COMPARE UC Berkeley MFE vs NYU maths in finance

Which one?


  • Total voters
    65

Patrick Sun

New Member
Hello everyone, so I have an offer from Berkeley for financial engineering and an offer from NYU for mathematics in finance, also waiting to hear back for Columbia MFE. I'm having a tough time deciding between Berkeley and NYU so would like to see what other people think. Here's how I see it:
NYU: excellent location, which the most important reason why I would like to go there. However I think it might be the case that I have over estimated the benefit of the good location, because after all companies are recruiting all over the US nowadays, and I have heard the career service at NYU is has much room for improvement. My question is being that is being so close to Wall Street actually as beneficial as one would expect? Are there unique opportunities just because you are close?

Berkeley: excellent career service from what I have heard, the program director is very focuses on placing her students in good positions, however I do worry about the location because does being in Berkeley harm my chances of working in the financial industry? What about working on Wall Street?

After the program I would like to work as a quant in the financial sector however I'm not yet sure which part of finance exactly I would like to join. And also how are the reputation of the two programs among employers?

Cheers, any comment is most welcome
 
My question is being that is being so close to Wall Street actually as beneficial as one would expect? Are there unique opportunities just because you are close?
Not really.

As far as I know, Berkeley has much better job placement, which is all that matters in the end.
 

DanImp

New Member
I personally believe that it depends on your level of experience. The program at UCB has much better job placement, but if you look at the profile of the class then you understand that we are talking about a bunch of guys with more years of relevant experience. I have been waitlisted for UCB and I have now accepted NYU MSMF, after declining the offer from Columbia MSFE. I would have chosen NYU anyway, over UCB, just because I don't have a lot of experience and it seems to me that it would be a problem when all the others in your class have much more experience than you.
 

DanImp

New Member
Think carefully about what you are looking for... Speaking with a lot of people here, their first reason to suggest me Columbia over NYU (or Berkeley over NYU) was: "hey dude, look at the rankings! Columbia comes first!"

Really? You're making an important decision.. Those two programs are very different and I am sure that one is more suited to your needs.
 

Piranut

New Member
I don't think Berkeley would harm your chances of working in financial industry. The placement stats show that they have done a great job placing their students in the top firm. I'm having a similar situation deciding between Columbia MFE and Berkeley MFE. If the admitting conditions are the same, I would choose Berkeley due to my personal preferences. However, Berkeley asked me to complete PDE and econometrics course as well as their pre-program course so now I'm leaning toward CU MFE.
 

Yuandi Zhang

Active Member
C++ Student
Hi,

While I have the same question in mind, may I ask your background please? Specifically, what do you think that make you stand out from the pool of UCB/NYU applicants?
I am a third year student, I wish that I could know more about these successful applicants before I apply next year, so that I can tailor myself to meet the needs of UCB/NYU and etc.

If I were you, I would join UCB with no doubt, not only for the ranking, but also for the fact that they do have a better employment statistics.
From that sense, location is not important anymore....

Also, Joining a class that are fulfilled with experience ppl is not a cons for me. b/c you get to learn more about them when you are in school. Most important, the worst is that these ppl find better job than you, but in the end, you may be able to do better than ppl with no experience elsewhere.

Vote for UCB..
 

derjimfe

New Member
Berkeley. The placement is good in New York as well.

NYU had very good placement ten years ago (lot of French then), now they get second rate Chinese students who have a hard time getting jobs. This is what I heard from other alumni in the business and interviewed several NYU students as well who did not impress.
 

matt_

New Member
Think carefully about what you are looking for... Speaking with a lot of people here, their first reason to suggest me Columbia over NYU (or Berkeley over NYU) was: "hey dude, look at the rankings! Columbia comes first!"

Really? You're making an important decision.. Those two programs are very different and I am sure that one is more suited to your needs.
Agree. These two programs are very different. The courses in Berkeley are much lighter in terms of math, thus the program is (relatively) more similar to Master in Finance degree. I wouldn't say it's something good or but. But I believe for those who want to focus on math to improve their technical skills, NYU is more appropriate.

Also I want to warn that it's kind of nonsense to simply compare the placement stats between Berkeley and NYU. As somebody mentioned, students in Berkeley are more experienced, so it's quite natural that they have a better placement rate and higher average starting salary....
 
