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Dilemma: Whether to pursue MS in Financial Engineering in US this year or not

Shubham Rathi

New Member
Hi all,

Hope you are staying safe and healthy in these times.

Background / context: Planning to pursue MS in Financial Engineering in Fall 2020. Have got admits from Georgia Tech and University of Chicago. Have already paid deposit fee (USD 1,500) for Georgia Tech and have decision deadline of April 27, 2020 for University of Chicago (extended from original deadline of April 08, 2020).

Dilemma: Whether to pursue MS this year or not due to:

Negative impact of COVID-19 on economy / job prospects: With recession and economy slowdown being forecast, I am concerned about the internship and job prospects for prospective students (employment situation is worst for current students right now).

What are your thoughts on the above? How long will it take for this impact to subside? Any other suggestion / opinion related to the above concern are welcomed.

Completely understand that this might be a tricky one and that we need to monitor how the situation unfolds in near future.

Thanks!
 
Interested in knowing other people's opinions and plans as well. Safety is of course my top priority, so I'll be keeping an eye on how the US would be able to get the situation under control within the next 2-3 months.

I'm currently working full-time, but with the economic situation like now, I doubt my company would be doing well enough to make me look forward to pay raise or bonuses even if I postpone my study another year and stay with my current job. On the other hand, finding another job would be tough right now, so even if I stay in the work force for another year doing the same thing, it won't strengthen my profile from work experience standpoint, and I likely won't be able to succeed in reapplying to the top programs which rejected me this year.
 

Shubham Rathi

New Member
Interested in knowing other people's opinions and plans as well. Safety is of course my top priority, so I'll be keeping an eye on how the US would be able to get the situation under control within the next 2-3 months.

I'm currently working full-time, but with the economic situation like now, I doubt my company would be doing well enough to make me look forward to pay raise or bonuses even if I postpone my study another year and stay with my current job. On the other hand, finding another job would be tough right now, so even if I stay in the work force for another year doing the same thing, it won't strengthen my profile from work experience standpoint, and I likely won't be able to succeed in reapplying to the top programs which rejected me this year.
Hi,

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

I agree with your point that the scope for improving profile in next 6-9 months is less. But do you think that there could be a probability (say) if we go for master's this year and start looking for 2021 summer internship by 2020 end, we MIGHT find ourselves in a situation where we are not able to get an internship opportunity due to this.

There are conflicting views on this - some say that because firms are not hiring this year so next year opportunities might be good.

Also, bit skeptical of universities proposing to kick off the semester with online classes (in case of no improvement in situation soon) - I believe the real benefit of the program lies in terms of exposure we get and networking opportunities. Not even sure if universities are willing to offer deferral. GaTech said that they will only offer deferral in case of VISA denial. One of my friend mailed to CMU for deferral (for another program - MISM), he was told that they are not considering deferral requests at the moment.

Again, thanks. Let me know what you think.
 
Just my opinion but I think it absolutely makes sense that the universities wouldn't lightly hand out deferrals now - just imagine the financial damage of losing nearly an entire batch of high-paying international students. I wouldn't expect them to change their stances until it becomes absolutely clear that the situation won't improve by the time we are expected to arrive, e.g. if the state/city is under lockdown, regardless of whether we get our visa or not, we won't be able to enter the university without breaking the law. In such a case I'd expect the university to be reasonable and give us the option to either defer or get our deposit refunded.

I'm definitely not going to pay the tuition cost they're asking for if I have to take online classes and physical meetings (networking events, face-to-face interviews) are still discouraged/prohibited even if I have to lose my deposit. Postponing my MFE study for a year or two isn't going to kill me but making a bad six-figure investment that doesn't pay off would be a huge financial setback, not to mention the risk of contracting the disease.
 
