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Columbia Masters in Financial Economics

@Zelong Qiu @tips Thanks for all the valuable info you've both shared on this thread. One question for both of you: What are you hoping to get out of Columbia's MSFE program? Specifically, what are your career goals and what about the program is it that you think will facilitate achieving those goals?
 
1. I'm not attending the program this year, but as of now will be attending next year (deferred due to some extraordinary circumstances)
2. For context, I've already achieved a quant research role at a prop trading firm (and now as a VP in a buy side quant research role at a BB), so my goal out of this program isn't really to push myself forward in my career in quant finance mostly because I already have a buy side role, and there isn't really anywhere "upwards" for me to go career wise short of a MD/senior management role which I don't think a masters program will necessarily facilitate (though I guess the coursework will make me more marketable for other types of quant finance beyond what I work in right now)
3. That being said, I'm in my early 20s, and I'm still torn on whether
a. I want to stay in finance, or move towards purer ML work (or applications of ML in a different field)
b. Whether I want to stay in industry or move to academia (i.e. pursue a PhD)
I think this program will help me reach a conclusion on both of these decisions and in the event I decide to pursue academia (whether in finance, or ML) it will to varying degrees help with obtaining a PhD - it should be fairly straight forward assuming research + good grades to get into a solid/great finance PhD program post graduation, I might pursue an additional CS masters from Columbia if I go for a ML PhD.

If I decide to stay in industry, I think I'll be more marketable in management/research quant finance roles that don't necessarily relate to the work I've been doing so far. So, I don't think there's really any down side of going- worst case I'm more marketable and have made a hard commit to industry/finance, best case I'll have made a complete career pivot which the program will have helped me facilitate.
 
1. I'm not attending the program this year, but as of now will be attending next year (deferred due to some extraordinary circumstances)
2. For context, I've already achieved a quant research role at a prop trading firm (and now as a VP in a buy side quant research role at a BB), so my goal out of this program isn't really to push myself forward in my career in quant finance mostly because I already have a buy side role, and there isn't really anywhere "upwards" for me to go career wise short of a MD/senior management role which I don't think a masters program will necessarily facilitate (though I guess the coursework will make me more marketable for other types of quant finance beyond what I work in right now)
3. That being said, I'm in my early 20s, and I'm still torn on whether
a. I want to stay in finance, or move towards purer ML work (or applications of ML in a different field)
b. Whether I want to stay in industry or move to academia (i.e. pursue a PhD)
I think this program will help me reach a conclusion on both of these decisions and in the event I decide to pursue academia (whether in finance, or ML) it will to varying degrees help with obtaining a PhD - it should be fairly straight forward assuming research + good grades to get into a solid/great finance PhD program post graduation, I might pursue an additional CS masters from Columbia if I go for a ML PhD.

If I decide to stay in industry, I think I'll be more marketable in management/research quant finance roles that don't necessarily relate to the work I've been doing so far. So, I don't think there's really any down side of going- worst case I'm more marketable and have made a hard commit to industry/finance, best case I'll have made a complete career pivot which the program will have helped me facilitate.
Thank you for the detailed response @tips , much appreciated.
 
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