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COMPARE Tandon MFE vs. Columbia MAFN as of 2021

Hi, I just received two offers this month, one from Tandon MFE and another one from Columbia MAFN. The deposit ddl for Tandon MFE is Feb. 28, and I don't think there will be another result coming before this date. So I have to make a decision before that, yet it is kind of a hard decision to make. I did find a few posts about this comparison, but most of them are from about two years ago. Since it looks to me that Tandon MFE is on a fast-growing phase, I am looking for some suggestions as of 2021.

Here's a little bit about myself: I'm a Math and Econ undergrad from a US college. I took some finance and accounting courses during undergrad, and I also took intro to CS and data structure. I don't have full time work experience and only a couple of 2-month internships, one of which is relative to quant.

Things I learned from my research of the two programs:

Tandon MFE: Dr. Carr and Sara are definitely improving the program year by year, especially in terms of career training. I fully understand the outcome of my job hunting is mostly about my own efforts instead of others, but as an international student with not many work or internship experience, the potential help from these two experienced people is really appealing to me. And I think the average class size of 15 people is also a plus. Also, their tuition is cheeper and they gave me an 8k scholarship. However, I am a little bit concerned about the big cohort size that is around 150 students, especially about whether the placement director can take good care of so many students.

Columbia MAFN: They have a more rigorous math curriculum. I am actually not sure if this is a pro or a con, since to me, I feel like a rigorous math foundation is quite important for a quant researcher, which is my career goal, and I am interested in rigorous math courses. But I've also seen people saying they are "too rigorous" and not useful at work or for interviews. Another good thing is the name "Columbia" might be better outside of the US, which I think I also need to take a little bit into consideration as I'm an international student. A big problem I saw people saying about this program is their "minimal" or "nonexistent" career service. I've seen people saying that this program is better for students with previous work experience who doesn't need that much career help, but for someone like me, it might not be that good.

So I will really appreciate some suggestions from you guys. Thanks in advance!
 
What is your programming background like aside from completing the QuantNet C++ course? I would potentially lean towards Tandon if you feel like you need to beef up your programming skills, otherwise, I think it is a toss-up and that you really can't go wrong with either. If you're planning on living close to campus, perhaps look at surrounding neighborhoods of both and see what you feel fits your preferences better. If I had to choose myself, I would go for MAFN because of the small cohort size and faculty. To be fair though, I haven't looked at Tandon's program closely enough.

I think to really make a decision that you will be satisfied with, you have to approach it systematically. I would get two pieces of paper, make two columns on each -- one +'s and one -'s -- and simply go through and write down as many things as you can for both programs. Congratulations, and good luck with your decision!
 
What is your programming background like aside from completing the QuantNet C++ course? I would potentially lean towards Tandon if you feel like you need to beef up your programming skills, otherwise, I think it is a toss-up and that you really can't go wrong with either. If you're planning on living close to campus, perhaps look at surrounding neighborhoods of both and see what you feel fits your preferences better. If I had to choose myself, I would go for MAFN because of the small cohort size and faculty. To be fair though, I haven't looked at Tandon's program closely enough.

I think to really make a decision that you will be satisfied with, you have to approach it systematically. I would get two pieces of paper, make two columns on each -- one +'s and one -'s -- and simply go through and write down as many things as you can for both programs. Congratulations, and good luck with your decision!
Aside from the C++ course, I took the following courses from school: an intro to programming course that basically teaches a little bit of basic Python, an intro to CS course that is basically "intro to OOP," and a data structure course. So I'll say I only have very basic programming skills and certainly needs more rigorous trainings. If taking this into account, Tandon gets another pro since MAFN has really few programming courses.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion and your nice words!
 
Definitely go for NYU's MFE. Columbia's reputation has been plummeted for years internationally, especially around the APAC region (since you know, most Columbia graduates were from programs like SPS or Stat...It's just every role at every firm will have someone graduated from Columbia). If you got into either the MFE at Engineering or MSFE at CBS, then I'll vote for Columbia, but not for the rest programs.

It's really sad to see that this school is turning education for money for years, do they really need this amount of tuition after all? (at the expense of bad reputation...)
 
Some information from current Tandon MFE student
 
Definitely go for NYU's MFE. Columbia's reputation has been plummeted for years internationally, especially around the APAC region (since you know, most Columbia graduates were from programs like SPS or Stat...It's just every role at every firm will have someone graduated from Columbia). If you got into either the MFE at Engineering or MSFE at CBS, then I'll vote for Columbia, but not for the rest programs.

It's really sad to see that this school is turning education for money for years, do they really need this amount of tuition after all? (at the expense of bad reputation...)
Yea, I'm actually also leaning toward Tandon at this point. It's true that Columbia's master programs' reputation has gone down a lot and they are more expensive than Tandon. Thanks a lot for your advice!
 
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