I think sell-side will still have a decent amount of jobs, haven't heard people getting laid off. Buy-side is definitely lop-sided, either you made a lot of money or you got wiped from these past couple of weeks. Lots of rumors of certain desks getting destroyed. Overall I do think there will be less jobs for fall 2020 students.
I am also enrolling for fall 2020, although it's not a optimal job market, I don't think it's worth waiting another year to enroll. The job market could be just as bad or worse a year from now, "playing it by the ear" is just a waste of time, might as well get the education and work harder to network/personal projects. If you're really unsure, I would suggest doing the full 2 years for the programs.
 

VPoneday

Member
Hi all,

Hope you are staying safe and healthy in these times.

Background / context: Planning to pursue MS in Financial Engineering in Fall 2020. Have got admits from Georgia Tech and University of Chicago. Have already paid deposit fee (USD 1,500) for Georgia Tech and have decision deadline of April 27, 2020 for University of Chicago (extended from original deadline of April 08, 2020).
I have also paid the deposit for Georgia.
I have emailed them previously on the COVID-19 and they have ignored me for weeks. So good to hear that they told you that they will not consider deferrals.
Well, to the school we students are just sources of revenue.
for me, I need to depend on my parents for funding my masters. They are Tiger Moms and will not consider lending me this year due to COVID-19, because they are scared I will get infected, have no money for healthcare because I'm a foreigner, and die. So I have no choice but to reapply.
 
I think sell-side will still have a decent amount of jobs, haven't heard people getting laid off. Buy-side is definitely lop-sided, either you made a lot of money or you got wiped from these past couple of weeks. Lots of rumors of certain desks getting destroyed. Overall I do think there will be less jobs for fall 2020 students.
I am also enrolling for fall 2020, although it's not a optimal job market, I don't think it's worth waiting another year to enroll. The job market could be just as bad or worse a year from now, "playing it by the ear" is just a waste of time, might as well get the education and work harder to network/personal projects. If you're really unsure, I would suggest doing the full 2 years for the programs.
Fair enough, I'm with you on this. If anything enrolling now means we'll be graduating 1.5-2 years from now, and I imagine the economy (and job market) should be on its way to recovery. If I decide to not go this year it'd be due to the outbreak not being contained yet 2-3 months from now.
 

Nth Root of N

New Member
2021 graduation might not look that much better than 2020 graduation. We are still only in the panic phase and the shit won't even actually start hitting the fan for another 2-3 months. (+curve flattening policy effects which could lengthen timeline significantly, etc.)

As someone who would be quitting a stable job, my own feeling is that master's takes long enough that putting it off for another year isn't worth it.
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
I guess it's a bet on what you think the end state of this is going to be. . .obviously we're looking at a shit show for some time. But that time will likely pass, and people will need sophisticated ways to transfer risk. Going to school now, you're taking the other side of that trade - knowing enrollments are likely to go down, prospects are going to be tough for 1-2 years, you'll be coming out when there's likely a deficit of well trained people.

I'm mid-career, and midway through a program. I nearly left a few weeks ago when a very solid job inquiry came through. It came down to the fact I know the knowledge I'm getting will make me more valuable on the market, and there will be a need for this knowledge after the dust settles.
 

Whoosahnews

New Member
Hi all,

Hope you are staying safe and healthy in these times.

Background / context: Planning to pursue MS in Financial Engineering in Fall 2020. Have got admits from Georgia Tech and University of Chicago. Have already paid deposit fee (USD 1,500) for Georgia Tech and have decision deadline of April 27, 2020 for University of Chicago (extended from original deadline of April 08, 2020).

Dilemma: Whether to pursue MS this year or not due to:

Negative impact of COVID-19 on economy / job prospects: With recession and economy slowdown being forecast, I am concerned about the internship and job prospects for prospective students (employment situation is worst for current students right now).

What are your thoughts on the above? How long will it take for this impact to subside? Any other suggestion / opinion related to the above concern are welcomed.

Completely understand that this might be a tricky one and that we need to monitor how the situation unfolds in near future.

Thanks!
Hey, I also got an offer from Chicago. Have you contacted them about deferral and do you mind sharing their stance on it?

Thanks
 
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