Profile Eligibility And Career Advice

Hey Guys!
This is Harsh from Mumbai, India. I have a few questions regarding some Quant Programs in UK, and some advice on whether I should even pursue QF as a career.
I have an Undergrad in Management Studies, Majoring in Finance from the University Of Mumbai (CGPA : 7.8/10) ; including subjects like Business Statistics, Business Economics, Business Mathematics, Strategic Cost Management, Cost Accounting, Investment Analysis, and Operational Research. Additionally, I have successfully completed the WorldQuant University Data Science Modules, as well as the Data Science Specialisation by Johns Hopkins through Coursera. I am also on track to complete the Financial Engineering and Risk Management Specialisation by Columbia University through Coursera. I currently hold offers from 3 of the top 15 MBA institutes in my country, but I really want to make a career in Quant Finance. With all my qualifications, I most certainly am not eligible for any top MFE/MMF/MQF programs because of the lack of Mathematical background for the same. Here are a few questions pertaining the same:
- Should I pursue a BSc in Mathematics/ BEng in Robotics/CS through distance/online learning while completing my MBA clubbed with 2 to 3 years of work ex. to improve my overall profile?
- Will pursuing a PGD in Mathematics from UOL or the Quant Math Primer from University of York improve my chances?
- The MBA institutes that I can go to, offer 100% placement and are at the top in terms of profiles like IB, Equity Research, etc. with very lucrative compensation, should I go for it; or alternatively, take a risk and enroll in a relatively lower ranked institute like the University of York, or CASS for MMF so that I can at least get into the industry and then move on to pursue MBA after significant work ex?
- Lastly, I just want to pursue this because as soon as I graduated, I realised that I need to take my life more seriously and hence want to hedge my position with respect to the future of Finance, which heavily leans towards Quant Roles. Also, I like the basic programming and data science that I have been able to learn through these online courses. Eventually, I would want more of a managerial role but I would like to start my career as a Quant so as to be able to understand Finance from a different perspective. Anyways, it's not as if I know anything about the industry. I am simply a fresher with aspirations and need guidance. Everybody here in India suggests getting an MBA because it'll give me the clarity I need in terms of what I want from my career, so then I can go pursue QF/MF/FE. But I really wanted to hear the other side as well, because I want to be right with my decisions for once in my short 23 year lifespan.
I hope, I was able to lay down my queries in an articulate manner and look forward to your responses.
Thank You.
Best wishes from my side.
Sincerely,
Harsh.
 
Will pursuing a PGD in Mathematics from UOL or the Quant Math Primer from University of York improve my chances?
- The MBA institutes that I can go to, offer 100% placement and are at the top in terms of profiles like IB, Equity Research, etc. with very lucrative compensation, should I go for it; or alternatively, take a risk and enroll in a relatively lower ranked institute like the University of York, or CASS for MMF so that I can at least get into the industry and then move on to pursue MBA after significant work ex?
You say two different things here? Why would you want to pursue an MMF and then do an MBA if you want to work as a quant?

Anyhow, let me try and tackle some of the points you mention.
1) Your vast set of online courses on Coursera and WorldQuant University might not help as much, unfortunately. But since you don't have a math background, it could make the case for your interests and motivation to do so. It'll definitely be looked at as a positive sign but it isn't a substitute for college level math courses.
2) Doing a BSc while doing your MBA is preposterous. There's no way you'll be able to manage the course load and you'll most probably end up half assing both degrees. I strongly advise against it.
3) I took a look at the PGD course by UOL, it covers linear algebra, calculus , statistics and has some decent electives. This could be a good option to make up some ground for you. If you were to do this, I would suggest completing this certificate program while studying/working and then applying to some MFE programs.

Given all this information, it seems like a lot of work to just apply to MFE programs - it's intensive and could eat up some of your valuable time.
The advice you got from everyone else to pursue the MBA is spot on. It guarantees a comfortable job in India if everything else goes south. And also, you can apply to MFE programs after doing your MBA as well. It gives you a lot of flexibility. Since the UOL certificate program gives you enough time to complete the modules, you could do that in parallel with your MBA program or even after you finish it.

When does your MBA start? To get the best of both worlds, I would try to apply for some MFE programs this cycle. It won't hurt. If you have the energy to do so, you should. But then again, I feel the MBA route in India is the best choice you have as of now.

If you want to work as a quant in India, given your background, you should take a look at the MS Quantitative Economics program at ISI. It has pretty good placements and it could work for you. But it has an entrance exam and I'm not sure how much effort you want to put into, it's just a suggestion.
 
Hey!
Thank You so much for the reply. It has given me a lot of clarity!
I thought it would be a good idea to pursue MBA after MMF (with some work ex), because if I were to get into some MMF programs now, they won't be from the top schools which could minimise my chances of getting a decent profile or a job. Also, I thought it may be of help to get it as a booster mid career. Although, after your reply I think that is not such a good idea.
What would be your opinion on a BSc degree after MBA vs PGD Mathematics?
My MBA program would start in June, 2022 , so I do have sometime and I will apply to CASS ,University of York, UoA, etc.
I have been looking into the MSQE program by ISI, but unfortunately I don't clear the minimum eligibility for that. They need a Bachelor's degree with Economics and Mathematics as full subjects. And I have contacted them regarding the same, which cleared the doubt. So yeah, I am not eligible for MSQE.
Lastly, I would really like to thank you again for that reply!!
 
