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COMPARE Columbia MSFE vs CMU MSCF vs UT MMF

Which program do you think is more suitable for me?


  • Total voters
    20
  • Poll closed .
I'm admitted to Columbia MSFE and UT MMF already, still waiting for the decision from CMU and Berkeley.

Berkeley is definitely the top choice, but since I don't have any working experience, I don't see I have a big chance to get in.

A little about myself:
I'm a Asian student from Canada. I have only been in North America for my undergraduate, so in long term I want to settle down back in Asian. In short term, I'm seeking for employment here, but if there are better choice back home, I would go back. I'm studying econ, finance and math, plus some programming classes and extra-curriculum programming experience. I want to work as a trader/structurer after the graduation.

To my understanding, my background and career goal, the pros and cons about each program are the following:

1) Columbia MSFE:
Pros: Good school brand,
NYC is a good location for jobs,
the program top ranked
Cons: Though the program can be extended to 18 months now, which means it's possible to do an internship, Columbia IEOR's career service is not that good.
The reputation of the program has been diluted by big amount of students from similar programs (MSOR, MAFN, undergraduates).

Overall, my top concern is internship/job placement after graduation.

2) CMU MSCF:
Pros: top ranked program for a long time
the career service is pretty good. They send out students' resume book before the recruitment season.
there computational training is attractive to me. I need that to complement my skill set.
Cons: To get to better career services, students had better choose NYC campus. I don't like little interaction with the faculty.
CMU doesn't have the international reputation as good as Columbia. Since I'm an Asian student, I would definitely go back to Asian in the long term, maybe short term. And Asian people care a lot about where you graduate.
CMU's internship placement may not be as good as it was before. One of the current students told me that half of the class are still struggling to find an summer internship.
3) Toronto MMF:
Pros: a more financially wise choice.
the internship/job placement record is perfect.
small class size compared to CMU and Columbia (only 30 students).
I have been in Canada for my undergraduate. I'm more familiar with the job market here than the U.S.
Canada has a more generous immigration policy compared to the US, which does favour to an international student like me.
Cons: Most of the placements are in Toronto. Though Toronto is good (the 3rd financial centre in North America), it almost eliminates the possibility to work in NYC. In contrast, it's still possible to work in Toronto after Columbia/CMU.
80% of the graduates are working in risk management fields.

Side question: there are two concentrations under Columbia's program, Computation and Programming and Computational Finance/Trading Systems. What are the differences between them? And would one of them be comparable to CMU's program?
 
BTW... the little interaction of MSCF is not an issue.
In other programs, most likely, students don't have lots of interactions with faculty as well I assume.
 
What about full time placement? Seems that it's declining these years.

They haven't updated the numbers for ages, don't know why...
Based on what I know, most of NY ppl got offers long time ago. Many have started working...
Not sure about the exact number of Pitts, I only know 2-3 are still searching (they got offers, but not yet signed).
 
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