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31-01-2012, 18:51   #1
asmith1223
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Economics and Maths vs Actuarial and Financial Studies

Hi i was looking for some advice on which of the following courses i should choose between Actuarial and Financial Studies in UCD and Economics and Maths in TCD.

For most of the year i was planning on putting Actuarial as my and first choice but then i started looking into Economics and Maths. One of my concerns with Actuarial was that it was a bit too concentrated on the actuary side and i was looking for a more broader sort of course. I have a big interest in maths and business subjects. Although i only do Accounting in school at the moment i think i would definitely enjoy economics.

For anyone who does either i would love to hear your opinions or the opinions of anyone who knows a bit about it. I would like to know a more about the different modules you do in each and why there more benificial. Is there more emphasis on different parts of maths or economics in either and which is better to do in the long run.

Also if anyone knows of any similar courses in either UCD or TCD that they think would be of interest to me i would greatly appreciate it as i may have overlooked it.

Thanks
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31-01-2012, 21:17   #2
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For obvious reasons I can't compare the two courses, but right now I'm in 1st year Econ/Maths.

The course itself is pretty cool, and in the long run if you're looking at that kind of career it's pretty much perfect!

Right now the modules I'm taking are basically pure maths modules and economics modules, pretty much separate with no real overlap. The difference between Economics/Maths and other Econ courses in Trinity is that we do Statistics with mathematicians in more detail rather than economics statistics, which will be very good for us in the long run =P. The degree has a wide range of choice in 3rd/4th year allowing you to tailor it to your liking etc.

I have 0% interest in actuary etc, so I'm not an expert on that sort of thing, but a major disadvantage someone said to me once is that you get no exemptions from actuarial exams in Econ/Maths, whereas you get them from Actuarial studies, but again, I don't know much about this side of things.

If you've any specific questions about first year so far, fire ahead, and best of luck with your decision
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31-01-2012, 21:43   #3
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Also if anyone knows of any similar courses in either UCD or TCD that they think would be of interest to me i would greatly appreciate it as i may have overlooked it.

Thanks
Hi ,
I'm also filling my CAO in now, and I had the exact same dilemma for a long time. Actually had to double check that it wasn't me who started this thread!

I've also decided against actuarial studies because it is too focused and I want a broader degree. Maths and Economics sounds amazing, but I think that might be a bit TOO broad now.

I'm aiming to work in finance or something quantitative anyway, so I thought the best degree for that in Ireland is Economics and Finance in UCD. It only takes a few people each year (round 30/40 I think) so I think that's the reason why many people haven't heard of it. But employers have. And they love it. The careers the graduates come out with! When I was at the Quinn school of business open day in October, the two guys at the economics and finance stand were in their final year and they had jobs guaranteed for next year (Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch I think), and that was nothing unusual for that course. Who said there aren't jobs in finance anymore?!

It's very mathsy and needs a 'c' at higher level. The guidance counselor there said that this course is brilliant, that commerce is good but economics and finance is brilliant (her words not mine!).

The course is only 3 years so a lot of people (it was 25/40 people last year according to talks at the open day) who take a year out between and 2nd and 3rd year to do work experience, and have guaranteed jobs for when they finish their degree (if they did well obviously). Lots of people also do Summer internships.

It was 480 points in 2011, 520 in 2010, so I don't know exactly how many it'll be this year (and with bonus maths points it's difficult to judge). But if you're aiming for actuarial that should be no problem for you .

Anyway, that's going down as my no. 1 and I'm putting MSISS in trinity as no.2 as a back up (similar course but contains some computer modules including programming).

Hope this helps!
I'm not even on this course and I'm already advertising it!
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31-01-2012, 22:45   #4
asmith1223
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Originally Posted by Bottleopener View Post
For obvious reasons I can't compare the two courses, but right now I'm in 1st year Econ/Maths.

The course itself is pretty cool, and in the long run if you're looking at that kind of career it's pretty much perfect!

Right now the modules I'm taking are basically pure maths modules and economics modules, pretty much separate with no real overlap. The difference between Economics/Maths and other Econ courses in Trinity is that we do Statistics with mathematicians in more detail rather than economics statistics, which will be very good for us in the long run =P. The degree has a wide range of choice in 3rd/4th year allowing you to tailor it to your liking etc.