What would be your opinion on a BSc degree after MBA vs PGD Mathematics?
I would complete the Mathematics diploma. Don't think the BSc degree is worth the effort. You'll have an option of applying to some MFE programs if you still want to in the future.
My MBA program would start in June, 2022 , so I do have sometime and I will apply to CASS ,University of York, UoA, etc.
This sounds great, you can gauge your options better.

If I may ask, are the top 15 admits you have the any of the new IIMs/ IIFT/MDI?
 
If I may ask, are the top 15 admits you have the any of the new IIMs/ IIFT/MDI
It's NMIMS, Mumbai and New IIMs. I will be appearing for IIFT soon.
Also, I get it completely that BSc would be too much for just an admit. I think the best bet is to go for the PGD.
Thank You so much for the reply again!!
 
This is what I will say:

MBAs will not help you if your goal is quant. MBAs are even becoming less powerful in banking in general. Are you actually interested in maths/stats/programming? Your background has not given you much exposure into that world, how are you certain this is the path for you? As far as getting a BS in math, that is a lot more school to commit to. Furthermore, most quant roles (if not all), will not take undergrad degrees, they expect advanced degrees in quantitative areas. So your bachelors in math would need a masters in math - a roughly 6 year commitment. Also, robotics - where is that coming from? That is a completely different field. Are you interested in robotics?

If I were you, I would look into come rotational programs that banks offer. Some of the programs will give you a little more quantitative exposure while not being "quant." This is probably your best bet for a future in quant and will give you a better outlook on the industry before signing up for more school. Sounds like you are kind of in-between paths. In my opinion, do not commit to education if you are unsure of the path. I would think this out while working until you get some better understanding of your true interests.
 
This is what I will say:

MBAs will not help you if your goal is quant. MBAs are even becoming less powerful in banking in general. Are you actually interested in maths/stats/programming? Your background has not given you much exposure into that world, how are you certain this is the path for you? As far as getting a BS in math, that is a lot more school to commit to. Furthermore, most quant roles (if not all), will not take undergrad degrees, they expect advanced degrees in quantitative areas. So your bachelors in math would need a masters in math - a roughly 6 year commitment. Also, robotics - where is that coming from? That is a completely different field. Are you interested in robotics?

If I were you, I would look into come rotational programs that banks offer. Some of the programs will give you a little more quantitative exposure while not being "quant." This is probably your best bet for a future in quant and will give you a better outlook on the industry before signing up for more school. Sounds like you are kind of in-between paths. In my opinion, do not commit to education if you are unsure of the path. I would think this out while working until you get some better understanding of your true interests.
Hey!
Thank You so much for the reply.
So yes, I was in a rotational internship at an equity research firm where I touched upon the Quantitative research department for about two weeks, which peaked my interest in that field. I am nowhere near as competent as an undergrad in Math/Stat, but I realised that I would like to acquire knowledge in that field. That was very personal, because when I did enrol in my undergrad I was very naive and unconcerned about my future prospects. Also, the robotics was just an idea because there is a uni that offers an undergrad online and I figured that it would be very quantitative. In hindsight, I do realise that it would be a stupid idea to pursue that.
I understand the rotational program you are suggesting in a bank, and it seems to be a better idea than what I originally was planning. I certainly am in-between paths, on one side I have a good base in Finance and can use that to work in Equity Research or IB, but on the other side, I feel like I would be missing out on the more competitive and complex Quant route. I do need a lot of clarity and try to find what I truly desire. I think that your suggestion of gaining work ex in a relevant field is probably my best bet.
What I have realised by the time I graduated is that I would like to be more Math oriented not just because of interest but also because I wish to hedge my future prospects in the Finance Industry, which values STEM background more because they bring expertise that Business/Finance grads simply can't.
I would like to thank you again for the advice, I do feel that it would be redundant to commit to school before truly understanding my interests, and working would definitely help me with that.
 
Hey!
Thank You so much for the reply.
So yes, I was in a rotational internship at an equity research firm where I touched upon the Quantitative research department for about two weeks, which peaked my interest in that field. I am nowhere near as competent as an undergrad in Math/Stat, but I realised that I would like to acquire knowledge in that field. That was very personal, because when I did enrol in my undergrad I was very naive and unconcerned about my future prospects. Also, the robotics was just an idea because there is a uni that offers an undergrad online and I figured that it would be very quantitative. In hindsight, I do realise that it would be a stupid idea to pursue that.
I understand the rotational program you are suggesting in a bank, and it seems to be a better idea than what I originally was planning. I certainly am in-between paths, on one side I have a good base in Finance and can use that to work in Equity Research or IB, but on the other side, I feel like I would be missing out on the more competitive and complex Quant route. I do need a lot of clarity and try to find what I truly desire. I think that your suggestion of gaining work ex in a relevant field is probably my best bet.
What I have realised by the time I graduated is that I would like to be more Math oriented not just because of interest but also because I wish to hedge my future prospects in the Finance Industry, which values STEM background more because they bring expertise that Business/Finance grads simply can't.
I would like to thank you again for the advice, I do feel that it would be redundant to commit to school before truly understanding my interests, and working would definitely help me with that.
That sounds like a pretty cool rotational program. If I were you, I would try to reach your interests through climbing the ladder in industry. Use your current position to leverage a more quantitative position. Keep repeating this until you are unable to advance with your current education, or until you are happy. In the case of the former, then consider going back to school.

Good luck!
 
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