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CQF right for me?

Hi everyone. I just got accepted into the CQF program but am stuck on whether or not it is right for me. To give some background about myself: I graduated from Binghamton University in Dec 2008 with a MA in Econ and Fin with a 3.5gpa. Since then, I have had no luck find a job so I am currently a waiter and testing for the CFA Level I exam in Dec. I have been looking more into the various MFE programs and those seem well worth it. I doubt my ability to get into those though. I have a 720 GRE quant and nothing more than Calc I. Though I dont think my lack of math skills would be a problem (especially with the refresher course usually offered) as I surpassed a lot of fellow student in my graduate courses who were PhD track and had those math.

I know this is a lot but I am confused and lost with what to do. Had I decided sooner that being a quant was what i wanted to do I never would've switched from Engineering to Econ and Fin. (Never thought a physics degree would be more desirable than a Finance degree for a Finance job :)

Thank you in advance for any advice.
 
I'd be wary. To accept someone into a quant program with only calc I and a 720 quant GRE? If you don't get 800 on your GREs, you're already in hot water. And I'm thinking I'm bottom of the barrel (if that) with 770.
 
It's not about the course or degree but about the job. Good schools are more desirable not because of what they teach but in my opinion more so because of good job prospects.
 
Yea thats what im worried about. I think the only way i am going to do the cqf is if i get the full scholarship. I want the MFE more and know it is more suitable for me. I am still worried about my gre and dont have time to take math courses before the dealine. i am also more worried that i would do worse on the gre than doing better. although the first time i took it, i didnt get time to study.

p.s. If im not mistaken, the math primer is free as long as you actually end up taking the whole program
 
They have an even further scholarship that would be full scholarship. But the goal is getting a job. And these programs have 100% placement. I understand your conclusion based on my profile, but I would not be behind in these classes, especially if i took the math refresher they all offer. Not trying to be cocky, I know myself, the problem is conveying it to the admissions which is extremely difficult considering my stats. I would really like to apply for next year though and the deadlines are Dec/Jan. I have the CFA Level I in Dec, I dont think i would have time to study for the GRE.
 
Also, another question not related. Baruch, for example, is having an info session on Tues with Prof Stefanica. Besides going to these events for more info, is it important to go to network to try help your admission? I know traditionally you dont.
 
Thank you very much for all your help. I appreciate everyones advice and hope to be able to contribute more to this forum in the future.
 
It's always better to put a more personal touch on your application. If the admission committee can put a face to the application and if you come across as professional, well rounded, good mannered in person, it can do you no harm. Going to the the info event of the programs you plan to apply would help.

This could be unfair for international students, who just cannot afford to attend these info sessions.

Would it make sense for a person with CQF and work experience to apply to the MFE programs ? I mean, would there be any marginal benefit in terms of learning ? I came across a few posts in Global Derivatives where I saw people with such profiles, though I am not sure whether they ever made it to the MFE programs that they applied to.
 
i am an undergrad student finishing my" bachelors in buisness management-fiancial markets" from india,and have done some internships in reputated companies on equity research. i wanted to know if on completion of cqf i will have better job prospects or any sort of carrer services top help me get a break in the industry?!
 
Hi all, Just thought I’d update this thread with the latest on the CQF from an industry insider perspective.
About Me:
I have over 7 year experience in the industry, within Quantitative Market Risk. I have a Degree in Physics, Maths, and a PhD in Physics, as well as other professional qualifications. So the technical side of the CQF was not an issue for me. After a few years in the industry I decided to do the CQF for 'fun' - I thought it's only a six month program and would be good to formalise my knowledge in finance.

About the CQF:
The CQF is lower cost compared to other Quant programmes, but it's not a cheap course – coming in at close to £14k for a six months course is quite steep.
My view is that the program material is very dated. This material would have been very relevant back in the late 90s or early 2000’s but today it is just the basics, and most quant interviews and technical interviews wont even care to ask some of that stuff.
The program teaches very little finance and really is mostly about applying a basic PDE approach to various products types. It covers other key elements but only at a very superfical level e.g. volatility and timeseries analysis. The basic material is even more frustrating as the lecturers are really not that great or experienced in either the industry or teaching such technical things. Out of all the lecturers only one or two were really any good, and they are actually full time researchers/lecturers in other universities.
Another key point I want to make, that is relevent in this day and age of MOOC's, with all the excellent free courses available on the web, in particular the columbia course on Coursera and various YouTube videos on products and quant finance, the CQF really becomes a bit irrelevant and overpriced for what it is.
The course material and the extra lectures are not really value for money - in terms of audio/visual quality and content. Also, you can find better videos on C++ and VBA on youtube.
Finaly, most of the people doing the course are from IT or back-office functions who are keen to get into quant or Front Office roles, so there are very few very knowledgeable finance or markets orientated people in the class who you can learn from. There is nothing wrong with this, but those who are hoping to establish a strong markets focused network I think you should look else where.

Will It Help You Find a Job?
If you are a new graduate I wouldn’t waste your money on the CQF, it would be more worthwhile for you to get a masters from a reputable university. However, if you have a PhD from a top university and would like to gain some extra skills and have 14k lying around then go for it, but if money is tight I don’t think scraping together 14K to do this will increase your employability chances that much.
If you are already in a somewhat quantitative area and want to formalise your knowledge or would like to do this for fun or gain learning momentum, its not too bad considering it consists of evening classes and you can watch videos at your leisure. But don’t expect this to open any doors, that is my only key point. If you are not in a quantitative area, this will definitely not help you to get into that area, so I would advice you not to waste your money on this course but consider a MFE from a good university.

Would I do it again if I knew then what I know now?
Simple answer is… probably not. But then again I like learning, and the money wasn’t much of an issue for me. This was more of a fun thing for me to do, I like learning in a class environment and I like maths, so my arm could be twisted to do it again, but I would start with lower expectations.

The final point I want to leave you with is that this is not the course if you want to move into a quant role or enhance your career, for that consider an MFE. But if you have a general ineterst in PDE math applied to quant finance then this course is ok (also if you have £14k to spare).
 
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