# Chicago MSFMShould I do the Chicago MSFM at Singapore ?

#### sungJ

##### New Member
"IMO and experience, brand doesn't mean anything in this field, so I can skip that part. "

I agree that placement record is important for a professional degree like financial engineering, but saying that a brand name doesn't mean anything is irrational. I know that the brand name of Baruch has gone up due to the quality of the program. I agree w/ mathemaniac that this is a common theme w/ Baruch students, I don't want to sound insulting but it comes across as an - inferiority complex.

##### Well-Known Member
... I hope you agree that a brand delivers premium quality education. Right ? (I take marketing absolutely out of it).I agree that beyond a specific level the brand name doesn't matter and it's your individual attitude but still I can safely assume that the so called brand names like Columbia, Stanford, Chicago and CMU impart premium quality education.
That's an unwarranted assumption. In general, the quality of the faculty will be better -- but the teaching may be atrocious (class sizes may be too big, as at Columbia, or the faculty may be too engrossed in their own research, or the university may play bait-and-switch, with the distinguished faculty used as window dressing, while the actual teaching is done by humbler people). What the university is selling is the cachet of its name. You can see this with MBA programs: one of the strongest is Northwestern, but it lacks the cachet of Harvard and Stanford.

I have nothing to do with Baruch -- never even visited the place. But the quality of its program is probably second to none. Its affordability is icing on the cake.

#### stonyblue

##### New Member
I am in Singapore.

Of course I don't have comprehensive placement data for all the program I listed - I heard that in good years the placement has been excellent ( 95% at least , i guess, 3 months after graduation ) while data this year is still unclear. I am don't have 100% confidence on these data, however according to my friends attending these programs, they are highly likely to be true.

I also did careful study of Chicago's placement data since it is the only admission I got -- I have two friends now studying at the program and also talked to their director/staff a lot. The placement record for the past year as well for this bad year, have been confirmed to be 100% !! I think it's quite impressive.

btw, you don't need all the link and data for your decision. People always can find out the truth in their own ways --- that's why top brand schools always remain toughest to get in even some of them don't put placement statistics on their website.

IMO and experience, brand doesn't mean anything in this field, so I can skip that part.

I can't talk about quality of teaching because I've never taken class in those places (I have spoken with people in some of those programs and with people who teach in those programs so I have an idea but that is not my opinion). So the only thing left for me is placement record. I haven't seen numbers for all of the programs you mentioned (because they don't usually publish them) so I would reduce that list.

If you have placement numbers for each of those schools, could you post them or a link to them? That will be a great help for anybody looking for advice.

BTW, stonyblue, are you in the US?

#### DominiConnor

I am not sure why most of the posts from Baruch guys sound like thi
I am not a "Baruch guy", I've never even visited it, and have no stake in Baruch at all.
Though as full disclosure the course director bought me breakfast once.

I hope you agree that a brand delivers premium quality education
I must at this point refer to my position. It means I hear lots, and it is simply not the case that this is universally true. Hence my scathing comments about the Chicago remote programme. If half what I hear is true, then they should be ashamed, this is Fordham levels of performance.
But I hear enough bad things about many courses, branded and unknown to know that quality control is a sometimes thing in finance courses.

Brand does matter, getting people jobs is what I do, and I recognise brand as a factor. But in some cases this is in the face of mediocre teaching, and sometimes staff who do not know the subject and cannot speak English, something I hear about several "premium" programmes. I also hear tales of the organisation being so bad that students turn up for lectures, but no lecturer.

Mathamaniac you have no idea how much trouble I get whenever I get into the business of endorsing courses, but you've asked me a direct question, so I will give the most direct answer I can.

If my information about the Chicago/Singapore programme is correct I simply would not consider it at all.
The list of programs I publicly put in this group is 2 which is quite a trick when you think how many programs there are nowadays.

The all up cost of the Chicago MFE is around $150K. Most people on the course could earn$100K in the time it takes out of your life.
Thus the cost differential between Baruch and Chicago is thus a relatively small % of the investment.

