Master's degree: Useful later in career, or just to get in the door?


New Member
Hi all,

I've spent the past seven years working as a developer at a prop trading firm and I'd like to move into a quant role. I'm considering a few options for how to do that; any advice is appreciated!

My main question is, if I can move into a quant position at my current firm without going back to school, should I do that, or would it still be worth it to invest in an MFE even so? I'm strongly considering doing UChicago's FinMath program part time since I'm based in Chicago. Quitting my job to go back to school full time is possible, but would come with big lifestyle costs (my wife's career is in Chicago, making an east coast program more difficult).

I don't think I have the qualifications to snag a quant role at another firm currently; my undergrad is in math and CS from a top school, but all the quant job postings I've seen want an advanced degree, which I don't have. I'm taking the CQF later this year, but although that seems helpful from a learning perspective, everything I read online says its value in getting a job is pretty much nil.

So, if I can get my foot in the door with a quant role at my current firm, will that experience (plus the CQF) make me a strong enough candidate for any quant jobs I would want down the line, or should I also (or instead) just bite the bullet and go for an MFE?

Thanks in advance for any input!


Active Member
cqf is waste of time and money. an advanced degree is far more useful than a niche certificate. part time uchicago program can make sense. is there any other part-time quanty program available from uchicago or northwestern?

yes internal transition is often easier and set you up on the right path. you should totally do it.