Which education path to take?

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
Okay, so in the next few year I have to make some really big decisions on what education path to take.

I'm convinced that I'm going to do something related to business (for example, some guy has a product. He makes it, and I assume the role of his CEO and take care of the duties. Either that, or go into business consulting.)

Anyways, at the moment, I'm in grade 10, in gifted math, science and English, and have a GPA of 3.9 (It's improved :D). I also just tied for 3rd in the province for a math exam taken all across Canada and am starting calculus 2 years early lol...

After I'm done high school, I'm going into Cegep (pre-college). There I can take a multitude of different course options. I'm only taking the commerce option for the required math, as the liberal arts does not have it.

Here are my ideas on which to take:
1. 100% Business
Go into the commerce option in cegep, get an undergrad business degree and then an MBA

2. Business and Law
Go into the commerce option in cegep, get a law degree and then an MBA

3. Marketing and Businnes
Go into the commerce option in cegep, get an undergrad degree in marketing than an MBA

4. Computer Science and Business
Go into the computer science option in cegep, get an undergrad in computer science and than an MBA

Which would be best for my interests? Do I have any other possibilities in degrees to get?

Thanks in advance!
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,135
5
FL
Go undergrad. Chances are you will discover an unexpected subject you love and your life plan will dramatically change. Few people in grade 10 end up doing what they anticipate doing.
 

Leareth

macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2004
1,569
6
Vancouver
#'s 1 and 2 seem the most useful to me in terms of getting a job afterwards

personally I would do #2 if I had to chose from those.
 

renewed

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2009
3,068
6
Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
#'s 1 and 2 seem the most useful to me in terms of getting a job afterwards

personally I would do #2 if I had to chose from those.
I agree. But I guess it also depends on what he is interested in. Does he fancy law? Obviously a law degree in business would be a good start towards becoming a CEO.

Also, you keep mentioning business consulting OP. Most likely you will need to have either have ran a business or owned your own or maybe three before being able to do this. I know if I went to a business consultant and all they had was education from school and not the real world then I wouldn't listen to them.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,658
3
キャンプスワ&#
Go undergrad. Chances are you will discover an unexpected subject you love and your life plan will dramatically change. Few people in grade 10 end up doing what they anticipate doing.
Wise words.

OP, also suggest that you look at the current job market. What kind of jobs are available? What kind of qualifications do you have?

BTW, consultants are usually those individuals who've already had a successful career and have moved on to a second career. For example, a person who was a senior VP and very successful in a particular business, say hotel management, might then become a consultant in the arena.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,307
9,064
Toronto, Ontario
If you are already good at math I suggest getting a degree in some type of engineering and minoring in business. Computer Science was the closest of the choices that I would pick. Law is a saturated market already. If you must go into law I suggest engineering (EE or ME) anyways, get a few years of experience after law school and then take the patent bar. ??. Profit.
 

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
If you are already good at math I suggest getting a degree in some type of engineering and minoring in business. Computer Science was the closest of the choices that I would pick. Law is a saturated market already.
My only concern with computer science is some of the facts. What students at MIT learn in their first year is already outdated by their final year (it was in a Sony commercial).
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,307
9,064
Toronto, Ontario
My only concern with computer science is some of the facts. What students at MIT learn in their first year is already outdated by their final year (it was in a Sony commercial).
In a good computer science course you aren't going to learn facts, you are going to learn how to learn and apply your brain to problems and use tools (which are the parts that become outdated) to do it.

Don't be hard set on any one path, once you get to college it could very well change.
 

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
In a good computer science course you aren't going to learn facts, you are going to learn how to learn and apply your brain to problems and use tools (which are the parts that become outdated) to do it.
Ok. I've already started learning programs that may come in handy (MATLAB and C++)...
 

RudyGrow

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2009
170
0
While you're trying to figure out what to do with your life, why not try and become the General Manager of the New York Yankees?
Actually, I'm in talks with the Blue Jays, they're closer to home ;D
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
Honestly, you're trying to plan this stuff out way too early. More than likely, the major you start college with won't be the one that you finish with, so I definitely wouldn't even be thinking much about an MBA and business consulting right now.

My advice, work hard in high school, go to the best college program that you can afford to attend, work hard and explore a lot of different courses in that program. You may end up liking business and law a lot, but I've seen many students absolutely hate the degree that they thought the were going to love and I know very few students who haven't changed their major or seriously considered changing it.

Personally, I'd get an accounting degree and then sit for the CA/CPA exam, but I'm a little biased. :D
 

cr2sh

macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
2,554
1
downtown
I would highly suggest starting as an undergrad without declaring a major, spend your freshman year taking a variety of classes and see what it is you like.

