# On Line Courses on Financial Engineering

#### MikeK

I am considering Steven's Institute for FE program. Is it really good?. Is it worth the money?. How are the professors?. How long do you think it would take on average to complete the program?.

I'm in my second class there and so far its been good. The program itself is solid; unfortunately, its overshadowed by better-known programs in the NYC area--Baruch, NYU, Columbia. Here's my take:

Pros-
* A well-respected engineering school, esp in the NY/NJ area.
* School is heavily recruited by most of the major Wall Street firms, esp the engineering, math and computer science graduates (Morgan Stanley is sponsoring their career fair this year, Barclays did last year I think)
* Some classes can be taken on their WebCampus, which is good for working folks who need to balance work/school/home, etc. That's precisely why I chose their program.
* Classes (at least the 2 I've taken) are taught well. The courses are very challenging.
* Some FE courses are offered during the summer, so you can utilize 3 semesters and finish your degree sooner.

Cons-
* Its a new program, so little is known about it. They don't have admissions stats or job placement info posted yet, so not much is known about how graduates fair in the job market. From talking with other students, I hear they do well, but Stevens needs to post that info. My guess is that its getting more competitive, as more and more qualified students apply after they are turned away from the schools like Baruch (which has a 14% acceptance rate).
* They need more courses geared specifically to FE. For example, they have a class in PDE that is part of their math dept, but it'd be better to have a "PDE for Finance" class. I'd also like to see classes in stat arb, algo trading, etc.

I hope this helps. If there's any other Stevens students out there, please share your experiences.

* They need more courses geared specifically to FE. For example, they have a class in PDE that is part of their math dept, but it'd be better to have a "PDE for Finance" class. I'd also like to see classes in stat arb, algo trading, etc.

I am new to FE. I want to know more about the FE curriculum. In addition, I can only pursue an online degree. What would you recommend for candidate like me who has an accounting background?.

#### MikeK

I am new to FE. I want to know more about the FE curriculum. In addition, I can only pursue an online degree. What would you recommend for candidate like me who has an accounting background?.

The best thing to do is go to the websites of various programs--Baruch, NYU, Columbia, etc. They all post their curriculum and you can see how they differ. However, if you can ONLY do an online degree, you are pretty limited. Columbia has an online degree, I think. Stevens allows you to take some courses on their WebCampus, but I'm not sure you can complete an entire FE degree that way. Another option, if you can only do online programs, is to look into the CQF program: Certificate in Quantitative Finance. There are a lot of threads on this already; I'm not familiar with it but remember reading about it. Good luck.

#### coolharvard

Milk that cashcow !!! That's more than the tuition for a semester at Baruch.
Columbia has really oversold their name quite a bit. Next thing would be to open branches in China, India and telecast the lectures there while billing the same tuition.
Oh, wait, they may have already done that.

In case you didn't know, CVN students and on-campus students pay exactly the same tuition ($1310 per unit). The difference is that CVN students pay CVN fee (about$350, but $350 is marginal comparing to the$3930 per 3-unit course tuition) while on-campus students don't. On the other hand, on-campus students have to pay misc. on-campus fee while CVN students don't.

So in essence, CVN students pay exact same tuition as on-campus students.

#### Winston

USC now has an online FE program:

Master of Science in Financial Engineering

Seems to emphasize engineering - the finance course offerings strike me as a bit weak, ie no Derivatives. Also appears that not
all courses are available online.

#### DominiConnor

All CQF lectures are taped Certificate in Quantitative Finance - CQF | Financial Mathematics and Financial Engineering course

I read of some schools getting heavy about students sharing lecture notes citing bogus copyright law, and at the other extreme MIT is make a large % of its lectures available online.

A good % of all lectures are essentially someone talking and chalking in a wholly non-intereactive way, which are obvious candidates for videos.
Academics are torn over this because although some are really quite bored of teaching necessary but static topics that are the same each year, this pays for much of their wages. Also they would like lectures to be more interactive.

The optimum might be to separate tutorials from lectures, and the way many courses are run, you get lectured by one person and another helps you understand what he said.

But that alters the finances and power structure big time, and academic politics can make anything you see in banks look like Victorian gentlemen discussing the weather.

The corrupt fiasco of education in China has created an opportunity on a scale we have never before witnessed. That's why I'm not critical of the western universties attempting to cash in on it, and of course the CQF is there...

But we must learn from McDonalds here.
Yes really.
The key to their success has been quality control, bounded both above and below. you know what you will get, and having experienced some other chains before McD came over, that was a serious uptick.
But McDs is a franchise, and they have learned how to give bounded customer experiences across most of the planet. Burger King didn't achieve that, and they have suffered accordingly.

That's very tough, and always, every single day in every decision you make there is the temptation to cut your costs with what you think is a cut in quality so small that you think no one will notice.

Having 31 in a class rather than 30, can add 10% to your profit, hiring slightly less expensive staff, etc goes the same way.

Also there is the transitive branding effect...
Part of the value of some courses is that you beat some decent number of people to get on it, increasing the numbers can hurt that.

Thus courses are quite unlike books; buying a copy of Wilmott, Shreve, et al merely means you are smart enough to click buttons on Amazon.

But what if (say) Berkeley admitted 5,000 students globally ?

They are probably smart enough to realise that if they did go that big, then exclusivity could be attained not by going to Berkeley (or Baruch or Chicago), but your ranking within it.
What employers and HHs want is some way of comparing two candidates, and if some place will do the heavy lifiting of saying that you were the 42nd best MFE of 2015 out of 5,000 then we will take that as a signal that you're pretty good.
But the system must have the quality control necessary for me to believe the numbers, and be free from corruption and chaeting.

#### BarryLi

The National University of Singapore has an online Master of Science in Financial Engineering. This looks like a respectable program.

NUS Risk Management Institute

Is there anyone here who has taken or is currently taking this program online?

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