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COMPARE Columbia MSOR vs. ETH UZH QFin

VCem

New Member
Hello everyone,

I'm an international undergrad majoring in EE.I will get my bachelors this June and I have admits from columbia msor (redirected from msfe) and eth uzh qfin. Having gone through literally the whole forum, I'm still having a very tough time choosing between the two.
for me pros/cons of each are:
columbia msor
pros
• location(NYC - financial capital of north america)
• great job placement stats
• brand name of the school
• flexible curriculum (I've been involved with machine learning in ugrad)
cons
huge class size, competing with msfe and mfin and possibly columbia math, phys
ugrads
• much more expensive compared to eth uzh qfin
• no masters thesis which would be nice if I choose to do an OR phd

ETH UZH
pros
• location (zurich- financial capital+beautiful city to live in)
• eth math department is famous for mathematical finance and uzh's banking and econ department is solid as well(?)
• masters thesis - great first step towards PhD
• although cost of living in zurich is extremely high overall budget is nearly half of columbia msor
cons
• I don't speak German or French or Italian which is usually a strict requirement for jobs in switzerland, germany, france etc.
• Program is not that well known by employers(?)

My career goal is to be a hedge fund analyst and work my way up. Depending on my capability of doing quant fin I may consider doing a phd as well.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
 

Chao Liu

Active Member
C++
You only need to pay like 20K+ CHF for the whole program. If your monthly expense is around 1600. If you get an intern, you can break even right upon graduation. But it is hard for foreigners to get a job there. Get prepared to come back to your home country which is not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.
 

pingu

Well-Known Member
• great job placement stats
Really? put a link to check
huge class size, competing with msfe and mfin and possibly columbia math, phys
ugrads
huge class size and good job placements usually don't go hand in hand
• no masters thesis which would be nice if I choose to do an OR phd
why would you want to do a PhD if you are doing a master?
• masters thesis - great first step towards PhD
look above
• I don't speak German or French or Italian which is usually a strict requirement for jobs in switzerland, germany, france etc.
WTF? didn't you think about this when applying to ETH?
 

Chao Liu

Active Member
C++
You can come back to your home country if your undergraduate school has a good brand name. The quality of the program is good. So if your undergraduate brand name can get you interviews in your home country, you will not have a very hard time performing well in the interviews. It is now all about getting the interviews..... ETH's name is famous in Europe, but I am not sure it is the case for Asia and America..... But it is absolutely a good school and a good program,too.
 

Chao Liu

Active Member
C++
I would think that its placement is OK if you do not take salary, time after graduation etc into consideration... Columbia is a prestigious university... you may have a better alumni network.... but it seems that MSOR is notorious for it admitting guys who are rejected by MFE? Do not know if the employers also see it this way....
 

implol

Active Member
i think some of the points here are a little ridiculous...
regarding placement stats, that is how most programs report their placement stats anyway.

regarding msor reputation, most HR staff nor hiring directors know the differences. they care about the knowledge you have, not what program you graduate...
high gpa from either MSOR or MSFE programs will get you passed hr screen. after that, it is all about how you perform during interview.
 

fifasuperstars

Active Member
i think some of the points here are a little ridiculous...
regarding placement stats, that is how most programs report their placement stats anyway.

regarding msor reputation, most HR staff nor hiring directors know the differences. they care about the knowledge you have, not what program you graduate...
high gpa from either MSOR or MSFE programs will get you passed hr screen. after that, it is all about how you perform during interview.
This is very accurate. Regardless of the school, the major factor in job hunting is how proactive you are and dedicated to it. As I said above, take their provided job placement number with a grain of salt, but it is definitely respectable and reasonable from such a prestigious school.

You cant expect the school and its connections and reputation to carry you the whole career. You have to work hard, and it will be what you make of it.
 

Chao Liu

Active Member
C++
i think some of the points here are a little ridiculous...
regarding placement stats, that is how most programs report their placement stats anyway.

regarding msor reputation, most HR staff nor hiring directors know the differences. they care about the knowledge you have, not what program you graduate...
high gpa from either MSOR or MSFE programs will get you passed hr screen. after that, it is all about how you perform during interview.
Do HRs care about your GPA???
 

TehRaio

Well-Known Member
I've been in Switzerland and it's possible to work there if you speak english, but you need to speak german if you're going to LIVE in Zurich. what's the point of living in a city if you can only communicate with the people you work with but with no one else?

Do HRs care about your GPA???

they care about it if you don't have significant work experience.
 
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