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merits of MFE vs work right after undergrad

Hey guys,

I am a junior majoring in operation research at an ivy. I recently got early-admission from the MFE program at the same university, and I am currently debating whether to just get a full time job next fall semester or to go with the MFE program. It will be greatly appreciated if anyone can shed some insight onto some of my questions below.

1. What are the merits of an MFE degree? By the end of this academic year, I will have taken half of the courses in the MFE curriculum. Do you think it's worth the additional $$ to put MFE on my resume? Will employers acknowledge coursework over the degree name if I decided to get a FT job straight out of undergrad?

2. Is the pay scale different from those with just an undergrad degree? What about couple of years down the line? It seems like, without prior work experience, one starts off as an "Analyst" after the MFE program. How is this different from "Analyst" FT job right after undergrad?

3. What are some of the opportunities only available to MFE graduates (with respect to BS grad)? Will it open up doors to places like GS QIS or MS PDT?

Any input will be greatly appreciated!!
 
3. Forget about GS QIS and MS PDT (by the way, the PDT unit is going off MS. See this link). These places are loaded with PhDs and MFE is pretty much a minimum degree. You may get in if you father is one of the bosses running this group.
On this note, I'm rather curious to know about positions that BS FE grads receive as the bachelor degree in this niche is a new phenomenon.

2. MFE grads in many cases start as associate positions. However, the hierarchy is not as well established as in investment banking where you start as analyst and graduate to associate in 2 years.

MFE grads have some weird titles. I know many go in as associate and quickly go to VP after a year. Some go in as AVP.
Titles does not matter much. It matters which groups you belong to as it decides your pay and bonus pool.

1. Find a job and get some work experience. No amount of school can replace what you learn out there. If you are a quick learner, you can frog leap a lot of people who are sitting in schools right now.
 
Thanks for your input Andy!

So are you saying there isn't much merit in pursuing MFE degree in my situation? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like majority of the MFE grads usually go for S&T/Risk roles, which are also open to undergraduates. I am curious if MFE can open up doors to buyside quantitative funds in Asset Management and such (e.g. jobs that aren't open to someone with just an undergraduate degree).

I'm also confused regarding the qualification for quant/prop desks at BBs. Some people say that you need a PhD to work at these places, but others say you shouldn't get a PhD in order to work in the industry. Does this make sense?
 
If you can get a job right out of undergrad doing what you want to do (or something closely related) then do that. You can always go back for grad school, and in a few years of work you will have a better idea of what you want to focus in (and will be more marketable as a job applicant with work experience).

General advice is not to get a PhD in order to work in industry. A PhD is research focused and a long process, and at the end you are guaranteed a job.
 
For academia oriented people. It's better to know in advance what you want to do a research on before going to PhD. That really helps you make clear that you really want to do PhD. Sometimes people regret taking it and losing 4-5 years since their attraction is not academia. For working purposes, masters degrees are enough.
 
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