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Quant Finance Programs and Careers // Notes from someone who has been there.

Don't take anything in this post too seriously, just some random musings. Don't use it as information to make hard decisions based on. So I attended a well reputed program in California. So I held an engineering doctorate before making the 'switch' to finance. Keep in mind I had earned a steady income before the finance program. My average annual earnings from finance working in banks over the last five years has been less than $50,000.

Here are the facts as best as I can give them,
  1. Mathematical finance programs and business programs are a good career springboard, your odds are better than 50 % that you will have a stable professional career in the field that's longer than say two years or so.
  2. The employment market for financial engineering grads is not as efficient as programs would want you to believe; you may be better being branded a science or maths grad who works in banks RATHER than a mathematical finance or business school graduate.
  3. The ROI for these programs is so so. However you will learn a lot PLUS if you have some capital lying to manage you might be OK.
  4. Never have obtained a job through my programs job placement office during or after the program. Although these programs advertise multiple jobs per student, in fact I was more aggressively recruited, before being branded a graduate of one of these programs. Not one job through the programs office in many years.
  5. Banking companies and finance houses can be very creative with the truth and others reputations. Leaving your professional reputation with banks may very likely hurt you long-term.
My notes on working in banking here,
  1. The average firm doesn't want to pay you for your work in finance. Particularly so where banks have a reason to doubt you professionally (i.e. Untruthful statements made about you in a previous job).
  2. HR is usually not your friend and is not on your side. Your likelihood of being asked to leave a firm interestingly will be highly correlated to the number of times they not-so-randomly reach out to you.
  3. Avoid contract roles and roles where they insist it's more beneficial for you to start as an intern so they can initially test you out; this usually implies you will not be offered a full time role and you may likely not be paid your entire salary or paid at all.

More later..
 
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... So I held an engineering doctorate before making the 'switch' to finance. Keep in mind I had earned a steady income before the finance program. My average annual earnings from finance working in banks over the last five years has been less than $50,000.
...
Either you are doing something wrong or something is wrong with you. I just looked at this link:

https://www.quantnet.com/threads/baruch-mfe-employment-december-2016-may-2017-graduates.30374/

and the lowest compensation has been 85K for the last three years.
 
Doing nothing wrong and nothing wrong with me here.

Coworker(s) may have stiffed me five years ago, so may be have been blackballed,, and so banks chewed my reputation. Be careful making the switch there. Yes we know my mean is low but that's the truth; <$50k for the last three years in finance.

Where are you?
 
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