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Science v. Commerce – What program to choose?

Hi! I’m entering grade 12 soon and I have been starting to think uni programs that I want to apply to next fall. I have been taking all science courses throughout my high school career. I got a 87% average overall in my grade 11 year. I do enjoy science and sciences courses (bio & chem), but I realized that I can’t really do much later in the future with just a science undergrad degree unless I do more schooling. I have also had an interest in Commerce as I took economics in grade 11. I have always been intrigued by the business world. I’m just worried to go into Commerce because I have a fear that I am not going to like it once I enter the program. I do find the topics and areas covered in Commerce interesting. I’m not sure what to do because I do enjoy both sciences and commerce and I really can’t tell. I do enjoy the lifestyle and the atmosphere of Commerce better than sciences. I’m just wondering if anyone was in a similar situation when they were applying in grade 12 to uni or has any advice for me on how to pick between the two sectors? Thanks!

4 Answers

  1. Just do a business degree, dude. If you aren’t dead set on doing more school after undergrad, then it’s a no-brainer. Don’t be that guy working minimum wage with a BSc in life sci.

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  2. Why not do both?

    Why is it everyone assumes that if you have a commerce degree that it’s an automatic ticket to a high salary? Just because you get a B.Com is no guarantee you won’t start off at the bottom as a teller working in bank. The other equally bad generalization is that if you get a B.Sc. you can’t have a well paying job without additional schooling. The reality is that most new grads will not be making more than $45-60k to start (including engineering, comp sci, and commerce). Sure there maybe a few outliers but success in your future career is just as dependent on having strong “soft skills” as it is having technical knowledge. Whatever degree you choose to pursue make sure you can meaningfully demonstrate experience in both soft skills and technical knowledge on your resume. That means pursuing co-op or internships, volunteering, joining clubs, and networking. It also means not waiting until your last year of university to start.

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  3. Have you considered Western at all? It’s around an 86/87 average needed to get into Gen Sci, and you can consider applying for AEO status for the Ivey business school. You can do a dual degree, or choose just business or just science after you finish second year. You’ll need around a 90 top 6 average and extracurricular involvement, but it’s something to consider.

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  4. I like gwn0rth43’s idea of doing a combined program. McMaster also has a great Integrated Science program. The way I think about it, you can always go into business. Almost all business, with the exception of hard-core finance and CPA-level accounting, can be entered with any degree. I went to Queen’s Commerce and tons of my friends who graduated from engineering and arts programs are now in the corporate world doing really well. Companies like McKinsey and Bain actually want non-traditional backgrounds and scientific thinkers. You can also do a 1-year MBA at a place like INSEAD in the future. I’d say if you’re passionate about science, pursue that NOW. Then you can also switch to business down the road, or for instance do something like the Smith Certification in Business whilst you study science (assuming this is available at your university). Feel free to message me with any questions on my website below:

    – McMaster iSci:
    – Smith Certificate in Business:
    – My Blog:
    – My Website:

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