Wednesday, February 25, 2009

7 Courses Finance Students Should Take

We have a mid-term break next week at SBU. Then registration for the fall semester starts. Thus it makes sense to ask: What classes should a finance student take?
A current student (Brendan) forwarded me this. It is from Investopedia:

7 Courses Finance Students Should Take:
"Executives in search of well-rounded finance students look for certain skills, and studies have revealed that these executives want schools to place more emphasis on quantitative, strategic, critical decision-making and communicative skills - skills that are sometimes best developed in classes outside of business schools. If you want to get the best possible preparation for the finance world from your undergraduate education, put some thought into which classes to take that may fall outside the finance curriculum.... John Graham, a finance professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and John O'Brien, finance professor at Berkley's Haas School of Business recommend the following areas of study:

  1. Mathematics....

  2. Accounting....

  3. Economics...."
The rest of their list is here.

So what classes do you suggest?

My official list: Economics, stats and econometrics, much math (be it calculus, Linear Algebra, or whatever, it will help), a public speaking class, a writing or composition class, accounting, and computers (be it programming (the ability to think like a programmer is arguably more important than the language you learn), and writing. Oh and finance courses ;) .

That said, you should also try to learn in every class and in every encounter. For instance, in history, in foreign language classes, and even when listening to the radio. You can pick up financial insight. Which may be my biggest suggestion: learning finance does not stop when you leave the classroom. You should learn MUCH more out of the classroom than in. So whatever class you do register for (be it a required class, an elective, or if you are not registering for any class) take a look at it through financial eyes. Finance is all encompassing so you will be able to use that knowledge both in your career and your life.

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