• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

COMPARE CMU MSCF vs Baruch MFE

Just curious, what do you think? Which one do you prefer and why?

Please don't tell me something like.."CMU has a higher ranking..." :)
 

DMD

Active Member
CMU, as an institution, has a much stronger reputation than Baruch/CUNY. In my view this has two benefit, international recognition and out-of-field recognition. If you ever move out of the NYC area to one of the other financial capitals, Baruch may lose a lot of its strong MFE reputation when you leave NYC; whereas, CMU is a much more worldly name. Also, heaven forbid you ever decide to leave finance, people are going to see CMU and acknowledge your strong quantitative background, whereas they may see Baruch on your resume and not recognize it.

I don't have anything against Baruch's program. They have a very strong faculty and a lot of student talent in their MFE program. That said, so does CMU. I don't think the reputation is something you can ignore, but it also isn't make or break. A top program is a top program is a top program, whether it's ranked 1 or 5, it will still afford you the same opportunities.

At the end of the day it come's down to the student who's making the decision. Which faculty, curriculum, location, etc. suit that individual student better? That's how you make a decision.
 
Very good explanation ddrolet!

Since you mentioned the school reputation, how important is the reputation do you think if one has been working for, like..5 years? or maybe 1o years? Isn't that at that time the working experience weights more than just school reputation?
 

DMD

Active Member
I would agree with you only when that experience is somewhat relevant to the field you are pursuing a job in.
 
Hahahaha oh god. you're just begging for school rivalry....

Schools... have a lot of fringe benefits. For example, Harvard graduates have access to alumni clubs all over the world and potential to find / overhear / participate in opportunities simply by chatting with alumni at a school-sponsored golf tournaments. A lot of top jobs isn't about whether you're qualified, because skills can be taught / trained / surround yourself with consultants to do the grunt work. Often time, it's just access to face time and whether people like / trust you. Life really isn't a meritocracy, and not every underdog has a chance. Being born in the wrong family / growing up in the wrong country / graduating from a non-target school / entering the workforce in the wrong phase of the economic cycle will make your success more difficult, and that's just a reality. Sometimes it's better to accept your mistakes / misfortunes, and just move on. You'll be happier that way.

At face value, CMU MSCF and Baruch MFE aren't that different. Both are computationally heavy. In fact, Baruch's program is probably better because MSCF is basically an online program and Baruch's director cares about you getting a job more than your mom does. That being said, CMU's dominance in the industry is fueled by a MIT-par engineering school, 18 years of alumni network in the field, university-wide research, and a somewhat non-existent football team. As an university, Baruch simply doesn't "sparkle" as CMU does (then again, I wouldn't have heard of CMU if I wasn't an engineering student).

A lot of people here have no experience, and they are happy just to break into the industry. But if you have the choice, you need to look beyond getting-your-first-job. Many people you work with down the line will come from comparative literature, history, art, and they won't have the slightest idea how distinguish your graduate program is. They'll google the name of your school, and few of them will say to themselves "well, at least I went to a better college than my boss did according to USNews."

There's no such thing as "making up" for your past. If you went to a lesser known school, people can always bias against you (it's like discrimination. when things are good, they'll take anyone. when things are bad, racism / nepotism / protectionism roams). You should not need to educate everyone how good your school is for the rest of your life. So if all else equal, go for the school with the bigger name.
 
mfegrad MSCF is launching an ONLINE option though. Can you blame me for dubbing it an online program now? It will totally dilute the brand. In-person interaction with alumni / local professionals is way more important than the book knowledge itself. Why are they doing this!?!?!?!? :'(
 

mfegrad

CMU MSCF Alum
they're doing it because they think it's the wave of the future. i'm not saying i agree with it; in fact, i'm on record as having said i'm not a fan.

that said, the program is what you make of it, and it certainly wasn't an online program for me (nor would it be if i matriculated this coming fall).
 
As a publicly-funded institution, Baruch is certainly much less expensive than CMU, especially so for those who are eligible to pay the New York State resident tuition rate.

The CMU MSCF degree will cost about $75,000 in tuition alone.

For students starting in 2012, the Baruch degree will cost about $22,000 for NY residents and about $33,000 for everyone else.

You have to decide for yourself whether the incremental cost is justifiable/affordable.
 
Top