DISCUSSION on second rated MFE programs

Andy Nguyen

In April, the Lally School launched its International Center for Financial Research (ICFR) and announced a new master’s degree track in Financial Engineering and Risk Analytics (FERA). The program capitalizes on Rensselaer’s signature strengths, and is a collaboration between Lally’s finance faculty and departments across campus including computer science, applied mathematics, decision sciences and engineering systems, and economics.

http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2627

IlyaKEightSix

This just in: Rutgers MSMF students have to explicitly pay an extra fee compared to say MS stats just to get the active placement bonus--and--even sillier--access to an exclusive "quants only" career portal. Because server storage space costs oh so very much, and statistics students who trash the MSMFs on statistics exams shouldn't be aware of opportunities posted elsewhere on the internet anyway.

All the rest in my blog.

AnoopRN

This just in: Rutgers MSMF students have to explicitly pay an extra fee compared to say MS stats just to get the active placement bonus....

Perhaps others, if at all, are recovering this cost incognito.

IlyaKEightSix

It's actually part of their higher tuition for MSMF. However, the idea just seems ridiculous to me. I mean if you're going to compile a list of recruiters looking for smart kids wanting to crunch numbers on Wall Street, what's the loss in letting other people see it?

What? Will the poor MSMFs be in trouble in terms of competition?

Andy Nguyen

This just in: Rutgers MSMF students have to explicitly pay an extra fee compared to say MS stats just to get the active placement bonus--and--even sillier--access to an exclusive "quants only" career portal.
Your assertion may be misleading. How about this scenario: the MSMF students have exclusive access to the job listing created by their program which other students don't have. And if they pay higher fee as part of tuition compared to Master of Stats students, that's perfectly legal.
What you seemed to suggest that there is an extra $3,000 fee implicitly for the job server. That may not be the case. You need to provide more concrete proof than just hearsay from some lady. We at QuantNetwork are not in the business of spreading rumor or false information so any info must be verifiable of some sort. AnoopRN Some quants should work on coming up with a model for pricing course credits :-\" IlyaKEightSix Your assertion may be misleading. How about this scenario: the MSMF students have exclusive access to the job listing created by their program which other students don't have. And if they pay higher fee as part of tuition compared to Master of Stats students, that's perfectly legal. What you seemed to suggest that there is an extra$3,000 fee implicitly for the job server.

That may not be the case. You need to provide more concrete proof than just hearsay from some lady.
We at QuantNetwork are not in the business of spreading rumor or false information so any info must be verifiable of some sort.

She's the associate director who actively places the students.

"This extra tuition is so that I can get paid a salary to work 40 hours a week to find active placement for the MSMF students".

That still does not explain at all why the server itself is off-limits.

Especially because aside from the numerical methods that I could pick up readily enough, I'm destroying the MSMFs in any courses we have in common. And the overlap actually is pretty massive. 9 credits worth (regression, time series, statistical inference). Furthermore, I'd think that more statistics knowledge would be more desirable for some quant positions if you're looking to simply crunch huge data sets for stat-arb purposes.

---------- Post added at 02:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:33 PM ----------

Some quants should work on coming up with a model for pricing course credits :-\"

What would be the point? It's not like you're going to arbitrage college credits against one another.

DanM

Math Student
Especially because aside from the numerical methods that I could pick up readily enough, I'm destroying the MSMFs in any courses we have in common. And the overlap actually is pretty massive. 9 credits worth (regression, time series, statistical inference). Furthermore, I'd think that more statistics knowledge would be more desirable for some quant positions if you're looking to simply crunch huge data sets for stat-arb purposes.

Though I have a feeling their programming skills are much more advanced than yours. Correct me if I'm wrong.

IlyaKEightSix

Yes and no. They have all of two courses on C++ and no more.

In the meantime, aside from the pain in the *** SAS (garbage eldritch abomination horror 30-year old UI=NO THANKS) that is in my one data analysis class, everything is done in R. So even if they'd have the edge on me in C++, I'd wreck them in R. Plus, their C++ courses are more or less "Absolute C++" and "intro to C++ for financial engineers". If one would go through those two ebooks in decent depth, I'm pretty sure that they'd be just as good at C++ as the MSMF students.

To put it into perspective, in the two weeks before graduation from Lehigh, I was able to go through 13 chapters of Savitch's Absolute Java. I'd be able to do something identical with C++ once I get a new laptop.

alain

Older and Wiser
"Absolute Java" is like what comes before Java 101. You should pick Bruce Eckel "Thinking in Java". It will give you a better overall knowledge.

IlyaKEightSix

Oh, and I was actually able to see that private Rutgers quant career server thanks to a friend. (Also saw their C++ programming...it's literally from print screens to sorting linked lists...nothing zany or out of this world)

Huzzah! Five full-time opportunities posted! And only one in NYC, which is from Morgan Stanley anyway that they would have posted elsewhere! Internships? About the same amount. How many actual quant positions instead of pure development? About half that.

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Interesting to see people would go and vent online if they aren't happy with their purchase of a laptop that cost few hundred dollars. But if they got screw for \$50K, they will blame themselves, the market and the weather.

If you go online and bad-mouth your own program/university, there is A LOT to loose possibly. You loose all the help that would have been possible from your professors, alumni, friends. I think that would scare lots of people.

