Freeform

HOT TAKE | Finance is STEM

By Katherine Lovelidge

Business majors are the Nickelback of college campuses. At times, people like to make fun of them for no apparent reason. 

Actually, that’s not even true. 

They’re only at college to party. They didn’t know what other major to choose. Their courses are ridiculously easy. 

Reasons are had. Good reasons are not. 

As a former finance major, I used to casually mention all of the time how I considered myself to be a “woman in STEM.” While this began as a joke, I started to realize what finance actually entailed (and why it was not for me), and I realized it was far more analytical and number-dependent than I had anticipated. 

From Microsoft Excel to statistics to econometrics to learning Python, math and science surround almost every aspect of the field. 

And yet, mention this to an undisputed STEM major, and all of a sudden you are met with staunch opposition. 

The math finance majors do is basic addition in comparison to the multivariable calculus engineers learn. 

But it’s still math. And it’s certainly not basic addition. 

STEM, and all of its generally accepted subfields, needs to be exclusionary to hold their current value.

Part of this value comes from their rigor. It’s not uncommon for students in science or engineering majors to drop out or choose a new course of study. 

The promise of a high salary and being rewarded with the pride and status of having completed a program with a traditionally high attrition rate are factors pushing the remaining students to finish their course of study. 

It is the latter factor that keeps the STEM field exclusionary and may contribute to our lack of respect for other areas of study by failing to recognize their validity, complexity and value to a world that appreciates hierarchy.