DISCUSSION on second rated MFE programs


Quant Headhunter
I wish I disagreed more with you Andy.

I rarely believe that anything, no matter how good works 100% of the time, and assume the 100% is "except for those who we don't count for reasons we will not share".

Fact is that some people do finance courses, and learn a very important thing... that they hate finance and/or have no real talent for it, so they wander off to find something else to do with their lives. That's no one's fault really, since many take these courses straight after an undergrad degree and so have no experience of any real job.
Do these get counted ?
What about peopled deemed "not to be trying properly" ?

They could trivially get the distribution of incomes (including bonuses) and which firms they went to and publish that. The average is actually almost useless, but hey, we're math finance people here guys, we know that ?

International students are indeed an issue, and they are both a cause and an effect of the problems.

Some are quite rich, I recall in my own education a guy in my year getting a Ferrari for his 21st birthday, the insurance alone was a lot more than my parents earned. Fact is the world is a big place, and has a lot of rich people who have kids they want educated. That means that really high fees can be charged, even for courses that aren't very good as long as the school has an "international" reputation.
But I know some got their education by not only their parents, but other parts of the family really struggling to get them there.
Both sets don't have access to good information, in fact even someone like me who does it for a living hasn't really got the quality he'd like. I know that I'm probably wrong in my views on some schools and courses, but as long as I'm better than my competition, the impact on me is very low. If you're 22, and already in debt that lack of information, and objective analysis on what it actually means can screw your life.

International students, not unreasonably, don't have good visibility of the relative merits of schools in another country, so either stick with "known brands" or take huge risks that an "obscure" school like Warwick or Baruch is good. That might be a good call, but who here has even heard of Warwick ?
Both Oxford and Cambridge have two universities in them, and London has the "London School of Business and Finance", which is in no way part of the London School of Economics or the London Business school, both of which are high on most lists. I would not make the mistake of confusing them, and doubt if anyone here would, but if your English is weak, and your base language is one that doesn't even use the Latin alphabet, and you personally didn't go to a university at all, how do you choose a good school for your kid ?
I see Dominic Connor has made some perceptive and disparaging comments about Fordham's MSQF program at his Wilmott blog.
The Fordham MSQF recently reached out to Quantnet to update us on several changes they have made. One change is that the director of the program is Prof. Dean Leistikow, replacing Prof. Goswami who is on sabbatical. I'll update you all on details of other changes once they get back to me with the info I request.


Quant Headhunter
Ah, Fordham, it has gone quiet on that front...
Although I post on Quantnet, I am of course not in any way part of the organisation, so that "reaching out" didn't reach me. When they dug themselves into a hole I sent various mails to them, but of course I'm only a Quant recruiter so they never replied.

I have some questions from the brochure that Fordham can ignore this time as well, perhaps you could ask them for me Andy ?
It says "rigorous Training" in C++, but I can't find mention of the lectures in the brochure course outline ?
Actually I'm finding it hard to reconcile the brochure with the skimpy course outline which itself is confusingly named "course details".

What is "large scale data modeling ?" Is it data mining ? SQL ? KDB ? That could be good.

Where, precisely are numerical methods and programming in this program ?
It says 55 credit hours, really ?
It says "renowned faculty", precisely who is going to actually teach it ?
and lastly the question that is more important to prospective stutents...
Why are there no placement numbers for 2010 ?
Actually the way they phrase it
In the first graduating class (2008), we were successful in placing 7 out of 8 students in full time positions at major financial institutions and hedge funds. All 21 students in the second class (2009) were placed in internships this past summer at premier financial institutions.

Seems almost designed to make me suspicious that careful choice of numbers is being made to look good.

Also there an earlier gripe, to quote the Fordham site:
At Fordham, you will experience the same Jesuit approach to education that has challenged some of the world's greatest thinkers for more than 400 years. Jesuit educated notables have included Descartes, Molière, Alfred Hitchcock, Sting, James Joyce, Dee Dee Myers, and Captain Kangaroo.

Earlier I pointed out that almost none of these people went to Fordham, several died before Fordham was founded and/or never even visited the USA, Descartes was unwise enough to die more than a century before the declaration of independence, if only he'd lived 300 more years he might have gone to Fordham and achieved something with his life.