Last edited:

Yike Lu

Finder of biased coins.
My question is being that is being so close to Wall Street actually as beneficial as one would expect? Are there unique opportunities just because you are close?
Being in NYC exposes you to far more opportunities at small firms, firms that don't have the time/money to go out to recruit on the West Coast.

However, discovering those opportunities relies more on networks (whether you go out and network yourself or you let the school network do the job).
 

Chad T. Wildman

New Member
Agree. These two programs are very different. The courses in Berkeley are much lighter in terms of math, thus the program is (relatively) more similar to Master in Finance degree. I wouldn't say it's something good or but. But I believe for those who want to focus on math to improve their technical skills, NYU is more appropriate.

Also I want to warn that it's kind of nonsense to simply compare the placement stats between Berkeley and NYU. As somebody mentioned, students in Berkeley are more experienced, so it's quite natural that they have a better placement rate and higher average starting salary....
It is false that the Berkeley courses are lighter in math. I also don't think that Berkeley MFE students necessarily come in with more experience. I came with none, and I wasn't the only one.
 

DanImp

New Member
Academia only. I studied nonlinear PDE. My first work experience was the internship during the Berkeley MFE program, which did at an investment bank in NYC.
Well, THAT'S EXPERIENCE! You're basically saying that an undergrad will have the same kind of opportunities of someone with a phd? From the outside it seems that students at Berkeley have more experience (in academia or work related) and this makes students with less experience (the ones coming straight from undergrad) relatively less valuable. It's not necessarily true that these two categories will compete for the very same kind of positions, but you have to face the fact that you're going to compete with someone with either a phd or 4-5 years of working experience. And this has an effect on their statistics in terms of salaries etc etc! That's why you see those impressive numbers. Even if they show you "first year median salary" for people with "no experience" (and that's the most relevant statistics for the most of us) those numbers are misleading because there are people like you that, hopefully, earn a higher salary at their first job because they have a phd. This is just my consideration and it's definitely true that my opinion on the program is less valuable than yours, because you attended the program and you know what you're talking about.
 

blabla_fr

New Member
I did the MFE without much experience (6 month internship in Finance), came straight from school. Found a job before the end of the program, in NYC, working for an investment bank as well. Many other students with little to no experience followed the same path. You really do not have to have a lot of experience to fit in and be successful in the Berkeley MFE.
 

Sonny D

Member
Not really.

As far as I know, Berkeley has much better job placement, which is all that matters in the end.
With all of the cost cutting at my company, we no longer interview out of state interns/grads. Just too many in NYC to choose from
 

Chad T. Wildman

New Member
Well, THAT'S EXPERIENCE! You're basically saying that an undergrad will have the same kind of opportunities of someone with a phd? From the outside it seems that students at Berkeley have more experience (in academia or work related) and this makes students with less experience (the ones coming straight from undergrad) relatively less valuable. It's not necessarily true that these two categories will compete for the very same kind of positions, but you have to face the fact that you're going to compete with someone with either a phd or 4-5 years of working experience. And this has an effect on their statistics in terms of salaries etc etc! That's why you see those impressive numbers. Even if they show you "first year median salary" for people with "no experience" (and that's the most relevant statistics for the most of us) those numbers are misleading because there are people like you that, hopefully, earn a higher salary at their first job because they have a phd. This is just my consideration and it's definitely true that my opinion on the program is less valuable than yours, because you attended the program and you know what you're talking about.
The OP said nothing about coming from undergrad only so this is not related to the OP's question. It's not uncommon for us to send people with only undergrad to top investment banks in NY (in my year this happened).
 

DanImp

New Member
The OP said nothing about coming from undergrad only so this is not related to the OP's question. It's not uncommon for us to send people with only undergrad to top investment banks in NY (in my year this happened).
And you're never gonna have The same position of someone with a phd... And you start as an associate, and not an analyst!
 

DanImp

New Member
Two young ladies in my class started as associates; neither had a PhD or prior industry experience.
Come in Chad, that's cherry picking. I am sure you know that better than me. Generally that's not the rule, am I wrong? Students at Berkeley have more experience and you can tell that just by looking at the profiles of the current students on their website. And if you have a phd that should be considered as experience and you should have both a more senior position from the beginning and a higher starting salary. Do you think it's not true?
 
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