Also if you work for a bank the difference is less than one moment of the distribution of entry level quant compensation.
Thus the tuition cost of the program is simply not an issue.

Am I to assume in this that I believe such SciFi ideas as the collapse of the US economy ?

Unless the US economy crashes so hard that the world enters a depression, as opposed to a recession, I fail to see it as a factor in decision making, and then my choice might not to do an MFE at all. There is no economic scenario I can imagine that makes Singapore a better place to study, and in almost all scenarios it is notably worse, especially if you are ethnic Chinese.
Not only do I have a prettier significant other, I've also read more SciFi than you, so my set of scenarios is damned large.

That's because as far as I know, you get the same lectures. I fail to see any extra value in watching it near what might be a fast economically growing area than watching a screen in Belize.
I have elsewhere said that I believe in the next upturn the demand for Chinese quants will go up a lot. But Mathamaniac postulates a "crumbling" US economy, and China cannot be in a sustainable upswing whilst the USA is in that mode. In 50 years it may be different, but I'll be dead and you will have retired.

But even if demand for quants in the PRC is somehow negatively correlated with the US economy, somehow. I have repeatedly advised PRC and quants from Taiwan, Sg, HK etc that Western brand names are critical to exploiting that.

It's possible that the PRC will not collapse in civil war, and somehow manage to move to a mature economy, and thus eclipse Europe, Britain, India and America.
So ?
The brand names for smart finance are all Western.
To be sure, Chinese banks are currently well represented at the top of the capitalisation scale. But as Mathamaniac rightly points out, I'm an old git. Thus I remember when 9 out the 10 top banks were Japanese, which is more recent than you might think.

It will take decades for the branding advantage of western banks, universities and quants to decay, even if it started now, which it hasn't.

We've focused a lot on branding here, but be aware that this is not a constant, and only helps you get an interview not a job.
Turn up at an interveiw without C++, with grossly defective English, and math holes where you should have peaks, and they won't even let you stay for the full allotted time,even if you've been to Oxford, Moscow and Chicago, and yes before you ask we have several people like that.

#### stonyblue

Dominic: I am afraid that your information about Chicago/Singapore program is far from being correct -- the tuition fee is $40k and living cost should be much less than$20k no matter you study in Chicago or Singapore. How do you come up with the cost of $150K ?? I must also point out that, the negative view you heard is about Chicago remote program at Stamford, Connecticut. This remote program is merely a continuation of employee training courses at UBS Investment Bank. The Singapore program is NOT a remote program since it involves a huge amount of direct faculty participations and enjoys potential support from Chicago GSB at Singapore. You should at least be aware of this fact before posting harsh comments. You keep commenting negatively against Chicago's Stamford remote program & Singapore new program without revealing enough facts. I doubt what you heard about Stamford, since from my source the remote program has been quite successful. I would appreciate if you can share more fact regarding Stamford. If it's really such a horribly awful program, let the world know. Thanks. If my information about the Chicago/Singapore programme is correct I simply would not consider it at all. The list of programs I publicly put in this group is 2 which is quite a trick when you think how many programs there are nowadays. The all up cost of the Chicago MFE is around$150K. Most people on the course could earn $100K in the time it takes out of your life. Thus the cost differential between Baruch and Chicago is thus a relatively small % of the investment. Also if you work for a bank the difference is less than one moment of the distribution of entry level quant compensation. Thus the tuition cost of the program is simply not an issue. #### DominiConnor ##### Quant Headhunter I apologise, if I 've got the number wrong by 10K Rather than pretend I didn't err, I will rejig my analyis down by 10K. This does not alter the outcome seriously. since I was not talking about living costs, but lost earnings. Also as a % of lifetime earnings a difference$10K just is not an issue.

Also the Singapore course, like any foreign degree does not give the "bonus time" to work in the USA after graduation.

Yes my information is about the program at UBS, and given that its easier to do it between two states in the USA than across the Pacific, my view stands.
My information is that this was billed as the Chicago MSFE, not some internal training course.

