Masters advice

Hey all,

Curious on what everyones suggestions would be for a situation like mine. I want nothing more to work within the quant industry so I'm willing to do the work to get in.

Should I pursue a MFE, CS, or stats masters and would I have a chance at getting in anything decent?

SCHOOL: Finance undergrad from one of the New England state schools and during that time took some extra math classes like calc, linear algebra, and stats classes.

CAREER: currently work full time now as a self taught dev and also had a data analyst internship while in school

GPA: 3.5 (was around a 3.8 until my last semester of senior year got covid really bad and missed a good chunk of the semester)

GRE: not taken yet will be taking if no admit for fall 23
"100% guaranteed job after graduating top ranked MFE" 0th option. Because people love the grind.
- Save a few hundred bucks. for applications and 100K for tuition. Lol.
- Scrounge for recommendations.
- Sweat it out over prereqs. Good enough? Redo?
- Apply apply apply and wait months for an admissions notice.

Stats Masters 1st option
- Unless the MFE is one of those "places well after graduation" institutions.
- The Stats masters will require augmented/elective curriculum added, such as in derivatives pricing, and econometrics/time-series analysic
- Jokingly, you only need to know Black Scholes and Stochastic calculus before applying to average quant jobs

Any MFE 2nd option
- You can also lean hard on your software dev skills instead. Go to any MFE with decent curriculum.
- In parallel, do not let your dev skills get rusty, build strategic personal projects - NOT for a portfolio, or to show to an interviewer, but because the steady progress towards senior dev abilities will make you ready for a Quant Dev job post MFE. The MFE will serve as "background knowledge" that is a nice to have for software developers in the Quant Finance space. I say "ice to have" but really how else does a software developer show "initiative" to learning financial math, without just taking financial math courses?
- When you finish MFE school, you'll be 4-8x as good with software dev than your peers. The write scripts and memorized O(n) stuff. You build working applications with not-trivial uses of search & sort algorithms. Big difference.
- Downside: .NET is all over the place in Quant Finance (especially the dev side). Do you like C# or F#? You might need to.
- Caveat: being great in any language still gets you an offer.

Mid-range MFE 3rd option
Just don't aspire to work for Goldman, Secret Hedge Fund XYZ, or HFT Firm 4.0. Everything else is fair game. Even custodial banks and quant consulting firms need people who have a great grasp of the quant finance fundamentals.

Given that you're a developer, the 2nd options might be where you can excel. You keep the dev advantage, go to a low cost school/program, and pick up the same concepts as you counterparts without the excess rigor (which can bring low GPA risks). Once in industry as a dev, a move to a derivatives team or modeling team will be an option.