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Masters Degree


New Member
Okay so here is my dilemma... I live in Southern California went to UCLA got a degree in Mathematics Applied Science with an emphasis in Actuarial Science (wasnt sure what I wanted to do but I liked the coursework). Just to be thorough these are the classes I took.

Intro to programming C++
Mathematical Finance I&II
Calc I,II, &III
Differential Equations
Linear Algebra
Real Analysis
Applied numerical methods I&II (we used matlab in this class)
Probability theory I&II
Linear Optimization
... and a bunch of accounting classes

I am currently working in Tax (about 1 year) which I enjoy and the pay is good for having a Bachelors Degree, however I don't feel like I'm using any math skills that I learned and sometimes I feel like a peon. I also really liked my mathematical finance classes and I am considering getting a Masters in Financial Engineering. I have looked at several programs and the classes they entail. I found a few schools that had some good coursework. I have a few questions with respect to coursework and what I would need to learn, as I want to learn a lot more VB, C++, Matlab, etc. and I think this would be helpful towards a career in quantitative finance, does anyone have any advice on how many programming classes I need/should take and which ones (I am a bit rusty on the C++ and matlab)? are there any schools out there with better programming classes for MFE students and is this necessary? Is there a large difference between Berkeley and the programs at Ivy League schools? I was also looking at international programs and I think it would be a really cool experience. The University of Zurich's MAS Finance program seems to have a curriculum that I am interested in and it is rather cheap. how is the education in Europe compared to the U.S. and would this affect my ability to get a job in the u.S.? Also it seems like a lot of quants have Phds, is this necessary or would a MFE be sufficient? how competitive are the MFE and similar programs to get into?


MFE Alum
Take as many programming/C++ classes as you can, at least, one, better two.

The entry level coures are almost the same at every school.

There are differences between schools offering MFE related degrees. Besides schools' reputations, they also differ in courses offered. You need to check their websites and see if you actually like the courses, if you can handle them, and if it will be beneficial for you to have that kind of background.

I don't know about Europe (as a whole), but have a feeling that it is a little bit behind the US in MFE education.

PhD is not necessary to be a quant, MFE is sufficient. PhD is for those who actually want to do a PhD in the first place.

Most programs are highly selective, especially those that will help you get a job after graduation.