COMPARE Columbia MSOR vs. MFE

GiggsyNineHundred

New Member
I have been noticing that many MFE applicants are being directed to MSOR. Given that MFE and MSOR students can take few common classes, how is job prospect for for the MSOR?
 

dmv

New Member
job prospects for any kind of Masters (MFE, MathFin, MSOR) is almost same. Currently it is not good. Employer does not really care about name of your program, he really cares about what u know. And here begins the difference. Suppose you study everything well according program curriculum then from MSOR u have almost NO chances to get a job in a top firm. Why? Because the stuff you studied is not enough (and it not tailored) for finance. So if u are in MSOR u have to study much more - first, your curriculum, second, finance curriculum. General stuff in almost same (probability, simulation, some math). But MSOR curriculum has almost no stochastic calculus and related stuff. So it is your responsibility to study it by yourself. On spring you take almost all courses as MFEs, but it has sense only if u know prereq stuff (stoch calc, finance, programming, etc.). In sum - MSOR is not a worst choice, but definitely it requires you to study much more.
 

GiggsyNineHundred

New Member
job prospects for any kind of Masters (MFE, MathFin, MSOR) is almost same. Currently it is not good. Employer does not really care about name of your program, he really cares about what u know. And here begins the difference. Suppose you study everything well according program curriculum then from MSOR u have almost NO chances to get a job in a top firm. Why? Because the stuff you studied is not enough (and it not tailored) for finance. So if u are in MSOR u have to study much more - first, your curriculum, second, finance curriculum. General stuff in almost same (probability, simulation, some math). But MSOR curriculum has almost no stochastic calculus and related stuff. So it is your responsibility to study it by yourself. On spring you take almost all courses as MFEs, but it has sense only if u know prereq stuff (stoch calc, finance, programming, etc.). In sum - MSOR is not a worst choice, but definitely it requires you to study much more.
Thank you very much for your answer!
I will be fine with prereq stuff you mentioned. I am ( or will be) taking Mathematical Finance I, II, Statistical Inference I, Stochastic Processes I, II, and Probability Theory as part of my UG electives. (plus core required math classes such as numerical methods and analysis). I do not really love coding (even though I am not that bad) but I have taken a couple programming classes and will add a couple more.

Do you know the class profile of Columbia MSOR?
 

dmv

New Member
Class profile:
1) Mostly guys who were redirected from MFE (I estimate 80-90% of class).
2) So in general profile looks like this:
young guys mostly without prior experience, previous education varies but frequently it is something like mechanical engineering (technical but not too mathematical, although there is people with CompSci, Phys, Math), age ~ 24-25. Class size: 80-90 (dont know exactly). So, if we talk about "knowledge" and "learning skills" I would say that MSOR guys are on average same as MFE. But MFEs have more relevant experience and in that sense they are stronger.
 

Yang_Pop

Tina.Yang
job prospects for any kind of Masters (MFE, MathFin, MSOR) is almost same. Currently it is not good. Employer does not really care about name of your program, he really cares about what u know. And here begins the difference. Suppose you study everything well according program curriculum then from MSOR u have almost NO chances to get a job in a top firm. Why? Because the stuff you studied is not enough (and it not tailored) for finance. So if u are in MSOR u have to study much more - first, your curriculum, second, finance curriculum. General stuff in almost same (probability, simulation, some math). But MSOR curriculum has almost no stochastic calculus and related stuff. So it is your responsibility to study it by yourself. On spring you take almost all courses as MFEs, but it has sense only if u know prereq stuff (stoch calc, finance, programming, etc.). In sum - MSOR is not a worst choice, but definitely it requires you to study much more.
Hi dmv:
So, what is more important in finding a job? your personal ability? the location?
And what kind of and to what extend finance courses that the students from MSOR might need to study? Could preparation for CFA cover that or even much more?
 

dmv

New Member
Hi dmv:
So, what is more important in finding a job? your personal ability? the location?
And what kind of and to what extend finance courses that the students from MSOR might need to study? Could preparation for CFA cover that or even much more?
In this market, location definitely plays import role (location + school`s brand). Because top firms filter people by school (this is preliminary filtering made by HR). Top firms visit top schools with presentations and campus hiring programs. It is very important. I cannot say that location + brand factors guarantee you something, they simply slightly increase your chances (at least they not decrease them).

Personal ability? I dont know what you mean. If u are talking about previous degree, then I would say that previous degree is important (if you are CompSci - it is very good).

for quant roles CFA means almost nothing (of course it is not bad, but it is not something employers look for). For equity research, investment research (strategy), asset management - CFA is a good thing, but not for quants.

"Finance courses" - I meant math fin courses. not pure finance (MBA finance). Option pricing (for sure), General Finance (Hull level), and math with financial applications.
 

Yang_Pop

Tina.Yang
In this market, location definitely plays import role (location + school`s brand). Because top firms filter people by school (this is preliminary filtering made by HR). Top firms visit top schools with presentations and campus hiring programs. It is very important. I cannot say that location + brand factors guarantee you something, they simply slightly increase your chances (at least they not decrease them).

Personal ability? I dont know what you mean. If u are talking about previous degree, then I would say that previous degree is important (if you are CompSci - it is very good).

for quant roles CFA means almost nothing (of course it is not bad, but it is not something employers look for). For equity research, investment research (strategy), asset management - CFA is a good thing, but not for quants.

"Finance courses" - I meant math fin courses. not pure finance (MBA finance). Option pricing (for sure), General Finance (Hull level), and math with financial applications.
Got that, Thanks dmv;)
It seems that MSOR in Columbia could provide us with some advantages, such as the location and reputation of the university, but we still need to study very hard to get 'the job'. As for making up for the lack of training in the finance and math courses, how could I achieve that? I am a senior majored in financial mathematics now, and have taken courses in calculus, statistics and probability. Do I stand a chance to catch up with the MFE students?

By the way, actually, I haven't made final decision about my future career. I might redirect to to do asset management or risk control, and if so, would the flexibility of MSOR be helpful?
 

FrankW

New Member
I compared the courses offered by MSOR and MSFE program in Columbia. I found substantial differences.

Can someone tell me what are essential courses that one would need to take to have the adequate qualification for financial engineering. I would like to find out whether it is present in MSOR program.

I used to have an EE degree. I thought it could allow me to land a decent CS related job. However, when I tried to find a CS job, boy, it was hard. I was missing quite a few CS fundamentals. And, the decent CS companies wouldn't even consider. Don't want to go through this again.

Thanks
 
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