Questions about the Baruch MFE

Hey,

I'm going to be a senior this upcoming Fall and I'm debating between going to a Math PhD program and going for an MFE type program. I have a very strong math background; I have taken many courses in mathematics, I have done research in mathematics, etc. I can probably get into a top 20 math phd program and have an ok shot at a top 10 program. But I have a problem weighing the pluses and minuses of both options, PhD vs. MFE that is.

MFE: I like the MFE because it's
1) shorter than a PhD. A PhD would take 5 years at least, the way things are going nowadays. I believe the Baruch MFE is 3 semesters.
2) the compensation is much stronger for an MFE than for a PhD going into the academic world.

However I feel like I'm missing out on maximizing on my mathematical potential by doing an MFE. I feel confident enough so that I should at least ATTEMPT going for my PhD.

How fulfilling did you guys find the Baruch MFE, and if you are a pure math student that would be even better.

How much does it hurt me that I have very little programming experience and zero finance experience? My the last 5-6 semesters have been only math courses for me. I also have a double major in applied math and statistics, so I have a rough idea of how mathematics is applied to finance and the stock market, but not as deep a knowledge as a finance major would have.

Also how much does the program cost in total? Is there any financial aid for the program? I remember someone telling me the program itself would end up costing me around $10k for the entire 3 semesters. Is this figure accurate? Also do many of you get internships in the summer between your 2nd and 3rd semesters? Do these internships offset the cost of the program at all? I know graduate loans will easily cover my expenses, but if I could get some sort of relief financially, I'll jump at it.

Ok, thanks guys, keep up the good work, this site is great!
 
For the second part of your post, the following pages have answers to all of your questions
http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/math/masters.html
Baruch - Quantnet Wiki
Baruch FAQ - Quantnet Wiki

For the first part of your post, I'm probably in a good position to answer it since I spent 2 years in a Math PhD program prior to Baruch MFE. I can tell you that I found the Baruch MFE program more fulfilling, challenging than anything I've ever done.

I get back to your questions when I have time.
 
Hi

Thank you for the quick reply!

Sorry to tack on another question, but I just remembered reading an NY Times article the other day about how a lot of hedge funds have been tanking lately and it has shaken people's confidence in the quant finance field, what are your thoughts on this as a practicing financial mathematician? Also, with all the financial mathematics programs springing up, isn't there going to be a saturation of applicants? My main concern is where the field of quant finance is heading overall, the long term job prospects.

I was also considering going to a PhD program which houses the masters of financial mathematics program to graduate with a PhD and an MFE, how practical is this?

Once again, thanks, sorry for being a pest :prayer:
 
There are over 8000 hedge funds the world over. A few hundred open up every month. A few hundred close down shop every month. You will hear about the shops that tank. Not much is heard about the ones that making tons of money under the radar.

I couldn't care less about it. If you have something to offer, you can always find jobs. It would be years before you reach the job market, who knows what happens then. Do what you love, not where the money is now.

I wouldn't even think that MFE is reaching a saturation point. Matter of fact, this is just barely meeting the demands out there. I would tell you what is getting near a saturation point: MBA

Read the Q/A thread with Todd Fahey to hear what he said regarding the demand for MFE.

There is a PhD/MFE thread here that you can read up and make up your mind. MFE is a terminal degree so it's not gonna prepare you for PhD. Now you haven't done any of them so I would suggest you do one of them, not both.

I don't know any program that allows you to graduate with both PhD and MFE. If you find out, let me know so I can add to the wiki
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
Carnegie Mellon has Ph.D. Degree in Mathematical Finance. It is one of the top schools in the nation and it is the school that introduced Computational Finance as a degree.
 
Hey guys, thanks for all the replies and all your advice. I think I'm going to go to a PhD program since I really want to research high level mathematics and then maybe work for a hedge fund afterwards. This way I get the best of both worlds and I know that a lot of hedge funds actually want hard science PhD's with no business experience.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
Saturation

Andy,

What makes you think that MBA is saturated? Some people claimed that financial engineers (regardless of Phd or MFE) are going into mainstream and most of them will hold top management position (e.g. CEO) in the financial industry in the next few years or very soon.

My question is whether financial engineers who know risk management in mathematical terms can drive a company or bank growth better than MBA?

Another out of topic question: Most of the quant jobs now are looking for Phd, what is MFE stands for? Quant Support?

Cheers,
Ck:tiphat:


There are over 8000 hedge funds the world over. A few hundred open up every month. A few hundred close down shop every month. You will hear about the shops that tank. Not much is heard about the ones that making tons of money under the radar.

I couldn't care less about it. If you have something to offer, you can always find jobs. It would be years before you reach the job market, who knows what happens then. Do what you love, not where the money is now.

I wouldn't even think that MFE is reaching a saturation point. Matter of fact, this is just barely meeting the demands out there. I would tell you what is getting near a saturation point: MBA

Read the Q/A thread with Todd Fahey to hear what he said regarding the demand for MFE.

There is a PhD/MFE thread here that you can read up and make up your mind. MFE is a terminal degree so it's not gonna prepare you for PhD. Now you haven't done any of them so I would suggest you do one of them, not both.