But, people will privately tell you if you ask them what they REALLY think about their program. They don't want their name attached to the conversation but will tell you how it is. A good example when anonymity is present are the QuantNet reviews of programs. Students have put lots of crucial details in many of their reviews about their programs that might "truly" show the reality of the program.

But, I do agree with you and the excerpt whole heartedly. I wish people were more truthful openly about their programs.

Btw... the blog is pretty intense. I don't think I have ever seen anything at this level before.

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Found this other blog from one of the links: Exposing The Law School Scam What if there were some finance employers doing this for MFE programs?

If you go online and bad-mouth your own program/university, there is A LOT to loose. You loose all the possible help that would have been possible from your professors, alumni, friends. You have disgraced their degrees/teaching and futures.

Quantnet is the forum where we attempt to answer Pontius Pilate's rhetorical question: "What is the truth?" No euphemisms, no hedging, no lies.

The people behind the Baruch MFE give the unadorned truth on salaries and placement figures. If starting salaries for their grads are going down, they report it. If, unlike past years, they can no longer place 100% of their graduates, they report that as well. That's why anything the Baruch MFE people say has absolute credibility, is worth gold. Yet as we know, the majority of other programs are doing no such thing. Furthermore, many of the other programs are acutely sensitive to criticism because they know they are lying to and cheating their customers (er, students). They know their offering is poor, have no intention of doing anything about it, and just want the swindle to go on indefinitely.

I doubt we know what the size of the market is, and how many graduates of all the new programs that have sprouted up in the last few years are effectively unemployed or underemployed. Second-tier programs have absolutely no incentive to provide stats on the placement rates and starting salaries for their graduates, nor in providing realistic career counselling to their prospective students. Caveat emptor -- but then, where to go for information?

Btw... the blog is pretty intense. I don't think I have ever seen anything at this level before.

The comments are well worth reading as well. They're largely an articulate lot with clear and informed opinions -- but then again they are lawyers, so perhaps this should be expected. I got the link for temporaryattorney.blogspot.com in one of Barbara Ehrenreich's more recent books; that blog has links to other blogs such as the one I gave.

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Quantnet is the forum where we attempt to answer Pontius Pilate's rhetorical question: "What is the truth?" No euphemisms, no hedging, no lies.

The people behind the Baruch MFE give the unadorned truth on salaries and placement figures. If starting salaries for their grads are going down, they report it. If, unlike past years, they can no longer place 100% of their graduates, they report that as well. That's why anything the Baruch MFE people say has absolute credibility, is worth gold. Yet as we know, the majority of other programs are doing no such thing. Furthermore, many of the other programs are acutely sensitive to criticism because they know they are lying to and cheating their customers (er, students). They know their offering is poor, have no intention of doing anything about it, and just want the swindle to go on indefinitely.

I doubt we know what the size of the market is, and how many graduates of all the new programs that have sprouted up in the last few years are effectively unemployed or underemployed. Second-tier programs have absolutely no incentive to provide stats on the placement rates and starting salaries for their graduates, nor in providing realistic career counselling to their prospective students. Caveat emptor -- but then, where to go for information?

The comments are well worth reading as well. They're largely an articulate lot with clear and informed opinions -- but then again they are lawyers, so perhaps this should be expected. I got the link for temporaryattorney.blogspot.com in one of Barbara Ehrenreich's more recent books; that blog has links to other blogs such as the one I gave.

I agree with your statements about Baruch. Some of the upper echelon programs like Baruch do provide placement statistics, although none provide as transparent as Baruch's numbers. As I stated on my blog on QN, providing the starting salaries of students who had no experience or no relevant experience is a first that I have seen.

Regarding the number of students graduating...the number is increasing day by day. Everyone is increasing their class size. There are programs with class size of almost 300.

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I don't feel right discussing Baruch in this thread as it doesn't belong here.

DominiConnor

BBW certainly has a good point about transparency in the outcomes from the Baruch program.

I don't have concrete evidence of any program lying in the way that Joy says they do. I'm not saying he is wrong, I'm just saying I couldn't prove it in a court of law for any given program.

Yet...

Even the Fordham horror movie could be taken as excessive optimism and "teething pains". Though my view of a school that claims credit for producing someone who never even lived in the same country is pretty dark.

One piece of evidence I have for the widespread dishonesty in the marketing of finance programs is when I talk to people about the CQF, part of which I teach. They seem to expect me to make promises about career advancement, which I flatly refuse to do because to do so would require information about them, and the future of the market that I don't have, some seem disappointed that I haven't given them a hard sell.

There is of course a problem with QuantNet, Wilmott.com and my Quant Finance social network, because by the time people find us, often they've made their decisions, and my role is limited to damage control.

Andy Nguyen

@DominiConnor raises a valid point about expectation of people doing MFE programs which we have pointed out from time to time but it seems to fell on deaf ears.
When you have programs who refuse to post a meaningful placement stat on their website or state 100% placement record with no info on how it was compiled, it does nothing but paints an unrealistic picture of the job market, specially for international students.

When students pay a fortune for a program with the goal of being a top tier bank trader, the expectation is sky high. In reality, both side will meet somewhere in the middle i.e some students will find some jobs.

If people refuse to settle for anything but a trading role at bulge bracket banks right after school, I think it's a disaster waiting to happen.