I want to take the Quantitative Finance Program at the Wu Vienna. What I am worrying about is the job market here in Austria and what I will do afterwards. So do you know sth. about the quants market here in Austria or the WU Program?
I received a couple of reviews of the WU Vienna QF program.
Unique 1) The program takes Business and Economics majors through mathematics in the beginning, without assuming much knowledge (mind, that this comes at a fast pace!) 2) Classes (at the moment) are tought by 1 professor per 20 students, but that might change (with classes of 40 being the maximum). 3) The professors are well connected to the Austrian finance industry and there is an annual cooperation called “Industry Lab”, where students get exposure and an opportunity to land jobs. 4) Almost everything is computed in R, because the head of WU’s Institute for Statistics and Mathematics is a main developer of the language. After two years of heavy use one really gets very good at it! 5) The program is basically free (or about 375€/500$ for non-European students). 6) Vienna is a beautiful city and the university’s campus is just being completely rebuilt (opening 2014) and is going to be really, really great! 7) There are three main “roads” this program takes. You have: a) Mathematics, Probability, Continuous Time Finance I, Continuous Time Finance II and as an elective a course on Jump Diffusions b) Computing (R), Statistics I, Statistics II, Econometrics, Financial Econometrics c) Principles of Finance, Financial Markets and Instruments, Optimization, Game Theory, Microeconomics, Asset Pricing and Corporate Finance. Road a) is hard and you learn a lot, but it is really, really hard to get good grades for Business students. Road b) is the best in my view, because you learn and work a lot and your efforts are rewarded. Road c) are the “easy” courses, and although taught by excellent teachers, sometimes it is not clear, why they are in the program (Opt, GT, Micro) or are repetitive (PoF, AP). d) There are also more electives, namely: Risk Management, Credit Risk Modelling, Financial Engineering and Portfolio Management.
Weakness 1) Some professors (1 out of 5) do have less than perfect English language skills. 2) Some of the students, who studied mathematics for their Bachelor’s, have voiced concerns about the difficulty level of some classes. 3) Career services are not very good. 4) As said before: Some classes don’t really fit into the program, some are excessively hard. 5) It’s not easy to get a good GPA (grade point average) here. Teachers will let you pass their courses (although you can also fail and therefore must repeat in the following year,extending your studies in the worst case), but getting only A’s or 1′s is nearly impossible. 6) While students organize meetings themselves, the university doesn’t really care about get-together’s any more. So there are no planned social events apart from one kick-off for 1st semester students in October. 7) The lectures are blocked, meaning per course you will get one 3-4 hour lecture per week, with 3 courses running parallel. So generally, you will spend 3 days at uni and have the rest of the week off – some people might have a problem with this way of studying, but I don’t know of any specific complaints.
Career services 1) There is the Industry Lab and well-connected professors, but these opportunities are limited to Austria and to the way you act throughout your studies and the “lab”. 2) WU has its own career service center called ZBP, but they are specialized in dealing with the masses (WU has about 20.000 students, but only 700 do a Master’s and only about 40 are in the two active cohort’s of the QFIN program) of business students that need to find jobs in the Austrian market. Therefore, they offer little service for quants. 3) Still, almost all of the students find jobs quickly, some start working even before the program officially ends. These jobs are found through the usual application process – sending CV’s wherever a position is vacant 4) Students got jobs at small to large names in Austria but also at very, very exclusive names abroad.
Students For a central European program, the student body is quite diverse, with only about 50% being from Austria. The student’s backgrounds come from Finance, Banking, Mathematics and Economics. See the program page for more statistics, but generally, there are 50% Austrians, then a large part of students from Eastern European countries and Germany, and a small group of Far East and US students. I like that, because of the small total number of students, there is no real grouping – of course you have your best friends, but in the end, we are ONE group of students and you meet a lot (3 classes / week) and spend time on the weekend.
I'm currently in my second year in this programme and I have to admit there's nothing to add to Andy's comment about this programme. That's probably all you can say about the pros and cons of it.
One thing might be added, what you - max_imus - or anybody considering it, will definetely be interested in:
Even if our university is not a target school of the BB (at least I'm not aware of it) our students so far have landed jobs/internships also at Goldman, Deutsche, and all major financial institutions based in Austria.
Hello sibi .i am interesting on this program .however i am afraid about the living cost .due to the fact that this program is 2 years .seems that you are in the second year it will be quite helpful for me if i have an idea , what should i expect more specific ,how much is the monthly expenditure or the annual cost .thanks ...
I am considering applying for QF in Vienna, but as part of admission criteria is mentioned, that providing GMAT score is highly recommended. Does anyone know what is considered to be sufficient score to be accepted? Or in case you have any other information regarding admission process such as how many people applied last years or something like that, I would be really grateful for such information.