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Top-tier MFE program or quantitative trader job

Hey guys, just wanna know what would people choose when they face this kind of situation.

Now two offers on the table, one is an MFE offer from a top-tier program in the US and another is an offer to be a junior quantitative trader in an Asia-based, proprietary trading shop with 5-year history around 15-20 ppl. Starting base salary is not really high compared to the US, but with great room to improve.

The MFE program after undergrad is what I have been planning for, but the offer from the prop shop upset this plan.

So I'm wondering what others would choose in this situation, and if I were to decline the offer from MFE program, would it adversely affect the future application to that program?
 
... and if I were to decline the offer from MFE program, would it adversely affect the future application to that program?

Go for the job and write a letter to the program that because of circumstances you can't take up the offer at the moment but might re-apply after a couple of years. If it is a ranking program, the program admins will readily find someone else to replace you.
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Job....especially because its relevant trading experience. you can go get further education later. This job will help you get larger trading jobs in future too.
 
You can always get into the same program later with more relevant experience. The reversal may not be true. I would advise to get relevant work experience first and as often as you can so you focus on learning the things important to the real world.
I definitely agree with you. You can apply to MFE every year but a job in prop shop is not the case. The concern is that if I turned down the offer now, it would adversely affect my future application. This program is really my dream program and I believe if I apply in the future, I will still place it as my first choice.
Besides, if I have already been in this field, wouldn't it seem a little bit weird to still apply for a school from the program admission staff's eyes? I guess my case in the future would be kind of like @Geekynoob. The ultimate goal is to land a job in the US and somehow for a foreigner applied to a school is the only way to get a visa.
 
Yes, your job offer in in Asia. To break into top jobs in the US, you need to go to a program here. My advice still stands, you can benefit from working a few years. If you later decide to move up or to the US, your choice of school may be different. If you target a certain kind of job, the best school would be those that have track records placing and a network of alumni in that specific job area.
 
This program is really my dream program and I believe if I apply in the future, I will still place it as my first choice.
are you sure this is your dream program? How do you know that?

Besides, if I have already been in this field, wouldn't it seem a little bit weird to still apply for a school from the program admission staff's eyes?
The schools will see this as a positive.
 
Yes, your job offer in in Asia. To break into top jobs in the US, you need to go to a program here. My advice still stands, you can benefit from working a few years. If you later decide to move up or to the US, your choice of school may be different. If you target a certain kind of job, the best school would be those that have track records placing and a network of alumni in that specific job area.
Andy, most jobs (>50%) from MFE programs is into the middle office quants in banks, which pays really low compared to a trader or structurer in front office. These people in trading positions hardly have such a reputed degree compared to MFE. They just got lucky and earn a lot more than MFE graduates. Moreover, MO quant has got no say, FO drives a business. I want to know if a person has relevant trading experience say in Asia, does MFE from one of the top 10 schools, needs visa sponsorship, realistically what are his chances of being in a FO revenue generating role in a bank OR buy side trader/asset management, all of which pay good, in say 0-5 years after graduation.
 
Andy, most jobs (>50%) from MFE programs is into the middle office quants in banks, which pays really low compared to a trader or structurer in front office. These people in trading positions hardly have such a reputed degree compared to MFE. They just got lucky and earn a lot more than MFE graduates. Moreover, MO quant has got no say, FO drives a business. I want to know if a person has relevant trading experience say in Asia, does MFE from one of the top 10 schools, needs visa sponsorship, realistically what are his chances of being in a FO revenue generating role in a bank OR buy side trader/asset management, all of which pay good, in say 0-5 years after graduation.

how did you get the number "50%", and do you know any source that could find this number for programs like Baruch/UCB/CMU/Columbia?
 
Well, it's kind of general awareness for me. Quant roles in banks' FO are very limited compared to MO. Most placements from top 20 MFE programs are into banks (public info on their website). My friends wouldn't reveal their exact role after MFE for a long long time, probably because they applied for the program to be a fund trader, but landed a MO job. This has made me believe that the reality of MFE is MO jobs. You are basically a market risk/credit risk quant. Your bosses are FO traders, who did economics, maths from a random university. I would love to be wrong about that 50%!

For top 3-4 programs, I would still go with 30-40% MO jobs, except UCB perhaps.
 
Well, it's kind of general awareness for me. Quant roles in banks' FO are very limited compared to MO. Most placements from top 20 MFE programs are into banks (public info on their website). My friends wouldn't reveal their exact role after MFE for a long long time, probably because they applied for the program to be a fund trader, but landed a MO job. This has made me believe that the reality of MFE is MO jobs. You are basically a market risk/credit risk quant. Your bosses are FO traders, who did economics, maths from a random university. I would love to be wrong about that 50%!

For top 3-4 programs, I would still go with 30-40% MO jobs, except UCB perhaps.


You are not wrong :) indeed most of the graduates go to MO... the work/pay is shit and I would rather do FO desk developer...
 
You are not wrong :) indeed most of the graduates go to MO... the work/pay is shit and I would rather do FO desk developer...
Thanks for clarifying David. It's dissapointing that you pay so much of fees, you are so bright minded and land a MO job???

Anyway, do you know if people make it to FO or buy side trading in the future (2-5 years)?
 
Well, it's kind of general awareness for me. Quant roles in banks' FO are very limited compared to MO. Most placements from top 20 MFE programs are into banks (public info on their website). My friends wouldn't reveal their exact role after MFE for a long long time, probably because they applied for the program to be a fund trader, but landed a MO job. This has made me believe that the reality of MFE is MO jobs. You are basically a market risk/credit risk quant. Your bosses are FO traders, who did economics, maths from a random university. I would love to be wrong about that 50%!

For top 3-4 programs, I would still go with 30-40% MO jobs, except UCB perhaps.

Btw I also don’t think it is 50%... it is more of 70%... and the other 20% landed in FO cross asset bullshit team... probably only 10% actually got into roles with business exposur. even though you make it into one of these “important” FO roles, you will be either doing maintainence & minor enhancement of old pricing libraries. Or you will be doing stupid left join as “algo” quant (basically quants for Delta one product)... I never work in buy side so I can’t really comment on that but at least for sell side stay far away
 
Btw I also don’t think it is 50%... it is more of 70%... and the other 20% landed in FO cross asset bullshit team... probably only 10% actually got into roles with business exposur. even though you make it into one of these “important” FO roles, you will be either doing maintainence & minor enhancement of old pricing libraries. Or you will be doing stupid left join as “algo” quant (basically quants for Delta one product)... I never work in buy side so I can’t really comment on that but at least for sell side stay far away
I have worked for sell side for 4 years, absolutely hated it!

Now in a HFT, but in Asia. Want to move to US. Seems no other way. But I won't work in MO, I'll better come back!!
 
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