COMPARE MIT Mfin vs. masters business analytics (mban)

Eddie Shim

New Member
What's the opinion here on MIT's MFin program vs. MBAn?

MBAn seems like a much newer program without any graduating class stats to back it up. But a much smaller cohort (~30), and it does cover some fundamental overlaps with quant programs such as algorithms, ML, optimization, probability, and stochastic models. Looks like the program is growing as well, with the program director looking to expand its cohort to 60 and above over the next few years.
Program Curriculum - Master of Business Analytics| MIT Sloan School of Management

Both are under MIT Sloan.

Thoughts? Can an MBAn degree be worth it for someone aspiring to be a quant developer/strategist/data scientist? How would the program rank amongst the current quant programs on this website?
 

Tatiana

New Member
C++ Student
I have applied to the program but haven't received an interview invite, although I'm pretty much that they are already sent out. I believe that the program is great, I've listened to their webinar and everything looked amazing to me. It is more focused on data science than on finance, but you can choose electives in finance. I think it is more rigorous, selective and quantitative than MFin.
 

Onegin

Member
C++ Student
I have applied to the program but haven't received an interview invite, although I'm pretty much that they are already sent out. I believe that the program is great, I've listened to their webinar and everything looked amazing to me. It is more focused on data science than on finance, but you can choose electives in finance. I think it is more rigorous, selective and quantitative than MFin.
Tatiana, did you apply to the MFin as well? Sloan sometimes considers folks for multiple programs, so an interview w/ one could be used in an interview for another. fwiw, a friend received MBAn invite a few days ago.
 

Onegin

Member
C++ Student
Congrats! Maybe a way to think about this - MBAn came out of the operations research program at MIT - they used to have a 2 year MSOR. Heavy stochastic processes and optimization. Data science for sure, but it seems different from a CS based data science program. A lot of MFE programs either started in OR or are still part of that - Princeton, Cornell, Columbia (I think) because decision making under uncertainty and constraints is very useful.
Both MBAn and MFIN are kind of an early career degree, a lot of their students are right out of undergrad. For the MFIN, I kind of saw the program as a way for folks who already know engineering to get finance exposure - they have a lot of corporate finance requirements which I think are critically underrepresented in other programs. It wasn’t a great fit for me because I came from finance into quant, and I’m old(er), but they have a lot of incredible people in and running that program.

I looked at doing a data science degree instead of quant finance degree, since it would be a nice way not to have to move my family for 18 months. My impression was that I would come away with a lot of useful skills, but with limited experience applying them in my chosen domain. The faculty and students seemed more excited about Facebook type projects, and seemed to have a slight disdain for finance applications. That said, a lot of their students did go into banks.

I finally chose to go quant finance route because I wasn’t patient enough to learn a set of approaches and then take more time to apply them to the domain. I also was concerned about the trendiness of data science, in that I might miss important areas of focus. Hope this is useful.
 

devconnolly

New Member
Thanks for the detailed reply, Onegin.

I should have clarified, I will be attending straight from Undergrad, with a degree in Management Science. Equal parts math/cs/finance/finance exposure - a weird mix.

Some great points in your response, much appreciated.

My own logic:

1) It seems like you could go in and choose electives to form a finance-based Business Analytics degree, or an analytics based Finance degree. I would say Analytics is better suited to where I'm coming from (exposure to stochastics, ML, AI etc), but Finance is better suited to where I want to go (ultimately looking at either HF/Investment Management, with little regard to location as of right now).

2) The 18-month aspect of the MFin seems advantageous to me, coming over from Ireland. The opportunity to recruit first for an internship and "learn the ropes" and build a network would definitely help.

3) I don't particularly want a career in pure Data Analytics, which is leading me to shy away slightly from the MBan. I would rather take the analytics skillset and go into Finance, and I have reached out to ask about career placement and the likes. How did you find out a lot of the MBan students went to banks, if that is what you meant?

