Articles

If you're toying with the idea of learning C++ for a job in financial services, drawn by the promise of huge pay but put off by the awareness that it's really not an easy language to earn - particularly compared to Python, Rainer Grimm has a message for you: do it. C++ is deeply embedded in the financial services industry, and that's not going to change anytime soon. "When I first started studying mathematics in 1994, my professor said to me that it wasn't worth learning FORTRAN," says Grimm. "He said FORTRAN wouldn't be used much in the future, but there's still plenty of FORTRAN around now. He said much the same about C++, but when a programming language is used as much as C++ is, it will be used for the next 50-100 years." In...
In the last ten years, the number of graduate programs in quant finance has exploded, as has the number of MFE grads with an eye on top jobs at big-name firms. A decade ago there were seven graduate level quant programs in the United States; today there are close to a hundred – each cranking out anywhere from twenty to a hundred graduates a year. Just as their students see a MFE degree as a surefire ticket to wealth, universities are trying to cash in on the bonanza of eager (if somewhat naïeve) future quants by offering multiple programs in the field. It’s a great moneymaker for the schools, but are the expectations fueled by these degree factories realistic? Can the finance industry absorb the coming glut of MFEs? Financial trading...
As banks everywhere look to build up their systematic trading teams as a matter of strategic urgency in the face of competition from electronic market makers like Jane Street and Citadel Securities, a new wave of demand for C++ developers has been unleashed. Justifiably known as one of the most difficult coding languages to master, banks need engineers proficient in C++ to work on the low latency trading systems that are key to winning business from quantitative hedge funds. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs' CEO Stephen Scherr said the bank had boosted its entire equities franchise by building a "tech stack" that was "aimed at the systematic clients in prime." Now, Goldman is hiring C++ coders to work on systematic market making...
The C++ certificates have helped thousands of students learn in a practical way advanced C++ skills they used at work and in their future education. Dr. Daniel Duffy, the creator of the two certificates, will be on the virtual call, along with Mr. Avi Palley, the teaching assistant coordinator for the seminars. Also on the call will be Dr. Dan Stefanica on behalf of the Baruch MFE Program and Andy Nguyen on behalf of Quantnet. Please join us to learn more about how the course content is tailored to practical needs, how personal teaching assistants support the learning process, the importance of C++ in finance and financial engineering education. This is the first time such an information session is offered and you will have the...
From Amsterdam to Zurich you can attend financial engineering masters programs in all the financial centers in the world, or places off the financial beaten path such as Bethlehem, Coimbra, Potchefstroom or Stillwater. You can be taught by some of the great names in academic quantitative finance—such as Carol Alexander, Marco Avellaneda, Emanuel Derman, Darrell Duffie, John Hull, Robert Jarrow, Mark Rubinstein, Philipp Schönbucher and Steven Shreve (leaving out many just as distinguished)—or by professors who may be as competent, but whose names will not resonate with as many potential employers. You can pay $20,000 to $80,000, and no doubt more or less, and spend one to two years or, in some cases, attend part-time. There are...
We are proud to present an interview with Dr. Kreitzman (UCB MFE) and Dr. Stefanica (Baruch MFE) who have been executive directors of their respective programs since inception. The interview was joined by several alumni of the programs (Cindy Liu/Nikos Rachmanis of Baruch MFE and Trivedi Himani/Yang Guo of UCB MFE) who shared their experiences during their study as well as memorable milestones in their careers. The interview celebrates the long tenure of Dr. Kreitzman who moved into the private sector at the end of 2021, after two decades plus time as executive director of the UC Berkeley MFE program. For many prospective students and alumni, she is the face and voice of the UCB MFE program. We'd like to thank all participants who...
Alysa Turkowitz has over 20 years of experience working at top universities supporting top-ranked graduate programs in the areas of admissions, career services and curricular affairs. While at Columbia, she worked at Columbia Business School, Mailman School of Public Health, and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Statistics Department. Additionally, she provided leadership coaching to Executive and full-time MBAs, served as a Columbia Alumni career coach, and taught as an Adjunct Faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University. As of 2020, she is the Executive Director for the Master of Financial Engineering program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Alysa received her BA in Psychology from Vassar College, her MA in...
By Linda Kreitzman, Executive Director of the Master of Financial Engineering Program at Berkeley Master of Financial Engineering programs’ students have, in my view, a very wide array of job opportunities in front of them, and not just in traditional quantitative finance with roles as strats at an I-bank, or researchers/portfolio managers at a hedge fund, derivatives traders, or in high frequency trading, etc. Financial disintermediation from Fintech firms brought opportunities in areas such as digital payments, robo-advising, peer-to-peer lending, digital insurance (InsurTech), healthcare, etc. We can safely say that domains of all financial intermediation have been impacted by digital finance and that they created data science roles...
The practice of quantitative finance used to be the prerogative of global trading hubs such as New York or London. When major investment banks, hedge funds, or proprietary trading firms were expanding to Asia, they tended to send senior executives from New York or London to selected Asian cities to head quant teams, and staff the team with local junior hires—traditionally smart graduates fresh from college. The quant teams in Asia would look to deploy mathematical models developed and implemented in the U.S. or Europe to the Asian market. In other words, the Western world was the center of innovation in quantitative finance and finance in general, while Asia was passively adopting the products and models developed in the West. However...
Two of the best things about writing a book are the people you meet and the things you learn when you send drafts around for comments. My new book, Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street, was no exception. I expected to get the most controversy over the historical material about how Wall Street quantified in the 1980s, as there were a lot of strong personalities involved and credit for virtually every innovation has multiple claimants. However other than some minor corrections, everyone liked this part. While some of that no doubt results from passions cooling after a quarter century, my impression is it has more to do with having the complete story in one place. No one cared who was the first person to think of a CMO, or...
