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Education Advice

Hello everyone,

I will soon turn 21 and I just finished my third semester of studying "International Business". What I am doing here you may ask, but yes, at the time of applying for this study module I was not aware of quantitative finance. International Business teaches business mathematics, statistics, applied statistics, finance, financial markets, economics, and hence why I bumped into quantitative finance. Actually, it was through the book about Jim Simons, and then my reading spree began, I continued with reading about Edward Thorp, Flash Boys, Dark Pools, some statistics books, which also helped me get a good grade on my statistics classes. I became fascinated by how a person can make a living by combining his knowledge in different fields of study, and make money of course.

The thing that got me concerned is what master's program I should apply for. I've read that financial engineering is usually the preferred way to go with if you want to become a quant. However, the confusion comes when reading the names of the programs.
My university offers the following master's program:
International Finance - Detail (read course contents). It involves a lot of quantitative subjects and also teach some Python.
Other programs I found:
Quantitative Finance - MSc Quantitative Finance - course details (2021 entry) | The University of Manchester
Algorithmic Trading - MSc Algorithmic Trading - Algorithmic Trading Degree | University of Essex

Why is it called algorithmic trading? Aren't quantitative strategies executed through algorithms, without or with little manual inteference? How is this study different from the other?
The other things is that I found that quants are usually split into different roles - researchers, developers, traders, and so on. Is that only specific to some trading firms, or all? Because I want to be able to apply my knowledge and also be in the middle of the action, in front of all these monitors. Now that I think of it, why are there quant developer and traders. Why do you need quant traders to execute the strategy/model? They basically bring no value to the whole process.

I would like to put emphasis on the "International Finance" master's program that my current university offers. The name does not really suggest that you could become a quant, but the subjects are actually really emphasised on that (at least in my opinion). It has: econometrics, financial economics, financial risk management, management of international asset portfolios. Still, would not say that it is a good as the "Quantitative Finance" program I found that Manchester's University offers, but UK tuition is very expensive, and I am unable to decide if it is worth it. If you take a look at it, they focus on specific subjects to quantitative finance like stochastic calculus for finance, time series econometrics, asset pricing theory, credit risk, risk, and so on.
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As of now, I started to read various books about stochastic calculus, machine learning, programming with python, pricing derivatives and so on, because my current study program (International Business) does not teach that, and I assume that I need to be prepared when I go onto my master's program. And not only that, I find it very interesting and I believe that his knowledge will be of use in whichever way I decide to go.

Thanks in advance to everyone looking forward to helping me out :)
 
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