This is not particularly important. Having degree from a top school may help your CV to stand out and get you a shot at an interview, but to get through an interview for a quant position requires brains, experience, and preparation, which PhD holder from some particular school may not...
I know nothing about algo / high frequency stuff etc.
Derivatives pricing quants make:
FO: Associate (0-3 years exp) 90K-120K base, VP (>3 y.) 140K - 180K base.
Bonus varies a lot, but usually from 50% to 100%.
MO (model val): Associate 80K - 110K base, AVP 110K-130K, VP 130K-170K.
thanks God there is MO :) 8pm I am at home with my family having dinner....and this is after I went to the gym :)
...always crack me up to see emails from FO guys when it's something like 7am or 10pm in their time zone :))
if we are talking about derivatives pricing quants then 1st year quant salary is 50K-60K GBP for middle office (model val), and 65-70K for FO quants. Bonuses are 25%-40% for middle office, 40%-100% for FO.
I have no idea what salaries are for algo trading quants etc. are.
sure, do the MFE if you can afford it. As I said before supply of MFE graduates way exceeds the demand for quants out there.
So put more emphasis on skills that could be applied somewhere else (pure coding, applied math etc.). This will hedge you against not being able to get a job as a quant...
yes, I did phd in maths in US. then got MSc in finance in UK (LSE). regarding finance (quant in particular) job market in HK, there is more demand for more senior positions. there are openings, but of course not as much as London/NY.