you consider as well as history. What grades/ universities are you aiming for?
0
reply
HoldThisL
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 years ago
#12
(Original post by ErvinBoyes)
I'm not too fond of maths. ... I was thinking about going into accountancy or data analysis, just something to do with finance
this career is fundamentally not for you.

if you have maths A level then a degree in econ with be fine but you'll dislike it and the subsequent job

if you don't have maths A level, you will either struggle with the maths content in a good economics degree, or you will come out okay but with an inferior (ie less quantitative) economics degree

i do a BSc in ppe despite not having taken maths A level and the only thing that gets me through is the fact i enjoy maths and stats and that gives me the motivation to do the work (of which there is a lot of quantitative economics)
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#13
(Original post by ajj2000)
I'm not sure to be honest. I could advise on accountancy - which is my field of work - but not broader finance jobs and especially not high finance.

There are lots of courses at university which differ from those people study at A level. If you have the time it may be worth noting what you like about history (perhaps on one of the history boards) to see what other people would recommend that you consider as well as history. What grades/ universities are you aiming for?
I'm predicted ABB, I think I'll get AAA*, but I can never be too sure. As for universities, I was thinking Durham if I get the grades, but perhaps I might want to stay closer to home and go to Newcastle, plus I could get into it through the partners scheme with only BBB rather than AAB. However it is really not as good for History. I'm just going to think about Uni's this summer because I will have to take a year out anyways if I want to change degrees
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by ErvinBoyes)
I'm predicted ABB, I think I'll get AAA*, but I can never be too sure. As for universities, I was thinking Durham if I get the grades, but perhaps I might want to stay closer to home and go to Newcastle, plus I could get into it through the partners scheme with only BBB rather than AAB. However it is really not as good for History. I'm just going to think about Uni's this summer because I will have to take a year out anyways if I want to change degrees
Any idea what you would do on a year out? They can be a great way to build skills and employability.
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by J-SP)
Why would you have to take a year out?
Because I have already applied for another course and can't change now as I'm half way through exams. I think it would do me good anyway, as it gives me time to figure things out.
0
reply
shein333
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#16
(Original post by ajj2000)
Any idea what you would do on a year out? They can be a great way to build skills and employability.
Probably just get a job, volunteer for some stuff, and depending on the degree I do get some relevant work experience. I'll probably spend a lot of time just trying to figure out what the right thing is to do as well
0
reply
ajj2000
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
(Original post by ErvinBoyes)
Probably just get a job, volunteer for some stuff, and depending on the degree I do get some relevant work experience. I'll probably spend a lot of time just trying to figure out what the right thing is to do as well
That sounds like a great plan.
0
reply
sdfghjklk
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 years ago
#18
bump
0
reply
cgj300399
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 years ago
#19
cousin - did History at Oxford - 4 years after uni - is now a senior associate at an invetsment bank in london - very doable, have been told whilst interning at an investment bank myself, that having skilled analytic technqiues outside of maths will actually make you more employable in IB than an accounting grad as technology continues to advance - basically as AI further develops, accounting degrees which wouldve appeared attractive years ago, no longer stand out

go for history basically
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (3)
3.33%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (14)
15.56%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (17)
18.89%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (10)
11.11%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (30)
33.33%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (16)
17.78%

Watched Threads

View All