You're going to figure out what you love to do in life eventually, the sooner the better. Don't spend years doing something you hate just to give up and do what you love anyways.
 

puma1552

Suspended
Nov 20, 2008
5,559
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if you are going to put the time in to get an undergrad degree, followed by a law degree and then an MBA, you should just get a PhD in economics. About the same amount of time and free.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
if you are going to put the time in to get an undergrad degree, followed by a law degree and then an MBA, you should just get a PhD in economics. About the same amount of time and free.
Those degrees allow you to do vastly different things though. If he's interested in law and management, a PhD in Economics isn't going to get him on that path. PhDs are good degrees, but they're largely academic in nature and, for the most part, don't put you on the path towards corporate executive. If he becomes interested in teaching, finds that he likes doing research as an undergrad, and is willing to take upper division math courses, then a PhD in Economics would probably be a great degree to get (and as you mentioned, much lower priced than either an MBA or law degree).
 

puma1552

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Nov 20, 2008
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Those degrees allow you to do vastly different things though. If he's interested in law and management, a PhD in Economics isn't going to get him on that path. PhDs are good degrees, but they're largely academic in nature and, for the most part, don't put you on the path towards corporate executive. If he becomes interested in teaching, finds that he likes doing research as an undergrad, and is willing to take upper division math courses, then a PhD in Economics would probably be a great degree to get (and as you mentioned, much lower priced than either an MBA or law degree).
A LOT of CEOs are Econ. PhD. holders.
 

Decrepit

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2007
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Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
There's a whole lot to being a CEO.

The law thing would be good, but isn't required. Even lawyers have lawyers. No need for you to double up, and look at all that debt.

Business is a fine degree path, but absolutely augment it with out of discipline studies. And if you're not doing it yet, get on learning other languages. The world has gotten a lot smaller, and having the ability to converse in another language is a huge skill.

I went Business/Finance. I'm looking at a Masters in Global Energy Management. Just because it sounds like fun. I've got 15 years in IT, but energy and finance are other hobbies.
 

designgeek

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2009
1,064
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"Town"
Wise words.

OP, also suggest that you look at the current job market. What kind of jobs are available? What kind of qualifications do you have?
We can learn a lot from the current job market, but by the time the OP graduates the market will be drastically different. I'd say, use the current situation as a worst-case-scenario for determining needed qualifications but also realize that it will probably not be quite as difficult in six to eight years when you've graduated. So get in, and get a foot-hold.

BTW, consultants are usually those individuals who've already had a successful career and have moved on to a second career. For example, a person who was a senior VP and very successful in a particular business, say hotel management, might then become a consultant in the arena.
This is true, my aunt was an advertising exec at Wells Fargo and was laid off in 2008 during the financial crisis, I believe she is starting a consulting firm since she's amazing at what she does. It seems consulting is like teaching, if you're so good at what you do, people will ask you to show other people how to do it. I'd aim for this.
 

cr2sh

macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
2,554
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downtown
The ironic thing is that a highschool student wants to look determined and to have others respect him, so he says "I want to major in business, get a law degree and mba." In my experience though, it takes more courage to say "I don't know what I want, I'm going to take some time a figure it out."

A highschool student knows this, because it's actually the harder to say "I don't know." I have to think that's why OP posted this thread in the first place, he doesn't know the right answer, doesn't want to look aimless, but doesn't want to get it wrong either.

A person with the second response is perceived as lacking direction, but I really think it's the wiser move.

I'd say it's better to stand in the cross roads of your life for a while, pondering which road to take, than to go down the wrong path for several miles only to have to turn around.

I, and several of my friends, were bright and determined and went down the wrong paths because it was actually easier than admitting that we didn't know what we wanted to do.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
A LOT of CEOs are Econ. PhD. holders.
Really? Because data in regards to S&P 500 CEO's suggests that the most common advanced degree is the MBA, with 39% of all CEOs earning that degree (22% of them earned their MBA at Harvard). To compare, 28% of CEOs hold all other types of advanced degrees combined, with 35% of those who hold other advanced degrees holding a law degree. Only 16% of those holding non-MBA advanced degrees hold a PhD in any subject, so of all the S&P 500 CEOs, roughly 25 hold PhDs. See Spencer Stuarts, "Route to the Top" report page 10.

A PhD definitely isn't the best route to CEO. There certainly are PhD CEOs, but they're not nearly as common as you suggest. A PhD is generally better suited towards those wishing to remain in academia; you can use it in consulting roles and for some it does translate into industry, but becoming a corporate executive, in our particular discussion, a CEO, isn't particularly common. The networking and career development path of a PhD in comparison to an MBA aren't particularly suited to becoming a corporate executive either.