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MFE in 2020?

umaniax

New Member
Age: 22
Education: B.Tech Computer Science (India) [3.36/4 (from 8.4/10)]
Occupation: Software Engineer at a US based Investment Bank (Bengaluru, India)
Career Interests: I've always wanted to work as a Quant for a hedge fund or maybe even as a risk manager at a bank (I've been studying Hull's book on derivatives and refer Dan Stefanica's a Primer in MFE often and so far I'm hooked).
Choice For Masters (US): -
  • Financial Engineering/Computational Finance/Quantitative Finance
    • Pros:
      • Aligns most with my interests.
      • Better chance of admit in good schools (I think)
    • Cons:
      • Hedge Funds prefer PHDs over MFEs.
      • Less Job Opportunities as education is industry specific to a large extent.
  • Statistics/Applied Math
    • Pros:
      • Enjoy studying (not as much as MFE).
      • Versatile applicability.
      • Good stepping stone for PhD if interested
    • Cons:
      • Employability (not sure about job prospects).
      • Don't have a stellar profile to get admit in good schools.
  • Computer Science
    • Pros:
      • Ample Jobs.
      • Good Starting Salaries
    • Cons:
      • Least academic/job satisfaction (more inclined towards math-heavy subjects)
      • Although I have a decent profile for MS CS, might not get into good schools due to low acceptance rate (humongous number of applications)
Having a hard time deciding. Any help would be appreciated in pointing out more details about these subjects and also pointing out if my understanding of these subjects and their implications in the industry are wrong in any way. RoI is also a factor to consider being an international student. Thanks,
 
Last edited:

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Your background is similar to a few of the students in my program I think are among the top decile. The top top top HF (DE Shaw / RenTech / Two Sigma) are definitely tilted more towards PhD, but that's far from the case. I see a lot of folks getting great internships. But it's competitive AF, so you need to have your algorithms, coding, brain teasers, and financial math down cold. before you start the program. With the virus stuff, it's going to be a goat rodeo logistically (getting visa, etc), but you'll be out of the industry for 2 years, potentially coming right back in on the upswing.

I think CS isn't a huge differentiator - there are a lot of CS majors out there. I thought about going data science route, but ultimately decided I should try to do a program w/ heavy data science / ML component in my domain. I'm very glad w/ choice to do an MFE, as I wouldn't have gotten nearly the pricing foundation I'm acquiring now. I'm mid-career, previously buy-side middle office role at quant manager.
 

umaniax

New Member
With the virus stuff, it's going to be a goat rodeo logistically (getting visa, etc), but you'll be out of the industry for 2 years, potentially coming right back in on the upswing.
Thanks for the insight there. I actually plan to apply during fall 2022. Till then will try to get up-to speed with the basics. I also thought of moving in one of the Strats team in my firm, which I thought might help boost my chances for admits in top schools a bit, but work there is predominantly soft. dev. based and significantly more demanding than the usual soft. dev. teams (I can use this extra time for all my prep) and also very proprietary in nature.

I'll take GRE soon. Post that, I need a solid prep plan. I went through Columbia's MFE curriculum and was thinking of giving it a shot on my own. Is that the right thing to do? Or should I be doing stuff that might have more visibility on paper while applying for top schools/jobs?
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Thanks for the insight there. I actually plan to apply during fall 2022. Till then will try to get up-to speed with the basics. I also thought of moving in one of the Strats team in my firm, which I thought might help boost my chances for admits in top schools a bit, but work there is predominantly soft. dev. based and significantly more demanding than the usual soft. dev. teams (I can use this extra time for all my prep) and also very proprietary in nature.

I'll take GRE soon. Post that, I need a solid prep plan. I went through Columbia's MFE curriculum and was thinking of giving it a shot on my own. Is that the right thing to do? Or should I be doing stuff that might have more visibility on paper while applying for top schools/jobs?
depends on your background. get a perfect on the gre quant, go through pre-reqs for UCB, CMU, etc. Make sure you have documented completion, and then from there, I'd focus on hard skills as much as possible rather than collecting certifications in hopes someone will approve
 
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