I have 0% interest in actuary etc, so I'm not an expert on that sort of thing, but a major disadvantage someone said to me once is that you get no exemptions from actuarial exams in Econ/Maths, whereas you get them from Actuarial studies, but again, I don't know much about this side of things.

If you've any specific questions about first year so far, fire ahead, and best of luck with your decision
Ye i was aware of the actuary exemptions but im not too worried about them because you still have to do exams in ucd to get those so its not as much better off as it seems if i choose to go down that route.

Something ive heard a lot about the actuarial course is that sometimes people dont enjoy the type of maths that is done, do you find this to be the case with economics and maths? is it an enjoyable sort of maths?

Also how many actually do the course cause i cant find a number for it anywhere. My guess from what i read is that the two subjects are done seperately so there are two different groups of people and some people overlap, is that true? If it is does that mean youd be in the same lectures as someone who does maths with something else and people who do bess?

and finally how is the workload on the course in terms of lecture hours and work at home?

Thanks for your help
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31-01-2012, 22:53   #5
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Hi ,
I'm also filling my CAO in now, and I had the exact same dilemma for a long time. Actually had to double check that it wasn't me who started this thread!

I've also decided against actuarial studies because it is too focused and I want a broader degree. Maths and Economics sounds amazing, but I think that might be a bit TOO broad now.

I'm aiming to work in finance or something quantitative anyway, so I thought the best degree for that in Ireland is Economics and Finance in UCD. It only takes a few people each year (round 30/40 I think) so I think that's the reason why many people haven't heard of it. But employers have. And they love it. The careers the graduates come out with! When I was at the Quinn school of business open day in October, the two guys at the economics and finance stand were in their final year and they had jobs guaranteed for next year (Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch I think), and that was nothing unusual for that course. Who said there aren't jobs in finance anymore?!

It's very mathsy and needs a 'c' at higher level. The guidance counselor there said that this course is brilliant, that commerce is good but economics and finance is brilliant (her words not mine!).

The course is only 3 years so a lot of people (it was 25/40 people last year according to talks at the open day) who take a year out between and 2nd and 3rd year to do work experience, and have guaranteed jobs for when they finish their degree (if they did well obviously). Lots of people also do Summer internships.

It was 480 points in 2011, 520 in 2010, so I don't know exactly how many it'll be this year (and with bonus maths points it's difficult to judge). But if you're aiming for actuarial that should be no problem for you .

Anyway, that's going down as my no. 1 and I'm putting MSISS in trinity as no.2 as a back up (similar course but contains some computer modules including programming).

Hope this helps!
I'm not even on this course and I'm already advertising it!

I had heard of economics and finance, in fact its my third choice at the moment. I was considering it for a long time but then i compared it with the actuarial course in terms of modules and it is similar in many areas, obviously they are different but i was surprised how much they overlap, something you may want to look at. I cant remember exactly where i found it, think it was on another boards thread. eventually decided i would put actuarial ahead of it but only just and im not done deciding! One of my neighbours actually finished it last year and got a job straight away aswell, i plan on talking to her soon to get a better insight on that.

I also briefly looked at MSISS but saw it had a ridiculously high fail rate, above 80%, it may have been exaggerated but it put me off it. I think it may be because its lower points than normal for that type of course and people arent expecting it but still...

Can i just ask what makes you think economics and maths is too broad? Is it something your councellor said or something you you felt from looking at it?
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31-01-2012, 23:07   #6
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Hi ,
I'm also filling my CAO in now, and I had the exact same dilemma for a long time. Actually had to double check that it wasn't me who started this thread!

I've also decided against actuarial studies because it is too focused and I want a broader degree. Maths and Economics sounds amazing, but I think that might be a bit TOO broad now.

I'm aiming to work in finance or something quantitative anyway, so I thought the best degree for that in Ireland is Economics and Finance in UCD. It only takes a few people each year (round 30/40 I think) so I think that's the reason why many people haven't heard of it. But employers have. And they love it. The careers the graduates come out with! When I was at the Quinn school of business open day in October, the two guys at the economics and finance stand were in their final year and they had jobs guaranteed for next year (Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch I think), and that was nothing unusual for that course. Who said there aren't jobs in finance anymore?!