I only have negative facts. I have asked Chicago for more facts from their side, and received no response.
Their website is almost wholly devoid of useful info about this program.

stonyblue, would you do me a favour, and ask your contacts if the following could be true:

1: Chicago was running this.

2: You can only attend the course at a specific location at a specific time. This is pretty tough on people who have other calls on their time, and there is no good reason.

3: The TA's were both unresponsive and inexperienced.

4: Several members of the course asked for their money back.

Also, you may hear some other comments about the staff involved if you ask. I won't put words in anyone's mouth on this one.

#### JCrew

Dominic: I am afraid that your information about Chicago/Singapore program is far from being correct -- the tuition fee is $40k and living cost should be much less than$20k no matter you study in Chicago or Singapore. How do you come up with the cost of $150K ?? He is including an estimated 100K opportunity cost of foregoing one year of income generation. #### DominiConnor ##### Quant Headhunter JCrew is right, I make that assumption explicitly. I would actually even think about taking my simple model a step further. The original skills necessary to benefit from a top course have a market value. Therefore I believe that there must be some level of opportunity cost/earnings would should serve as a strong signal that this line of work is not for you. I'd also like to clarify my position in that I am not saying anything negative here about the Chicago "live" program. I also happen to believe that distance learning when done well is a very good thing. But that it is far tougher to get right than through a classroom, which is why most university courses in most subjects are done live. Also as a headhunter I observe that good quality training by employers is extremely cost effective. The simple (but wrong) model is that training "helps people leave". In my experience, and that of others in my line of work, easily the #1 reason for people decided to talk to a HH is the feeling that they "aren't moving forward". That's a fuzzy concept, but training clearly can reduce it. A useful approximation to the average cost impact of a skilled employee quitting is their base salary. (25% recruitment fees gets you on your way to that quickly). Also of course, better trained staff are more productive, not only through better skill level, but morale and as well. #### stonyblue ##### New Member If it meant opportunity cost,$150K is fair enough.

It's indeed true that running between two states are easier than cross Pacific. However, according to Chicago's plan, the Singapore program is positioned differently from Stamford program and will cost much more resource. Therefore, the answer is not that straightforward.

regarding your question: I know that the program is indeed run by Chicago and the video IT (time/location) won't be a problem for Singapore program. I will definitely try to dig out some information regarding 3 & 4. .. however not sure whether I can get any since my friends attended it at Chicago instead of Stamford.

#### Tigga

##### Member
C++ Student
Quite frankly, I believe stonyblue already made up his mind about the choice before he asked this same question on QN, WM and GD.
I believe the intention is to seek validation to his reasons and choice. Now, faced with unfavorable comments, these threads now turn into a defense of the Chicago/Singapore remote program.
This is just my impression. If it's not the case, I apologize.

What happens to option #1 in the first post? Amid all the new information I read here and elsewhere, it sounds like a more logical choice IF you want to work in US/UK.
I don't see how the Singapore program will help with a job in US/UK.

I also read some comments from other UChicago/Singapore would be students from this thread Chicago MSFM at Singapore : some concerns
The impression I have is that people are dismayed by and want to play down the bad info brought up by Dominic.
To be fair, I wouldn't believe that he would put the Chicago/Singapore in the bad list with the Fordham program. After all, it's Chicago, right?
But wait, Dominic must know something we don't. I fail to see as that a recruiter, what he has to gain by publicly condemning a program, regardless how unknown.

My thinking is that Dominic probably talked to more graduates, administrators from more program than any of us ever will so the sample size of his input is several orders of magnitude compared to majority of us.
He also mentioned that he contacted the people in charge at Chicago/Fordham and got no response so I wouldn't blame him for being one sided when he singled out those programs.

After all, you will hear what you want to hear. It's better to hear what you don't want to hear and make an educated decision.
And best of luck with your study at Chicago/Singapore. I have to applaud you for the efforts to make the administrators at Chicago responsible. Keep in mind that this is after all a business venture. To educate hungry minds like yours is not what they start the program there.
I hope you make the most out of that new program and hope that it will not fall into the shambles as its Stamford counterpart.