Another point actually, that I would like your advise on. Neither of the programs made any indication that they were aware I interviewed and was admitted to the other. Is that something you think I should mention, and perhaps ask for advice from the school itself?
 

Onegin

Member
C++ Student
That’s wild - Sloan is usually very good about coordinating between programs. You’re correct about the internship thing- It’s a big part of the pipeline for most firms. And you will need to secure one in September / October. If you want to stay stateside, you’ll need a place that sponsors H1B and finance firms would want you to have proved yourself with an internship. Are you considering any other programs?
I applied but didn’t get in to the MBAn, and I’ve worked with the MFin project teams before.
 

devconnolly

New Member
Yep I was surprised. I'm nearly sure in my application I listed the respective other program too, in the section where they ask for other places you have applied.

Yep - I have an internship in JPMorgan which definitely helps my case already, although that was in the UK.

I have been accepted to: Oxford MFE, LSE Finance, HEC Paris MIF, Notre Dame MSBA and both MIT.

Received approx 30k in funding for HEC, ND and the MIT MFin, which once again draws me to the MFin over the MBan.

Very tough decision me thinks.
 

junowacc

New Member
Big congrats! both good programs, lots of reasons to go either way... but hearing MBAN program 'hotter' right now among recruiters - MFIN students at Sloan spending longer on recruiting, waiting longer and getting fewer offers than MBAN buddies...good luck, no bad choices here
 

devconnolly

New Member
Thanks Juno! I am (as you can probably tell) leaning towards the Finance program, but you make a good point. I've called a couple of MFin Alum who said the opposite - the new nature of the MBAN may mean some recruiters don't know a whole lot about it.

I'm cautious of the fact that the MBAN may keep more doors open careers wise, although I really have no idea how likely recruiting into Finance related roles from the MBAN would be.

My thinking was to take the 18-month MFin, take the certificate in Business Analytics, and take some of the more analytically-minded courses (Advanced Data Science and Machine Learning in Finance, for example), and sort of the marry the two in the middle somewhere. Really unsure!
 

Paul Swan

New Member
Thanks Juno! I am (as you can probably tell) leaning towards the Finance program, but you make a good point. I've called a couple of MFin Alum who said the opposite - the new nature of the MBAN may mean some recruiters don't know a whole lot about it.

I'm cautious of the fact that the MBAN may keep more doors open careers wise, although I really have no idea how likely recruiting into Finance related roles from the MBAN would be.

My thinking was to take the 18-month MFin, take the certificate in Business Analytics, and take some of the more analytically-minded courses (Advanced Data Science and Machine Learning in Finance, for example), and sort of the marry the two in the middle somewhere. Really unsure!
Hi! I’m a current MFin student. Really understand you in this case. I did exactly what you described. I’m taking various math and ML classes outside of program (including CS / Math depts of MIT), flexibility of MFin really allows that (especially for 18m). MBAn is really cool in terms of people and curriculum too, but as I feel people and the program itself are much less focused on career in finance.

You can PM me if you have any questions. And congrats!
 

devconnolly

New Member
Hi! I’m a current MFin student. Really understand you in this case. I did exactly what you described. I’m taking various math and ML classes outside of program (including CS / Math depts of MIT), flexibility of MFin really allows that (especially for 18m). MBAn is really cool in terms of people and curriculum too, but as I feel people and the program itself are much less focused on career in finance.

You can PM me if you have any questions. And congrats!
Hey man,

Thanks for the reply. Would love to connect further (maybe get you on LI or something).

Quick one for you - so I know taking those Math/CS/ML classes definitely helps develop your own skillset, do you think it has any weighting career/recruiting wise? How interested are companies in what specific classes you took, as opposed to just the fact you're on the MFin? I'm thinking more along the lines of if you tried to move away from traditional finance and into analytics. Hope that makes sense.
 

junowacc

New Member
Thanks Juno! I am (as you can probably tell) leaning towards the Finance program, but you make a good point. I've called a couple of MFin Alum who said the opposite - the new nature of the MBAN may mean some recruiters don't know a whole lot about it.