The decision to pursue a degree in financial engineering is an important step in advancing your career. Congratulations! Whether you are seeking to switch careers or advance within the financial services industry, the skills you will acquire are vital to mastering the strategic and analytical demands of the industry. Applying to graduate school is a big decision—as well as a significant investment of time and resources—and the emotional and rational aspects can influence candidates’ applications and interviews. Those students who prepared in advance have the advantage of conveying a clear and compelling idea of what is motivating their application . . . which is not only important for admission counselors but a worthy exercise for...
Technology has always been a driver in finance. That was true when Nathan Rothschild (the eponymous founder of Rothschild Bank) used carrier pigeons to relay the news of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo to London in 1815, something that was obviously going to move the London markets, and an innovation that, at the time, shortened the transmission of the outcome of the battle from days to hours. Technology as a driver in finance is also true today, perhaps even more so. And what’s really driving finance today, from a technology perspective, is Big Data (and Big Compute and Machine Learning and Data Mining and the Cloud, as these oftentimes go hand-in-hand with Big Data). Which raises the question: What should a modern day quant know about...
"Engineering is not merely knowing and being knowledgeable, like a walking encyclopedia; engineering is not merely analysis; engineering is not merely the possession of the capacity to get elegant solutions to nonexistent engineering problems; engineering is practicing the art of the organized forcing of technological change. Engineers operate at the interface between science and society." - Gordon Brown The function of finance is to connect providers of capital with users of capital. This can be a simple process. For example, a venture capitalist might find wealthy individuals to fund start-up companies. This venture capitalist might make use of tools such as a spreadsheet and quantitative theory such as discounted cash flow...
A financial engineering graduate degree is primarily a way to start or advance, a career in quantitative finance. It is useful in many ways: not only academically, but practically, by learning about career paths and deciding which suits your interests and background best, and by creating opportunities to compete for the right openings at the right time. Based on a long experience fostering careers of both young and mid-career students and alumni, I will briefly share pointers on how to put a master of financial engineering (MFE) graduate degree in the larger perspective of a successful career in quantitative finance, from how to decide whether such to pursue an MFE, to thinking about shaping your career path once you graduate. Before...
Dear prospective students, I recently signed a contract with a top Investment Bank for an Associate C++ Developer position in the Securities Technology Division in New York. Three years ago I had very little programming and math knowledge, and non-relevant work experience. I was just another business admin graduate with ambition to make it in Wall Street one day. Sounds familiar? Here's what happened: I came across the C++ Programming certificate in one of my searches for MFE programs in New York, and decided to enroll. The intro certificate covers a lot of useful stuff, like implementing important data structures such as vectors (dynamic arrays) and stacks (adaptor containers), Object-Oriented hierarchies for polymorphic behavior...
Since writing for this blog in January about the HFT/algo job market, I’ve received many inquiries from students asking about the “requirements” for quant jobs on Wall Street. “Do I need a PhD?” is a frequent question. Each time I receive one of these inquiries, I struggle with the answer. My instinct is no. But when I look at who is working in these jobs, I do see a predominance of PhD’s in the top positions. PhD’s in mathematics, physics, operations research, EE, etc. are common in the quant community. So it’s tempting to tell students that a PhD is helpful, but it feels like the wrong answer. In my gut I know that the people getting these jobs are not getting offers because they have extra letters after their name. The people...
Questions about job-hunting, your career path, workplace issues, interview and review preparation, salary and benefits negotiation? Ask Ellen Reeves, one of the contributors to QuantNet 2012-2013 International Guide to Programs in Financial Engineering. Career and workplace advisor Ellen Gordon Reeves is the author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? A Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job, featured in media including CNN, CBS, EXTRA, Fox, ABC, @katiecouric, NPR. She consults to programs including the financial engineering/risk management programs at Baruch College and The University of Washington, preparing students for the job market. Reeves is the creator of Extreme Professional Makeover: Boot...
This article appears in QuantNet 2013-2014 International Guide to Programs in Financial Engineering. When applying to a master’s program, it is not possible to specify the exact requirements necessary to be accepted, because there is flexibility in the process. An application that is weaker in one area might be accepted because of strengths in other areas. For the most part, the standard of the applicants is very high; however, in some cases, it is apparent that a capable applicant would have fared better with more careful preparation. There are things that candidates could do to improve their chances of admission, especially if they give some thought to this well before the application submission. The purpose of this article is to...
Preparing for a Career in the Field When preparing for a career in Financial Engineering, it’s helpful to know what you need to know in order to be considered a good candidate for a job, as well as how to be successful in that role once you are hired. First, you should know that the general utilization of an MFE degree tends to be oriented toward quantitative roles on the desk (i.e., working on the trading desk and delivering the models, risk calculators, etc., directly to the traders who utilize their products), or in risk management, model validation, and library control, CVA, or quantitative development and programming. I’ve been a recruiter for more than 14 years, and have worked exclusively in quantitative finance for the last 12...
A recent NYT article sheds light on how the trading landscape has been changing on Wall Street, due to technological advances as well as regulatory reforms such as the Dodd-Frank financial legislation. The article makes clear that technology has been and will play a HUGE part in the industry as an increasing volume of trading occurs over automated exchanges as required by laws or other factors. "The increased use of automated platforms means that more programmers are needed, but fewer employees over all." The trading desks at Credit Suisse are demonstrations of how changes have transformed the type of trading and traders needed for the job. "The traders here are mostly educated in math or physics, often outside the United States...

Show the latest reviews

Top