#### stonyblue

##### New Member
Thanks for your words, Tigga.

Actually my initial question is regardng the possibility of moving from HK/SG to US/UK after years' experience. However, most replies don't address this concern of mine at all and the discussion went to quality of teaching and repution of the program. I am pretty confident on the quality/reputation part and it's not what I intended to discuss here.

However after Dominic raised the TA story at Stamford, it did worry me a little bit. That's why I keep ask Dominic for new input. I would also like to share the fact I know about Chicago/Singapore with everyone here, which appeared to be a defence

I have NOT made up my mind yet. My original question still remain unanswered. However, quality/reputation of the program is not a factor here , unless I found from trusted source that Chicago Singapore's quality is going to be inferior.

cheers,
Quite frankly, I believe stonyblue already made up his mind about the choice before he asked this same question on QN, WM and GD.
I believe the intention is to seek validation to his reasons and choice. Now, faced with unfavorable comments, these threads now turn into a defense of the Chicago/Singapore remote program.
This is just my impression. If it's not the case, I apologize.

#### Mathamaniac

##### New Member
I am not sure why most of the posts from Baruch guys sound like this
DC ... This line wasn't for you. Stop reading SCI-FI as it is badly affecting your ability to interpret such interpretation seriously makes me doubt the other statement of "your significant other".

But in some cases this is in the face of mediocre teaching, and sometimes staff who do not know the subject and cannot speak English, something I hear about several "premium" programmes. I also hear tales of the organisation being so bad that students turn up for lectures, but no lecturer.
I hope that you understand that this is not the case with Chicago sngpr program.

In 50 years it may be different, but I'll be dead and you will have retired.
Believe me you are under-estimating.

DC i don't know how big a HH you are (actually not interested right now ) but you sound pretty unconvincing and most of your views aren't based on any rationale except that you "hear and believe" . You should read things more carefully before you react rather over-react and so holds true for the program itself.Just because you know that one program failed due to some issues that you've stated and you are hardly ready to accept that the other one has significantly different structure from the former therefore it's useless arguing.

#### DominiConnor

DC i don't know how big a HH you are
Nor do I

I diclosed the way in which I get information so that people can weight what I say appropriately. If the fact that nearly everything I hear about MFE courses is 2nd hand from people who've attended them causes you to weight my opinions lower, that is fine by me.

My job is not to tell people what to do, but to help inform their decisions better.
You find a better source of data than me, you have my blessing to share it with anyone you choose, and I will be first in the queue to listen.

I'd go further, and admit that from some persepctives, it is absurd that my opinion is seen as valid at any level, I am after all only a headhunter.
Ideally there would be a better resourced board of industry and academia who would moderate the quality of MFE programs.
Sadly the attempts I have seen either ran out of resources, or produced results that seem to be more a function of the advertising spend by the business school of that university than a serious attempt at analysis. One place, somewhere in Belgium was rated at some golden level by the FT. I will freely admit that I'd never heard of it, or even met an alumnus.

But I am fallible, my data suffers from all the classical issues one has from sampling, and it must be said I do not believe everything I'd told.

Yes, I am comparing the Chicago Singapore programme with the CT one, since it appears to be the same outfit providing the same thing. That again is an explicit assumption that you can choose to regard as invalidating my analysis.

Please feel free to tell me why I'm wrong in making this assumption.

Maybe it will be better in Sg, that's perfectly possible, and does fit another fact that I observe from "live" MFEs in that the satisfaction of students with a course varies quite a lot between years at the same place.

#### stonyblue

##### New Member
Dominic, you have been contributing a lot of information and analysis to this Chicago/Singapore topic -- thanks a lot .

I believe you defnitely have placed quite a number of CMU MSCF graduates from their NYC Campus. Could you please comment a little bit on the teaching quality , industry perception & student satisfaction regarding it ? -- I am not simply using CMU @ NYC to predict UChicago @ Singapore , that's way too simplistic. Just out of curiosity and want to know more about this off-campus venture.