MFE valuable?

Hi,

I want to develop my quantitative skills and try to pivot from a current market risk role to a quant trading role or strat role at an BB instead.

So here come my questions:
1. Is an MFE worth it in your opinion? Some of my friends said I can probably apply to strat role now without a MFE given I have covered a good level of math and stats in undergrad. Although it’s been a year and a half so I would need to revise some of this.
2. Is the MFE too niche? Could I still move into a traditional investment banking role or even a tech role at a Google or Facebook for example?
3. How good are these programs for placements? In particular the Berkeley one, do they have a good record still? Especially for an international looking for a visa?

Thanks!
 
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Hi,

I’m currently a risk manager in a commodity trading firm. I have an undergrad from a top uni in engineering. My current role is mainly done on Excel and revolves around trader P&L. Most people do it for a few years and get a shot at physical trading, but the risk management role is long hours, dry and involves no coding really. Moreover my team is unsupportive and a bit toxic.

I think I want to develop my quantitative skills and try to pivot into a quant trading role or strat role at an BB instead.

So here come my questions:
1. Is an MFE worth it in your opinion? Some of my friends said I can probably apply to strat role now without a MFE given I have covered a good level of math and stats in undergrad. Although it’s been a year and a half so I would need to revise some of this.
2. Is the MFE too niche? Could I still move into a traditional investment banking role or even a tech role at a Google or Facebook for example?
3. How good are these programs for placements? In particular the Berkeley one, do they have a good record still? Especially for an international looking for a visa?

Thanks!
Try applying to the roles you want and see what happens. A lot of those roles will prefer graduate degrees, but maybe your experience will compensate for the difference.

If you want to keep your options open then I wouldn't go for an MFE. There are plenty of graduate STEM programs that will help in quant, but also in other areas. If you are looking into tech, maybe a masters in CS or Applied Math may be smarter.

You can always talk to people in strat/trading roles and see what they think. It is not uncommon that they would be a part of your interview process and would have a good understanding of what the hiring manager is looking for.
 
If your goal is to work at a BB bank, an MFE would likely be a valuable investment. An MFE is tailor made for working as a "sell side" quant, and you'd learn a lot of the skills you'd need there. Also, such intuitions really value having a masters degree. It also won't hurt your chances of getting a QT role, but you might be able to get a junior QT role right out of undergrad.

As to how transferable the skillset would be to non-quant jobs, it would be similar to other STEM masters programs. So, you may be able to transfer to other careers as needed.

You should be able to get Berkeley's placement numbers from the program. But, if your goal is a BB bank, an MFE from Berkeley is very much worth your time. Do it.
 
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