I don't know any program that allows you to graduate with both PhD and MFE. If you find out, let me know so I can add to the wiki
 
Andy,

What makes you think that MBA is saturated? Some people claimed that financial engineers (regardless of Phd or MFE) are going into mainstream and most of them will hold top management position (e.g. CEO) in the financial industry in the next few years or very soon.

My question is whether financial engineers who know risk management in mathematical terms can drive a company or bank growth better than MBA?

i think the difference is that management and strategy skills, albeit very important, are arguably easier to pick on the go, and much less specific than such hard skills as, for example, grad- and post-grad- level math that are being taught at MFE programs.

managing whole corporations will still require somebody with a top school MBA and significant mgt experience (which is only natural). but i can totally see MFEs (especially those with additional MBA) putting a significant squeeze on traditional MBAs when it comes to managing departments and divisions.
given that the ever-growing share of companies' profits is contributed by quant finance-related activities, it will be increasingly harder for a generalist (MBA) to grasp how things operate, and even less so, to manage them.

for that reason, while PhD+MFE is becoming a popular trend, i think on the opposite side of the FE spectrum, you will find more and more people interested in MFE+MBA education.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
Financial engineers who know risk management in mathematical terms with a number of years of experience at a certain company (or industry) can drive a company better than MBA. There are so many directors/managing directors/department heads with PhDs.
 
What makes you think that MBA is saturated?
How many MBA programs are there in the US alone ? How many MBAs they produce each year ? More than 100K ? Probably. And compare that to MFE which produces roughly 1000 graduates each year.
Growth in the number of M.B.A.'s is also evident in the increasing number of M.B.A. degrees awarded. Each year between 1990 and 1994, 700 M.B.A. programs in the United States churned out an average of 84,000 graduates, making business one of the most popular fields of graduate study. Not only has the number of degrees conferred increased steadily, but the M.B.A. degree as a proportion of all master's degrees conferred has also risen. In 1971, only 11 percent of master's degrees awarded were to M.B.A.'s; by the early 1980s, M.B.A. degrees made up over 18 percent of all master's degrees. Since 1984, the proportion has hovered between 23 and 24 percent.
Link A portrait of the M.B.A - unlike other graduate degress, M.B.A. still holds influence in the work place; includes a related article on the MBA degree Occupational Outlook Quarterly - Find Articles
Note that these are outdated info. I don't see any reason why the current number is not far more than those quoted.
Another out of topic question: Most of the quant jobs now are looking for Phd, what is MFE stands for? Quant Support?
From what our talk with Todd Fahey, PhD is a fraction of what he recruits. The jobs you see online/newspapers are far outnumbered by the jobs unadvertised. Most MFE graduates end up taking the jobs through placement process.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
No Bias

I sum up my remarks here since so many of you reply my questions.

Firstly, thank you for your information >> Andy.

Secondly, I think Financial Engineers will do well in the finance industry but not all industries. Phd drives some companies but not all companies, in particular science and technology based companies. It is not necessary have to be a Phd to run a company. I don't think a quant likes to run a retail business...may be!

My two cents: I don't think financial engineers can do better than MBA in running a business (I am not MBA) in terms of strategy and accounting issues unless financial engineers also have MBA. Again, it is not all financial engineers can make moneys unless one like Andy, assuming I see him started this forum and he leads. I have not seen him but I can feel his entrepreneurship through his comments. However, nerds normally do not have leadership or they have but tend to focus on their own world. Research may be suitable for nears except Mr. Gates and Mr. Job.

There are so many Phds but Phd in Maths (with due respect to Prof. Dan) tend to look down on other Phd because they think that Phd in maths is the most difficult to achieve. Bias ..may be! My observation may be wrong but almost surely true.

I think maths train us to see things or solving problems at micro level at most of the time because we tend to derive a finite answer, if not something close with BLUE. However, in real life there are no sure things what we called uncertainty. I think MBA guys or economists can think better in this aspect.

In conclusion, I do not see either MBA or Financial Engineer can do better in leading company but individual skills that count (No MBA vs MFE). I am sure if one financial engineer also possesses good management skills and accounting knowledge will certainly do the job well. On contrary, MBA may also do the job well though he or she does not have higher level maths skill. We do not really need that much of maths in running a company, good human relationship skills may be important. Quant Department in a bank is just a fraction. So, please do not write off other professionals who have similar instincts to run a company.

I think we study mathematics like study the universe to be part of the mankind innovations to improve our socio-economy, environment, lifestyle and so on. Making money is not the only thing but we may be able to use our fund to help those unfortunate ones. We should think openly but nor narrowly especially in tackling management issues.

Cheers,






Financial engineers who know risk management in mathematical terms with a number of years of experience at a certain company (or industry) can drive a company better than MBA. There are so many directors/managing directors/department heads with PhDs.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
this

Financial engineers who know risk management in mathematical terms with a number of years of experience at a certain company (or industry) can drive a company better than MBA. There are so many directors/managing directors/department heads with PhDs.


I am not being rude. This absolutely bias.

There are so many directors/managing directors/department heads with PhDs.:wall

>> Can you show your data to support your claim? What is your population size?

