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Is MFE a good career move?

All,

I'm a Software Engineer with MS (Computer Sc.), no finance background and am evaluating if I should go for an MFE program or not. I'm 28 and make decent amount of money close to 80k. I see that the starting salaries after MFE can be somewhere from 60k to 120k. I'm just wondering if after investing in MFE program my income could actually go down.

Will pursuing an MBA might be a better alternative in terms of income and long term growth?

Do you guys have any thoughts?


Thanks much!
 
Starting salary may be 60-120K, but it is the bonus which is the game changer and the main difference between an IT position and a quant position in terms of salary. Experienced quants get anywhere from 50-100%(or more) of base salary as bonus.
 
When I considered doing MFE back in 2006, the decision is made based on where I see myself 5 years later financially, professionally. Would I make more money and do something I enjoy more than had I stick with the current career path.
I wasn't going to make any money being a math PhD student so obviously, the choice is easier. For someone with a stable job, career, salary, the choice isn't that clear.
If you go into finance, realize that you throw the stability lifeline out. Money is a unknown variable. Life style is a continuous stress.
In return, you meet smart people (really smart). If you end up doing some interesting without a family to support, that's worth it. Just make sure you have enough saving to survive a few financial crisis ;)
 
All,

I'm a Software Engineer with MS (Computer Sc.), no finance background and am evaluating if I should go for an MFE program or not. I'm 28 and make decent amount of money close to 80k. I see that the starting salaries after MFE can be somewhere from 60k to 120k. I'm just wondering if after investing in MFE program my income could actually go down.

Will pursuing an MBA might be a better alternative in terms of income and long term growth?

Do you guys have any thoughts?


Thanks much!
I was the same place as you last year.
The decision is difficult, it is different from one person to another. I can tell you reasons that I had to choose this path. I cannot say if it is right or wrong, I cannot even say if it is right/wrong for me. We can talk in another 5 years :)
I have looked at my career direction. I have a CS formation same as you, I wanted something closer to financial markets, something more dynamic then pure systems/software design. I started looking around and gradually built an interest in quantitative finance. There are many resources for information.
I have considered MBA too, however I don't think it is suited to my background: strengths/weakness areas.

It would recommend you to discuss with many people that have pursued MFE/MBA ideally close to your traits. Take a step back and try to have a critical/objective view at your position.
 
It sure looks like a hard decision. Personally i dont see the money going away in Wallstreet. Its been a year since all the crisis happened and the banks have started rewarding people with big bonuses again.

I see the government is trying to clamp down on the bonuses, but i dont see them clamping down the bonuses too long as they should be able to operate freely once they pay off their TARP loans.

The Banks might come up with other ways to pay their employees if the government keeps intervening. CS career paths have a salary ceiling unless you become a top executive at a firm or do something entrepreneurial there really isnt a way to get rich.

Finance could be a dream or could not be one, if it doesnt i do not really think it will put you in a lower salary bracket that what you are at the moment but initially you have to bear the tuition cost/ hard classes and offcourse look for that " little hard " to find first job and hope you love living in New York/Connecticut or maybe London :)
 
All, I'm new to the forum, so I would like to say hi to everyone. I graduated May this year and is working full-time as a maintenance engineer. I've been reading around and I think I really like a career as a quant. I think I want something more challenging than an 8 to 5 job. I just don't even know if it's even feasible for me to change my career to this. I would like to get some advise from you guys on this matter.

I was doing relatively good in college and getting ~3.7 for the first 3 years, then the last year I got the full-time offer and lacked off, i ended up graduated with a 3.44. A big disappointment! But I guess I didn't really care much because I got the offer at my current company. As of Math, I'm up to PDE. I have very little programming experience in C++ and Java. Most of the programming I did was in MATLAB. I am very interested in programming and have been trying to learn Java and VBA myself in the past month or so.

Do you think I should go back to school to get a master in engineering to build my GPa back up and take some more programming and maths classes (like C++ and stochastic)? Or should I just go ahead and apply for one of these MFE programs? Or should I even consider a MBA instead of MFE?

Thanks a lot!
 
lol.. Imagine a banker making 80K/year. I dont think it will happen in my lifetime

Never say never :)

---------- Post added at 11:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:36 PM ----------

All, I'm new to the forum, so I would like to say hi to everyone. I graduated May this year and is working full-time as a maintenance engineer. I've been reading around and I think I really like a career as a quant. I think I want something more challenging than an 8 to 5 job. I just don't even know if it's even feasible for me to change my career to this. I would like to get some advise from you guys on this matter.

I was doing relatively good in college and getting ~3.7 for the first 3 years, then the last year I got the full-time offer and lacked off, i ended up graduated with a 3.44. A big disappointment! But I guess I didn't really care much because I got the offer at my current company. As of Math, I'm up to PDE. I have very little programming experience in C++ and Java. Most of the programming I did was in MATLAB. I am very interested in programming and have been trying to learn Java and VBA myself in the past month or so.

Do you think I should go back to school to get a master in engineering to build my GPa back up and take some more programming and maths classes (like C++ and stochastic)? Or should I just go ahead and apply for one of these MFE programs? Or should I even consider a MBA instead of MFE?

Thanks a lot!

GPA is only one piece of the application for Grad School. It is important but not decisive.
First thing is to decide what job you would like in 5 years. Next you have to see if you are suited for that job.

In your case, if you love Math and you find financial markets intriguing, then MFE is a good option.
If you need a broader knowledge of business including marketing, corporate finance, investment, accounting, then MBA is a better choice.

In one sentence, MFE is a specialized sciences program (hard-skills) while MBA is a general business program (mostly soft skills)
 
Stefan: Thanks for the advise. I think I like MFE a little better than MBA since it's more technical, lots of math and programming. Should I even try to apply for a MFE program or should I go for the MSME first then apply for MFE later? Thanks!
 
Stefan: Thanks for the advise. I think I like MFE a little better than MBA since it's more technical, lots of math and programming. Should I even try to apply for a MFE program or should I go for the MSME first then apply for MFE later? Thanks!

Pick one which best suits your interests. Be honest with your evaluation of your likes and dislikes. Many a time, we think we like something without really knowing much of what we thought we liked.
 
Stefan: Thanks for the advise. I think I like MFE a little better than MBA since it's more technical, lots of math and programming. Should I even try to apply for a MFE program or should I go for the MSME first then apply for MFE later? Thanks!

Is MSME, Masters in Mechanical Engineering? If so, then it is not relevant to finance.

If you are interested in quantitative finance, then start gathering information. There are 3, 4 forums with plenty of discussions. It would be useful to sit down and discuss with a couple of students/alumni. You can go to some sessions for the schools.
I would also recommend to start reading 1, 2 introductory books (master thread book). You don't need to worry about details, don't need to spend a lot of time either, just try to get a sense of it. The goal is to convince yourself this is what you want to do next several years of your life.

---------- Post added at 06:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:52 PM ----------

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Call MFE a goldmine if you wish, but don't call it a science program :P

You are being too negative in my opinion. After all, you cannot compare money making potential of a business program with an MFE.
Perhaps 2, 3 years ago, some people thought you can make money easily with this "quant stuff". I doubt that prospective students would be naive now.
 
You are being too negative in my opinion. After all, you cannot compare money making potential of a business program with an MFE.
Perhaps 2, 3 years ago, some people thought you can make money easily with this "quant stuff". I doubt that prospective students would be naive now.

All I am saying is that what people learn in MFE and do in a quant job is not science...
 
All I am saying is that what people learn in MFE and do in a quant job is not science...

And your premise for this differential evaluation would be?

Science is merely an approach towards assimilation of knowledge via observation and experimentation. An MFE or a quant job neatly fits this descripiton.
 
All I am saying is that what people learn in MFE and do in a quant job is not science...

This is a debate that bigbadwolf would enjoy :)
Let's make it simpler since this is not the subject of the thread. MFE requires a strong mathematical foundation, pure science. It also intersects with software engineering, a piece of Computer Science. So I would say it is pretty close, much closer than an MBA (the topic of this thread).
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
And your premise for this differential evaluation would be?

Science is merely an approach towards assimilation of knowledge via observation and experimentation. An MFE or a quant job neatly fits this descripiton.
Most engineering disciplines are called engineering because they are the application of science or another discipline to industry. Computer Science has "science" in the name, but it is often considered an engineering discipline as the application of math and logic to industry.

Mech. E is the application of physics and sometimes a bit of chemistry to industry. Same with many other engineering disciplines. Chemical Engineering is the application of chemistry and other sciences to industry.

Isn't it fair to say that financial engineering is the application of economics and mathematics to industry? Maybe we can say there's a continuum between engineering and science where you have research applications on the one hand and industrial applications on the other. I would argue that financial engineering as it is normally applied is as far to the industrial applications side of the continuum as any other engineering discipline and certainly moreso than computer science.

Does it have research applications? Sure. So does mechanical engineering.

And finally, the last question is whether there's a false dichotomy between engineering and science. Where I graduated, the engineers all received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. If Engineering is a subset of science rather than an application of it, then you can argue that MFE is clearly a science as well.
 
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