It's very mathsy and needs a 'c' at higher level. The guidance counselor there said that this course is brilliant, that commerce is good but economics and finance is brilliant (her words not mine!).

The course is only 3 years so a lot of people (it was 25/40 people last year according to talks at the open day) who take a year out between and 2nd and 3rd year to do work experience, and have guaranteed jobs for when they finish their degree (if they did well obviously). Lots of people also do Summer internships.

It was 480 points in 2011, 520 in 2010, so I don't know exactly how many it'll be this year (and with bonus maths points it's difficult to judge). But if you're aiming for actuarial that should be no problem for you .

Anyway, that's going down as my no. 1 and I'm putting MSISS in trinity as no.2 as a back up (similar course but contains some computer modules including programming).

Hope this helps!
I'm not even on this course and I'm already advertising it!
Have you considered Finance and Economics or Finance and Accounting at NUIM? Might be easier to get in (I think they take about 300) Its the same course as UCD, UCD actually "borrowed" it from Maynooth
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01-02-2012, 10:27   #7
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I had heard of economics and finance, in fact its my third choice at the moment. I was considering it for a long time but then i compared it with the actuarial course in terms of modules and it is similar in many areas, obviously they are different but i was surprised how much they overlap, something you may want to look at. I cant remember exactly where i found it, think it was on another boards thread. eventually decided i would put actuarial ahead of it but only just and im not done deciding! One of my neighbours actually finished it last year and got a job straight away aswell, i plan on talking to her soon to get a better insight on that.

I also briefly looked at MSISS but saw it had a ridiculously high fail rate, above 80%, it may have been exaggerated but it put me off it. I think it may be because its lower points than normal for that type of course and people arent expecting it but still...

Can i just ask what makes you think economics and maths is too broad? Is it something your councellor said or something you you felt from looking at it?
I wouldn't let the high fail rate in MSISS turn you off. If you're striving for the 500+ point Actuarial or Ec+Fi courses in UCD then you'll be more than capable to pass MSISS.

The low points in MSISS is why many people fail some first year exams, but most it's only the programming module that had 80% fails last year. That's our most challenging module but if you're in any way into problem solving and computers you'll be fine. They've really upped the level of work this year so we'll be better prepared for the exam.

The intake into MSISS is being reduced next year to raise the points. Even of those who fail, most get it on repeats.

It's a great mix of maths/statistics, computers/programming and business/economics modules. You really get skills in all areas. It's so well rounded. MSISS sounds like a very niche degree, but in reality it's as broad as you could get.

I'm in first year MSISS now and don't have a clue what I want to do when I finish, but I know I'll be able do essentially whatever I want to do with the skills I'll have. All areas of finance are open to you and many people go into management consultancy (big earner I hear), become actuaries or all sorts of roles.
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01-02-2012, 21:24   #8
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I'm aiming to work in finance or something quantitative anyway, so I thought the best degree for that in Ireland is Economics and Finance in UCD. It only takes a few people each year (round 30/40 I think) so I think that's the reason why many people haven't heard of it. But employers have. And they love it. The careers the graduates come out with! When I was at the Quinn school of business open day in October, the two guys at the economics and finance stand were in their final year and they had jobs guaranteed for next year (Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch I think), and that was nothing unusual for that course. Who said there aren't jobs in finance anymore?!
Lol, they didn't mention what divisions they were working in did they? I have on good conscience from a friend of mine in their year that both those guys are working in operations. They probably still called themselves "investment bankers" - bless - but operations is the most hopelessly tedious and worst paid area in finance with few to no exit opportunities. Once stamped with ops - you never escape.

Having gone through the long process of interviews and assessment centres myself before landing myself a front-office (sales & trading) job in one of the large investment banks in London, I can assure you that the course you do is of little importance - it's the university that counts. UCD has been sliding rapidly over the past number of years - thanks mainly to Smurfit whose reputation has divebombed since they turned it into a cash-cow to pay for their undergrad business courses and decided to accept anyone with a 2.2 and 13 grand to spare. In the ~7 assessment centres I have done over the past two years, I met one guy from UCD. He didn't get it. That is compared with 10-15 from Trinity. Not all of them were even studying business - some were doing Maths, some English Lit, some Chemistry.

