How Quantnet's C++ certificates got me a job on Wall Street


Active Member
C++ Student
Do I have a better chance of getting accepted by Baruch college if I complete the "advanced C++11/14 certificate"? Btw, I will complete the "C++ certificate for FE" this summer.
I am Asian, and I am international. Life has been really tough for me ;-)
Yes definitely will help especially on interview. If you take all the Baruch pre mfe I believe you can get into Baruch no problem


Well-Known Member
I am Asian, and I am international.
You just described 80% of MFE students. Life is only as tough as you let it be.

Anyhow, "complete"? Maybe not. Complete with distinction? I bet it would give you a better shot.


Active Member
C++ Student
I feel if Baruch sees you know stats, math, and comp sci at a decent level they will accept you. Well again I didn’t apply there, but I did take two pre mfe courses.


New Member
Dear prospective students,

I recently signed a contract with a top Investment Bank for an Associate C++ Developer position in the Securities Technology Division in New York. Three years ago I had very little programming and math knowledge, and non-relevant work experience. I was just another business admin graduate with ambition to make it in Wall Street one day. Sounds familiar?

Here's what happened:

I came across the C++ Programming certificate in one of my searches for MFE programs in New York, and decided to enroll.

The intro certificate covers a lot of useful stuff, like implementing important data structures such as vectors (dynamic arrays) and stacks (adaptor containers), Object-Oriented hierarchies for polymorphic behavior, and of course several algorithms for file processing, string manipulations, and more. Additionally, it introduces templates and generic programming concepts, libraries such as STL and Boost, and hands-on applications, like Monte Carlo option pricing systems and standard financial derivatives pricing. This is already equivalent with two semesters of C++ at an average U.S. university, in my experience.

It took me two months to complete the certificate with distinction. A few months later, I had the first opportunity for employment by a big Investment Bank that you definitely have heard of. An in-house recruiter reached out to me and asked my availability to talk. He asked me questions about the course, and was mostly interested about the Object-Oriented and Generic programming part. Although I didn't get the job at this point, I was already getting the attention of the big players.

About a year later I took the advanced C++11/14 certificate. It was one of the most challenging courses I ever took, but the results were amazing. Once I listed it on my LinkedIn profile, making sure to have specified parts of the syllabus, I was literally having 2-3 recruiters every week reaching out and suggesting software engineering jobs for me. I wasn't even trying to get a job at that stage.

I gained deep intuition about all the concepts needed to land a job throughout the advanced course: multi-threading, advanced memory management, complexity analysis, how to look up documentation of new libraries, debugging, software design patterns and testing, optimizations and efficiency, edgy modern C++ techniques, systems engineering, and more.

And guess what. When I started going to interviews all my interviewers were asking the exact same things that were exactly taught throughout the certificate: smart pointers, design patterms (Singleton, Strategy, etc.) STL algorithms, multi-threading and thread-safe techniques, and more.

The C++ certificates here are an excellent opportunity to become a master-level and employable C++ programmer from scratch. Looking back, that's exactly the path I needed to take. :)

I hope you decide to enroll and write your own story one day!

Hi Pavlos,

Do you know if this online course can be taken anytime, or if it's available only certain times of the year?

Thank you,


New Member
Hope this helps. One final thought: developers already are and will continue to be in the future in very high demand. Learning the ins and outs of C++, one of the most difficult languages out there, will be tremendously helpful for you if you choose to go down that path, regardless if you get a job as a C++ engineer or as a general software developer.

C++ is one of the few serious programming languages that helps you develop into a competent developer. The various skills that you learn cannot readily be developed in other languages because many of them treat you like a child, or hide important details that you will never get access to or even reach an impasse because they are too inflexible.

My top 8+1 reasons for learning C++

1. Multiparadigm (no other language comes near), Objects, modular, templates/generics, functional programming models
2. It is non-trivial, you learn something.
3. Good way to learn various aspects of computer science
4. It is nice for engineering applications
5. It will be with us forever
6. Learn C++ and after that all others are easy to learn. Believe me.
7. Interfaces with Python, C# etc.
8. Yuge installed base
9. Impress people at cocktail parties with statements like "I have just written a parallel Monte Carlo option pricer in C++17, with lambdas".

I'm going to be in a Masters of Science in Quantitative Finance program (not at Baruch), and they apparently use R or Python, but definitely not C++. Does that sound like an inferior program, in terms of the programming component, or is there a tangible difference between a program described as Quantitative Finance and one described as Financial Engineering?

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I am the originator of the C++ course, so I will try to be objective :)

It seems to be are R+Python in the red corner better than C++ in the blue corner? Is that the question.

C++ has a high threshold and is a real skill. R and Python are popular and useful; they are mainly for non-programmers. You can learn Python in a few weeks if you know C++. Not vice versa.

It depends on what you want to do later.