Do you consider one that running a grocery shop also can call himself managing director?

I think you probably are pointing at Finance industry or tech companies. Do you know that there are more graduates than jobs now in any part of the world. So, most people tend to continue studying instead of getting a job. Some jobless also go back to school because they can get financial supports so we end up will have Masters like bachelors, and Phds like masters in the future.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
Agreed

Man, I am totally agreed with you. Great comment.=D>


i think the difference is that management and strategy skills, albeit very important, are arguably easier to pick on the go, and much less specific than such hard skills as, for example, grad- and post-grad- level math that are being taught at MFE programs.

managing whole corporations will still require somebody with a top school MBA and significant mgt experience (which is only natural). but i can totally see MFEs (especially those with additional MBA) putting a significant squeeze on traditional MBAs when it comes to managing departments and divisions.
given that the ever-growing share of companies' profits is contributed by quant finance-related activities, it will be increasingly harder for a generalist (MBA) to grasp how things operate, and even less so, to manage them.

for that reason, while PhD+MFE is becoming a popular trend, i think on the opposite side of the FE spectrum, you will find more and more people interested in MFE+MBA education.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
I am not being rude. This absolutely bias.

There are so many directors/managing directors/department heads with PhDs.:wall

>> Can you show your data to support your claim? What is your population size?

Do you consider one that running a grocery shop also can call himself managing director?

I think you probably are pointing at Finance industry or tech companies. Do you know that there are more graduates than jobs now in any part of the world. So, most people tend to continue studying instead of getting a job. Some jobless also go back to school because they can get financial supports so we end up will have Masters like bachelors, and Phds like masters in the future.


Yes, I am talking only about Finance industry. Financial engineers can pick up management skills on the job. Plus, the question was "can they?" the answer is "yes, they can, there exist a population of PhDs that can be directors in the financial industry" :)

As far as data go. I don't know my population size, and not even sure if anyone knows. As far as sample study goes, check this link for speakers at CMU's Computational Finance program. Look at their positions and degrees they have. Some have MBA, some PhD, some just MS.

Speaker Series '06-'07 : Tepper School of Business
 
To be precise, MFE or PhD in those Quant related degrees are only for investment finance.
On the other hand, MBAs are produced for day-to-day operations in business world, some may involve with business decision making.

ops, almost forget that, MBAs are also producced to run this nation. Graduates can eventually hold the posts like U.S. President or U.S. Vice President. :)
But in order to be that kind of "top" MBA grad. u need to have a rich MBA dad first.

So you can see MBA and MFE are totally different things, in a sense their graduates live in two different worlds within the universe of finance.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
rich dad

Agreed but you do not need a rich dad to get a top MBA if you are smart.

MBA and MFE are two qualifications. To succeed, it depends on individual not the qualification itself. It just helps to open door. Why MFE becomes so popular now? One reason, some people couldn't find a job through traditional qualification, or not good in a person own definition. So, people tend to find something in a trend...so they can find a job.

I think one has to love what they do is not to do what other people do...




To be precise, MFE or PhD in those Quant related degrees are only for investment finance.
On the other hand, MBAs are produced for day-to-day operations in business world, some may involve with business decision making.

ops, almost forget that, MBAs are also producced to run this nation. Graduates can eventually hold the posts like U.S. President or U.S. Vice President. :)
But in order to be that kind of "top" MBA grad. u need to have a rich MBA dad first.

So you can see MBA and MFE are totally different things, in a sense their graduates live in two different worlds within the universe of finance.
 

Yuriy

MFE Alum
ops, almost forget that, MBAs are also producced to run this nation. Graduates can eventually hold the posts like U.S. President or U.S. Vice President. :)

One other way is to go to a Law school :) and be a Political Science major as an undergrad :)
 

kean

Mathematics Student
Smart people

Yes, I am talking only about Finance industry. Financial engineers can pick up management skills on the job. Plus, the question was "can they?" the answer is "yes, they can, there exist a population of PhDs that can be directors in the financial industry" :)

As far as data go. I don't know my population size, and not even sure if anyone knows. As far as sample study goes, check this link for speakers at CMU's Computational Finance program. Look at their positions and degrees they have. Some have MBA, some PhD, some just MS.

Speaker Series '06-'07 : Tepper School of Business

No need to debate. Smart people with entrepreneurship can run a company. Again, not all financial engineers can pick up management skills. Likewise not all people can pick up maths on the go but we can learn to improve based on individual case.

I think most CEOs in the bank have MBA and Economics. Remember that being a CEO you do not compute models. Planning, directing, leading, managing is your job. Yeah! Profiting.

I understand your point because you are a financial engineer so you have to defend your case. However, we have to be more open in handling this so called who is the best of BEST of the BEST (mr. BOB).

Moves on.
 

kean

Mathematics Student
I will not look up to CMU profile. I only look up to Baruch profile. If you have passion, and you believe in yourself and the school. I am sure some of you will become a top gun in the future.

I am working hard to ensure that I can study at Baruch one day soon. If you believe that you are smart, do something to make the school proud. Some of you will become CEO then hire me later when I have a chance graduating from this college.
 
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