If you're serious about getting into finance, you need to seriously reconsider you choice. I did BESS and have never looked back. You might think everything I said above is arrogant, or untrue, or that you'll be the one that defies the rule, but unfortunately it's not, and you won't be - prestige counts for a hell of a lot in investment banking and while Trinity is seen as the Irish Oxford/Cambridge, UCD is regarded in London as being at about the same level as the UK's ex-polytechnics. Good for back-office drones to put in ops, useless for anything that's revenue-making or client-facing.

Your choice.
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12-02-2012, 23:41   #9
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Lol, they didn't mention what divisions they were working in did they? I have on good conscience from a friend of mine in their year that both those guys are working in operations. They probably still called themselves "investment bankers" - bless - but operations is the most hopelessly tedious and worst paid area in finance with few to no exit opportunities. Once stamped with ops - you never escape.

Having gone through the long process of interviews and assessment centres myself before landing myself a front-office (sales & trading) job in one of the large investment banks in London, I can assure you that the course you do is of little importance - it's the university that counts. UCD has been sliding rapidly over the past number of years - thanks mainly to Smurfit whose reputation has divebombed since they turned it into a cash-cow to pay for their undergrad business courses and decided to accept anyone with a 2.2 and 13 grand to spare. In the ~7 assessment centres I have done over the past two years, I met one guy from UCD. He didn't get it. That is compared with 10-15 from Trinity. Not all of them were even studying business - some were doing Maths, some English Lit, some Chemistry.

If you're serious about getting into finance, you need to seriously reconsider you choice. I did BESS and have never looked back. You might think everything I said above is arrogant, or untrue, or that you'll be the one that defies the rule, but unfortunately it's not, and you won't be - prestige counts for a hell of a lot in investment banking and while Trinity is seen as the Irish Oxford/Cambridge, UCD is regarded in London as being at about the same level as the UK's ex-polytechnics. Good for back-office drones to put in ops, useless for anything that's revenue-making or client-facing.

Your choice.
Hi, not so much arrogant but harsh. I found reading this post very difficult- didn't want to hear what you had to say really. Wish it wasn't so influential, but it did make a difference in the long run. I've been thinking about it ever since I read it, and I came to a conclusion. You're right- the guys at the economics and finance stand didn't mention what exactly they were going to be working in. And if it was going to be sales and trading I bet they'd mention that. I always knew that Trinity's name abroad far surpasses UCD's, but I believed this course would be different. Also, it completely lacks in anything computer related which was always important for me (thought I'd get by that through horizons) but maybe that's not enough.
So now I've moved on to Trinity. It had always been no. 1 until I found economics and finance and actuarial studies, so don't get too cocky about my change of mind .

What do you think of msiss in your line of work? Or computer science and business? Would they be enough for a sales and trading job like yours in one of the large banks in London? And which would be better? Bess seems a bit broad for me though it's still an option.

Not sure if you'll read this because it has been weeks but worth a try
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13-02-2012, 10:51   #10
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Hi, not so much arrogant but harsh. I found reading this post very difficult- didn't want to hear what you had to say really. Wish it wasn't so influential, but it did make a difference in the long run. I've been thinking about it ever since I read it, and I came to a conclusion. You're right- the guys at the economics and finance stand didn't mention what exactly they were going to be working in. And if it was going to be sales and trading I bet they'd mention that. I always knew that Trinity's name abroad far surpasses UCD's, but I believed this course would be different. Also, it completely lacks in anything computer related which was always important for me (thought I'd get by that through horizons) but maybe that's not enough.
So now I've moved on to Trinity. It had always been no. 1 until I found economics and finance and actuarial studies, so don't get too cocky about my change of mind .

What do you think of msiss in your line of work? Or computer science and business? Would they be enough for a sales and trading job like yours in one of the large banks in London? And which would be better? Bess seems a bit broad for me though it's still an option.

Not sure if you'll read this because it has been weeks but worth a try
Do you want to do computer science because you think it'd be useful for investment banking or because it interests you? If the former then don't bother, it's not really useful unless you want to work on the technology side of things in an IB.