I'm cautious of the fact that the MBAN may keep more doors open careers wise, although I really have no idea how likely recruiting into Finance related roles from the MBAN would be.

My thinking was to take the 18-month MFin, take the certificate in Business Analytics, and take some of the more analytically-minded courses (Advanced Data Science and Machine Learning in Finance, for example), and sort of the marry the two in the middle somewhere. Really unsure!
MBAN definitely newer, but has 'rarity value' going for it (far fewer grads hitting the market), along with obvious analytics strengths. you can totally make a similar syllabus with MFIN, but employers like 'easy to understand'. Employment numbers very good for both, but hearing most MBANs get multiple offers - not the case for MFINS.

one last idea - you mentioned you got some funding for MIT MFIN (well done!) - can you go back to MIT MBAN and ask them to match? seems like if you deserve it for one degree, you should deserve it for the other? might make decision easier :) good luck once more!
 

devconnolly

New Member
Yeah good points. I've heard either side of the argument for the 'rarity value''; as you had, less grads hitting the market so potentially more in demand, but on the reverse, less of an alumni network and knowledge about the course and all that.

Regarding the funding, I have a call tomorrow to discuss exactly that with Sloan. It seems like an awful lot of MBan students (1/3 or higher) end up staying with their capstone project sponsor post graduation, which may inflate the employment figures slightly, but I am not sure.

May just have to flip a coin :)
 

Onegin

Member
C++ Student
FYI - consider asking for specific info on investment management / trading capstones. “Finance” is broad and could include retail banking. My impression from info sessions a few years ago was they were happy for quant finance capstones, but not actively looking for them.
 

junowacc

New Member
Yeah good points. I've heard either side of the argument for the 'rarity value''; as you had, less grads hitting the market so potentially more in demand, but on the reverse, less of an alumni network and knowledge about the course and all that.

Regarding the funding, I have a call tomorrow to discuss exactly that with Sloan. It seems like an awful lot of MBan students (1/3 or higher) end up staying with their capstone project sponsor post graduation, which may inflate the employment figures slightly, but I am not sure.

May just have to flip a coin :)
Hope your $$ call went well, Dev...i think capstone project structure works well because it gives employers incentive to be invested in a good employment outcome for you...and both sides get to know each other a lot better than a typical interview process...so I actually see that as a Positive, not a way for the school to bump the stats...but i get that it's not for everyone.

Sounds like your doing all the right things...good luck with that coin flip!
 

devconnolly

New Member
Hope your $$ call went well, Dev...i think capstone project structure works well because it gives employers incentive to be invested in a good employment outcome for you...and both sides get to know each other a lot better than a typical interview process...so I actually see that as a Positive, not a way for the school to bump the stats...but i get that it's not for everyone.

Sounds like your doing all the right things...good luck with that coin flip!
Went well - I think I'm going to enrol in the MFin. On the call (with the Dean of both programs), I was essentially told that the MFin with the Business Analytics Certificate and an analytics module or two would leave both industries wide open for me. With 18 months (more time to enjoy the city, network, apply for jobs, and explore), and the pride of calling myself of an MIT fellow, it just clicks for me!

I actually have a Capstone structure in my undergraduate that I was disappointed by (I know the quality at MIT would be second to none, but perhaps it has prejudiced me slightly).

Thanks to everyone for helping out with advice and comments :)
 

Paul Swan

New Member
Went well - I think I'm going to enrol in the MFin. On the call (with the Dean of both programs), I was essentially told that the MFin with the Business Analytics Certificate and an analytics module or two would leave both industries wide open for me. With 18 months (more time to enjoy the city, network, apply for jobs, and explore), and the pride of calling myself of an MIT fellow, it just clicks for me!

I actually have a Capstone structure in my undergraduate that I was disappointed by (I know the quality at MIT would be second to none, but perhaps it has prejudiced me slightly).

Thanks to everyone for helping out with advice and comments :)
Congrats with the reasonable decision and see you this fall ;)
 
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