MFE enrollment at the age of 31


New Member

Good day to all of you.

I am an electrical engineer by practice and has found my true passion lies in the field of finance. Despite many attempt to get into banking sector, but due to lacking of relevant experience, almost all applications receive no feedback.

Last month, I applied for Master in Financial Engineering in National University of Singapore for the following reasons:
- I may still have a chance to get the scholarship to study there.
- Enrollment might be a bit easier for me as my undergraduate degree was not from a prominent university despite my First Class Honor

I am not sure if the choice is correct and I am still now waiting for my application result. Currently, I am already 31 years old. People used to say "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks". But I wish to receive some advice from experts in the forum here.

Thanks in Advance,


Andy Nguyen

Many of my cohorts and I entered the MFE program at in our 30s about 10 years ago and successfully transitioned into this field. So age is nothing but just a number.
The time may has changed and probably the specific skills/knowledge are evolving as well. Just make sure you enroll in a program that has placement support for mid-career or part-time students.


Active Member
C++ Student
I changed careers to finance at 27, and am heading back for MFE at 40. I can say from my experience it is a terrible idea to make such a switch and I couldn't be happier. It might be helpful for you to find a way to be uniquely useful. No one really cared about my feelings or passions, and perhaps that’s because feelings are not indicator of of present capability and a poor indicator of future capabilities. I started with small problems of project management and then worked my way to more complicated ones. Good luck!


C++ Student
I'm almost 31 and just finished a PhD in mathematics last summer. I always saw myself transitioning to finance, however, everyone seemed to believe that with a math degree, the transition would be seamless. This may have been the case if I had focused on applied mathematics! My research and academic focus was very much pure math. I have little programming experience and little experience with finance. I have been told by recruiters that to break into the industry, it would be best for me to get into an MFE program (CMU MSCF!).

But this is what I want to do. Once you make the choice, you have to commit! There can be no half measures, especially for people at our age. For me, and my goals, time is a factor and now that the ball is rolling, I must do all I can to turn my dreams into reality. I like thinking that this choice benefits me in two ways:

1) Many PhD's transition to the private sector. Comp Sci, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Electrical Eng., etc. They won't all have MFE degrees. I separate myself by enrolling in such a program.

2) With all the MFE programs out there, this degree is becoming more and more common. This is where your previous career can set you apart. Not a lot of people who finish a finance program can say they were an electrical engineer. I will finish with my degree and will also have a PhD in Mathematics. This will separate me from all the other MFE degrees. The experience that we have accumulated to this point will be something we can leverage. Use it to your advantage.

Perhaps you may find some reassurance in the story of James Harris Simons (Jim Simons). He started his career in academia and was very successful. In 1978, at the age of 40, he left academia and turned to finance. In 1982, he founded the hedge fund, Renaissance. The rest is history. Just remember that many people decide to change careers. It doesn't necessarily put you at a disadvantage. If you have the motivation to put the work in, then you are making the right choice.


New Member
Thanks everyone for such a great motivator.

By the way, sustaining my two years of study require some kind of financing.

Have you guys heard of anything about Prodigy Finance? Think of taking some study loan.

Does MFE in NUS Singapore still stand an edge? Since it is not Ivy League

Honestly, I have thought of trying some GRE or GMAT, but language part is always the killer. I am not sure how many people have halted due to the language barrier. (I am not native English speaker)


New Member
I'm in the same boat. Nothing to worry about. Master degrees are mostly targeted towards mid-career people for promotion or career change, which we are doing.