If the latter, then while I'd still highly recommend Bess (most people drop politics/sociology after first year anyway but it's good to have the experience, remember that PPE in Oxford is one of the most famous courses in the UK despite being "broad" - banks like rounded graduates, they're less likely to pull a fast one and lose them $2bn à la UBS) I'd say maybe Business and Computing would be your best bet. It has the advantage that if you decided after a year that the computer science part wasn't for you, you could still probably switch into straight business (as long as you got the points for Bess which based on your choices you probably will have). I'm not too familiar with the course as it's new, but I'm assuming you can specialise in business only in 4th year. MSISS on the other hand is far more science-focused and most MSISS grads end up working in technology consulting with Accenture or in tech at IBs.

The issue with both of them however is that you want to work in markets and neither of those courses have an economics component. Not necessarily the end of the world, as there are a fair number of practical markets-based courses in 4th year business (BU4600 and BU4541 in particular), but it's something to take into consideration. Also, I don't believe it's possible to go on Erasmus with either of them. Bess has a couple of great schools in Europe and the US where you can spend a full/half-year in third year.
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19-02-2012, 18:56   #11
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Hi ,
I'm also filling my CAO in now, and I had the exact same dilemma for a long time. Actually had to double check that it wasn't me who started this thread!

I've also decided against actuarial studies because it is too focused and I want a broader degree. Maths and Economics sounds amazing, but I think that might be a bit TOO broad now.

I'm aiming to work in finance or something quantitative anyway, so I thought the best degree for that in Ireland is Economics and Finance in UCD. It only takes a few people each year (round 30/40 I think) so I think that's the reason why many people haven't heard of it. But employers have. And they love it. The careers the graduates come out with! When I was at the Quinn school of business open day in October, the two guys at the economics and finance stand were in their final year and they had jobs guaranteed for next year (Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch I think), and that was nothing unusual for that course. Who said there aren't jobs in finance anymore?!

It's very mathsy and needs a 'c' at higher level. The guidance counselor there said that this course is brilliant, that commerce is good but economics and finance is brilliant (her words not mine!).

The course is only 3 years so a lot of people (it was 25/40 people last year according to talks at the open day) who take a year out between and 2nd and 3rd year to do work experience, and have guaranteed jobs for when they finish their degree (if they did well obviously). Lots of people also do Summer internships.

It was 480 points in 2011, 520 in 2010, so I don't know exactly how many it'll be this year (and with bonus maths points it's difficult to judge). But if you're aiming for actuarial that should be no problem for you .

Anyway, that's going down as my no. 1 and I'm putting MSISS in trinity as no.2 as a back up (similar course but contains some computer modules including programming).

Hope this helps!
I'm not even on this course and I'm already advertising it!
That is complete Bull Sh*ite. from them. The grad schemes in those places would not offer UCD grads places this early on (If at all) given Oxford grads are still going through the recruitment process, even back office operations jobs.

Last edited by MrMatisse; 19-02-2012 at 18:59.
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19-02-2012, 22:48   #12
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That is complete Bull Sh*ite. from them. The grad schemes in those places would not offer UCD grads places this early on (If at all) given Oxford grads are still going through the recruitment process, even back office operations jobs.
Er... no it's not. If you do an internship in the summer of your penultimate year, at the end of the internship the interns they want to keep will be "converted", i.e. offered a full time job for when they graduate the following June. Standard among all investment banks and some accountancy firms.

Let's say they fill up half their grad spots in this manner, then the other half will be filled up from September onwards via the normal recruiting methods.
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20-02-2012, 18:55   #13
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Er the chances of anyone getting into to a top tier IB in a non ops role from UCD is slim to none.
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20-02-2012, 19:06   #14
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Er the chances of anyone getting into to a top tier IB in a non ops role from UCD is slim to none.
I know two UCD graduates working in Credit Suisse, Sales. It's certainly more difficult, but you're talking complete nonsense.
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20-02-2012, 22:43   #15
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Er the chances of anyone getting into to a top tier IB in a non ops role from UCD is slim to none.
Ops recruiting is the same as front-office, so interns can be converted there too. As I said it's slim but not impossible, there's actually quite a lot of older UCD grads in the upper tiers of IBs - Peter Sutherland for one.
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