Understanding the Engineering & Finance Double Major
Those interested in both engineering and finance have the option to build their own double major program at universities offering undergraduate degrees in both study areas. While most universities do not offer pre-designed double major programs in engineering and finance, many offer students the ability to obtain a major from two separate colleges within the institution (e.g., liberal arts and natural sciences).
Pursuing a double major in engineering and finance requires a lot of discipline and planning to meet graduation requirements. With a double major, graduates receive equal education in both study areas, allowing them to pursue careers in one or both industries.
Admittance Requirements for Double Major Programs
Candidates interested in pursuing a double major in engineering and finance will need to officially declare each major by completing the relevant forms provided by their institution. Those planning to pursue a double major may only do so if they are in good academic standing with the university. Because engineering programs are more competitive in nature, the standards for what constitutes good academic standing may require a higher GPA — for example, at least 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale.
Candidates must complete all of the core required coursework for each major along with upper-division coursework unique to each major. If there is overlap in required coursework between the two majors, candidates may apply these classes to both majors.
Common Engineering Majors
The field of engineering is complex and can be further categorized into specific areas of study. The following illustrates some of the most commonly offered majors in engineering as they relate to their specific areas of intended use:
Materials Science Engineering
To understand how engineering works in the context of material manipulation, candidates must learn the mechanics of engineering materials. Materials science engineering teaches participants exactly this, allowing them to learn about the stress and strain of various structural components when exposed to outside forces. Candidates within this field spend time learning how the principles of engineering apply to material manipulation and how these transformations affect the materials with which they are working.
Like materials science engineering, chemical engineering deals with the understanding and manipulation of chemical components to create and observe new chemical structures. Candidates apply skills in engineering to create new chemical materials in laboratory settings, observing their chemical and molecular structure to achieve the desired results. Those working within chemical engineering may go on to work in a number of fields, including aerospace, food processing, and biomedical.
Computer Science Engineering
Computer science engineering majors use skills in statistics, engineering, mathematics, and science to understand how computer components are created and how they interact with one another. Candidates learn how to manipulate computer components to create new machines, software, and hardware by using their knowledge in discrete mathematics and material engineering. Participants work to develop programs and systems of varying complexities to achieve greater advancements in computing.
Common Courses in Finance
Those earning a degree in finance graduate with specific skills in management, analysis, and financial planning. As such, candidates may find the following coursework to be common regardless of the institution they choose to attend:
Risk Management & Derivatives
Risk management skills empower financiers to make smarter financial decisions for their companies and clients. This coursework teaches candidates how to mitigate financial risk for their corporations and investors by using derivative securities. Such securities may include options, swaps, futures, and forward contracts, allowing participants to become familiar with the practices involved in risk management for their future professions.
Many finance graduates go on to work for companies that have a multinational presence. To effectively conduct business across these settings, candidates need to understand the principles of international finance. Such studies include an understanding of international financial markets and financial management of an international firm.
Finance professionals need to possess skills that allow them to produce visual representations of their financial planning and management. The primary objective of coursework in financial modeling is to teach candidates how to represent these concepts through programs such as Excel spreadsheet. They also learn how to use these tools effectively to solve practical financial problems for their future clients.
How to Choose Your Double Major Program
Before selecting a double major program, candidates must first have a clear understanding of their academic goals. Each major will require students to complete a certain number of credits and, depending on the amount of crossover coursework, may require candidates to extend their undergraduate studies beyond the standard four-year curriculum as they work to satisfy each program's requirements.
Candidates should also understand how their academic standing will impact their ability to pursue both majors — especially since engineering programs are more demanding in nature. Additionally, program participants should meet with their advisors to ensure the double major program they wish to pursue is feasible for them to complete.
Available Careers in Engineering & Finance
Engineering and finance double majors have equal skills in both categories, allowing them to pursue careers in either area. As such, there is no set career path for those pursuing such a degree. One possible choice for graduates is to become a certified professional engineer — a career that has the earning potential of $89,000 annually according to Payscale.com. Other career choices for program graduates include the following: