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Lacking Serious Background

Hello all,

I have a particular case and idea I hope would be solved. I have a degree in Finance, well BSBA Finance, to be certain. But I have become really intrigued by the idea of becoming a Quant. I understand the work that needs to become one and what not. No need to dissaude/persuade me as I have already set in my mind this is what I want. I have a high GPA (From a not so great Univ) and place in the low 90th percentile on the GRE. I have those going for me :)

But what I do not have going for me, is the degree/background. I will be first to admit, I was a little lazy in picking my Undergrad/Univ (Paying for it now). But now I am considering going back to get a second undergrad degree in comp sci or mathematics. Since the GRE score is good for about 5 years, I was hoping to bank on that while I get my background straigtened out. Is this a good idea or bad idea? I want to get into a top tier program, which is why I am considering drastic measures. I'm trying to think with my wallet here. Is there another way to get the background that I am simply missing?

Keep in mind I need to start from Ground Zero (Calc I). Any help would be appreciated? Can anyone help this underachiever?
I think you going back to school full time for approximately 2 years (based on needing to start at Calc I and getting a degree in comp sci) when you already have student debt is a bad idea in the current environment. If your heart is set on this then get a good job that is finance related that will allow you to go to school part-time at night.
I didn't mean that I am paying for it literally I meant figuratively. As in I want to advance my degree but because I was lazy in choosing my undergrad I won't be able to gain acceptance into a good program. I do have a job as a financial analyst. But it isn't quantitative in nature. More or so busy work.
It is probably not a good idea to go back to school for a second undergraduate degree. In 5 years, the landscape might be different. I can't really say what you should do but the time you need to sacrifice for another degree, to me, just won't be worth it.
Hm. So I am pretty much stuck where I am at? My basis for this was that the same amount of Orr reqs I would need to gain sufficient working knowledge to start an MFE program I would be a few classes short of a second bachelors.

Pick up an M.A. in Economics from a brand name school (takes 1.5 years) and fill your electives with computer science and mathematics courses. This will get you the mfe prerequisites and a sought after degree in finance simultaneously.
That didn't cross my mind. Would an Econ masters program take a student that doesn't have a Econ undergrad?

Heck yeah! You may have to sit in on an intermediate micro course but that's it. Calc I & II ahead of time wouldn't hurt but many programs will let you do that along with the degree. Best part is that an econ masters will expose you to econometrics I & II which will give you big exposure to SAS programming. This will give you a good advantage going into an mfe program as many quants use SAS in the real world.
I agree with Cary that most top notch econ masters have the bare minimum requirement of int micro and macro to get in. But i know that you need some math as well. I haven't heard of a masters in econ that doesnt have a full year of calc as a prereq. Most of them also require you to have a full year in mathematical stats and a full year of econometrics which shouldnt be a problem for you since you most likely have stats 1 and 2 since your a finance major. At least these are the requirements listed for the master's of financial economics at university of toronto. It might be different in the States. Keep in mind that these are the bare minimum requirements. I talked to the program advisor at Toronto and she said that preference is given to students with courses completed in upper year level economics, econometrics and mathematics which is why im taking additional math courses on top of my degree; course like differential equations and advanced calculus, math stats, linear algebra and il see what i can fit it on top of that until next year when i am going to be applying.


Quant Headhunter
I agree with those who say do economics, the term "Quant" gets overloaded quite a bit and I think you'd find it very hard to get in to what most people here call quant work from where you are now.

You could do the certificate in mathematical methods as part of the CQF, it would be very hard for you but it's cheaper and quicker than a degree. I of course have an interest there, but note I'm not trying to sell this option to you at all.

Economics allows for a variable level of maths and I think you could get in and perhaps do well.

Personally I think your best option is to do an MBA
econ at a good graduate school will be seriously mathematical - more along lines of real analysis. but masters programs are okay. MBA is way to go.
Not sure that I agree fellas! The MBA is 2 years for sure. The Econ M.A. plus the mfe could range from 2.5 years to 3 years. So as far as bang for your buck goes (i.e., your production function... haha), the MBA looks soft and takes almost as much time. I see my option as an extended version of the MBA.

Also, most top schools require Calc I - III for the M.A. but even U of M will give you time to fill the prerequisites as part of the M.A. Last I checked, Michigan is baller status (and I'm saying that from Ohio).