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COMPARE Columbia FE or Chicago FM (stats Phd)?

statarb

Member
Can someone please provide some light on which of the two programs may be more beneficial (short term and/or long term)?

My background: Stats Phd (US) + Math BS (China)

Chicago MSFM vs Columbia MSFE:

1. a math-intense program that may benefit somone in the long-run?

"finance is the least you would worry about for now if move into the quant finance field" as I read from QuantNet. I have a statistics PhD but still need SDE, numerical technique, and computational skills in C++. Theory helps the application in the long-run in my view.


2. Columbia's program seems more practical/diverse. Can it be more helpful to someone with a quantitative PhD (as compared to Chicago)?


Thanks so much!
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
I am not sure whether you need another degree.
As a Stats PhD, you already have skills you can use in FE. Depending on where you want to work, you might not need numerical methods or SDEs. Take C++ at your local school and apply for a job :)
 

alain

Older and Wiser
WHy do you want to spend money on an MFE? Try to hit the job market with the PhD you have already. You might be surprised.
 

statarb

Member
Thank Alain and Yuriy, you are both correct :) quantitative PhDs do not always need a MFE for entering into the quant finance field.

However, I have seen a few quantitative PhDs already in the field taking courses at NYU or CMU part time just in aim to move into a quality finance position they really love to work on. I have been trying to get into the field; my friends with similar or better background also tried hard. By bettering experience, I meant people with C++ skills and good finance/SDE knowledge. Under such economy, it is almost impossible (unless your PhD is from very top schools). MFE can give an edge, I believe.

WHy do you want to spend money on an MFE? Try to hit the job market with the PhD you have already. You might be surprised.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
One thing is to get a job in finance; moving up the stairs being already in the field is another thing. What kind of job are you looking for? You might, first, want to look for an entry level job, just to get your foot into the door. Look for jobs that require your skills. I had one interview where the person asked me how many stats course I have taken (that was a few years back), that was a job in finance and stats was the major thing he was interested in. You can also get a certificate in one of the areas that you think you are missing.
 

statarb

Member
Yuriy, that is what I wanted to accomplish: getting your foot into the door. I believe I need to still try harder. I am taking CFA level I in June just to get the knoweldge. Will start working on C++ and SDE after that. As a Phd I think I can more of focus on some areas of finance with the frontier stats knowledge I have, in addition to getting general exposure to financial engineering concepts/skills.

Back to the topic: can you (or someone) address my situation please? Which of the two programs may fit my background better? I guess plan out something is different from implementing it. My action may change if job hunting turns out to be positive. Again, I am currently in the pharmaceutical industry, and employers do prefer fresh Phds sometimes whom they believe have genuine interest :)

Thanks!






One thing is to get a job in finance; moving up the stairs being already in the field is another thing. What kind of job are you looking for? You might, first, want to look for an entry level job, just to get your foot into the door. Look for jobs that require your skills. I had one interview where the person asked me how many stats course I have taken (that was a few years back), that was a job in finance and stats was the major thing he was interested in. You can also get a certificate in one of the areas that you think you are missing.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
side by side comparison of Chicago FM and Columbia FE

 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
I had to reduce the size of the image to fit the tables side by side. I can produce two separate tables if there is need.
 

statarb

Member
Yuriy, thanks for compiling the list comparision among the two programs. It was very excellent effort.

-Wallst1000


I had to reduce the size of the image to fit the tables side by side. I can produce two separate tables if there is need.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
Now that we have the complete picture, we might draw a couple of conclusions.

Clearly, Chicago has a very strong programming component and does not allow for any electives. Columbia FE, on the other hand, does not have much programming but offers opportunity to investigate many different fields, which is good for someone who is just entering the area of financial engineering and is not sure where to go (someone with just a BS). If you think you will need to program at some point, then Chicago might be a good choice, especially if statistical arbitrage/algorithmic trading is on your radar.

If I have some time later, I'll compare Chicago and NYU.
 
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