• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

MFE v PhD? /direction

What is better prep for going into the 'quant' industry, MFE or PhD in a quantitative subject

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Hi all, just joined the forum. I did search the forum and did not find an answer, though I am sure it has been answered, so please forgive the redundancy.

I am completing a Masters of Science in Applied Mathematics. I have considerable experience with MatLab and am beginning to learn C++.

I have been planning on applying to PhD programs because it seems that many quant jobs are looking for PhDs....is this appropriate or is an MFE what I should be persuing?

Also, what are some other things I can do? (I realize this has been answered before and I will continue to read the forum). I thought I would begin writing simple MatLab algorithmic training scripts so I would have something to show when I eventually apply.

My thesis involves numerical integration of nonlinear PDEs.

Thank you

This has been answered before, but I'll sum up what I remember.

Alot of the ads for quant positions requiring a PhD are from recruiters not the actual firms. Getting a PhD is a long a process and a major life decision; don't do it for the money or the hope of later getting a quant job. To get a PhD in a subject, you must really love that subject; basically your intention going into a PhD shouldn't be to get a specific job but to further explore that subject that you love.

Other things you can do? Strengthen your programming skills (Matlab, C++, R, etc) and read. The master reading list here has books on finance, programming, etc.

Problem I see with MFEs today are there are so many programs pumping out so many students that (1) it is harder to stand out in your program and between students from other programs and (2) you really need to go to a top 5 program to get the kinds of jobs that I imagine most people going in want.
Thank you for taking your time to sum it up.

I should have a competitive application for a top 5 program based on my academic accomplishments thus far.

I may still pursue a PhD because I do really enjoy applied math and was my original plan before learning about the quant profession. Having said that, I am becoming more and more interested in the field.

Much appreciated,
Thanks Andy for finding the links I was too lazy to.... :D

If you're motivated and interested enough to get a PhD in applied math I think that is a better plan (though not for everyone) because it gives you some of the tools for quant finance (and some applied math departments I've seen do research in finance) but prepares you to do other jobs, where a MFE is more limiting (though this limitation is probably more in the title of the degree not skills).