UCB MFE UCB MFE numbers for 2010 - Fake and Unethical?

What should UCB MFE do about this fake stats claim?

  • Respond publicly and quickly to clarify/explain/refute all points in this allegation.

    Votes: 26 60.5%
  • Ignore. Who gives a damn about some unhappy students.

    Votes: 15 34.9%
  • Ask Fordham MSQF what they did to make "it" go away

    Votes: 3 7.0%
  • Prohibit their students from any forum posting in the future. Put it in the contract.

    Votes: 2 4.7%

  • Total voters
    43

alain

Older and Wiser
TraderJoe said:
I did MFE but not from UC-Berkeley. I am not affiliated in any way with UC-Berkeley.

Where did you do your MFE?

TraderJoe said:
Well, I did my PhD at a Business School in USA which is ranked in the same level as UC-Berkeley by US-News and Business Week.

Where did you do your PhD?
 
Sorry for singling you out but I am diagnosed with an extreme case of bullshit allergy. The doctors still have not figured out any cure.
I did MFE but not from UC-Berkeley. I am not affiliated in any way with UC-Berkeley.
Then stop being part of the hype machine. You have no first hand experience with its program, its graduates and dare I say even the inner working of Wall Street itself.
Before you edited your post, you mentioned you have a friend who only hires from UCB MFE. It's one single data point and I can give you several cases of people I know who will not hire from UCB MFE but it does not mean UCB MFE is worst and I don't go around saying UCB MFE is worst or best like you do.
If they don't pay you, then don't act as a PR man. It doesn't serve students who are interested in genuine information about the program.
Well, I did my PhD at a Business School in USA which is ranked in the same level as UC-Berkeley by US-News and Business Week. I can tell you for sure that UC-Berkeley is the best MFE program in USA regardless of the quantnet rankings. The do not need people on various forums to defend the program. The MDs are anyway going to fly to Berkeley to hire their students.
What we don't need is people on various forums without any first hand experience and act like a PR man and feed into the hype machine.
The students will always feel obligated to defend their program regardless of their inner conflict. In rare occasions you have people speaking out like this case and another preview bad review of the UCB MFE.
That's life and it happens in every program (Chicago, UCB, Fordham, etc).
The MDs will fly because it's phreaking west coast and the company pays. And the students will have to fly (sometimes out of their pocket) because Wall Street is on the east coast. Everyone hates to fly 4 hours to interview so they would rather not.

Well, I did my PhD at a Business School in USA which is ranked in the same level as UC-Berkeley by US-News and Business Week. I can tell you for sure that UC-Berkeley is the best MFE program in USA regardless of the quantnet rankings.
You should make up your mind and resolve some internal conflicts. Here is what you said a couple months ago.
I did my MFE from SUNY - Buffalo even though I had got admission to UCB. Prior to that I had done my PhD in Management Science from a USA university at the same level as UCB. The quality of education you get at SUNY - Buffalo ($7K tuition), Baruch ($11K tuition), UCB ($50K tuition) and CMU ($70K tuition) is not significantly different. You are paying for the brand name, placement, and alumni network. It is a difference of opinion whether or not these can justify the additional payment.
I believe that SUNY-Buffalo should be ranked the # 1 MFE program in USA. Other people may have different opinions, but they are entitled to that.
When I was interviewing, a lot of the hiring managers would ask me why I went to SUNY-Buffalo for MFE after doing PhD in Management Science from UT-Austin. I told them straight up that I believed that the quality of education at SUNY-Buffalo was similar to the Top schools and the $7K tuition was 10 times less than what the top schools charge. Some people may think I am a cheapskate, but it did not make any difference in the hiring or compensation which was offered.
I actually think that it is rather strange that so much emphasis is placed on brand name that people are willing to pay rather high tuition just to have a brand name on their resume. It may be a self-fulfilling prophesy because brand name will become so critical that it will force the smart students to go to the top schools and pay whatever tuition is required to get the degree. But you need to be very clear that you are buying the brand and not the product.
 
Well, I did my PhD at a Business School in USA which is ranked in the same level as UC-Berkeley by US-News and Business Week. I can tell you for sure that UC-Berkeley is the best MFE program in USA regardless of the quantnet rankings. The do not need people on various forums to defend the program. The MDs are anyway going to fly to Berkeley to hire their students.

Your statements are highly subjective.

To say that a program is the best for sure is risky.
First because there are many criteria:
Is it the best brand-name? How do you even define a clear "dominance" on brand-names?
Does it have the best professors?
Does it have the best placement record?
Does it have the best curriculum?
...

Second is that programs focus on certain areas. I am not aware of a program that claims it has it all.

I can give you 10 other arguments, don't really have the time now.
Alain's response was absolutely correct for NY area. The brand-name of "local schools" like CMU, NYU etc is not inferior to Berkeley, on the contrary.
By the way the MDs you are refering are more likely to teach at these schools than commute to California. I would think this helps a bit with the recruitment ...
 
Well, I did my PhD at a Business School in USA which is ranked in the same level as UC-Berkeley by US-News and Business Week. I can tell you for sure that UC-Berkeley is the best MFE program in USA regardless of the quantnet rankings. The do not need people on various forums to defend the program. The MDs are anyway going to fly to Berkeley to hire their students.

Like other members here I do not agree with your arguments a bit here Mr. Traderjoe. You claim to have MFE degree but still make flat statements like "UCB is the best". I guess it is because you have no experience with the program and you did not make an effort to get an insight through research either.

In case you come back and ask me what experience I have: Well I was at UCB for about a month when NYU results came in and I switched. In fact from my earlier research, conversations, etc. NYU was always my first choice due to certain gaps in my education NYU filled, UCB did not. But my experience at UCB for about a month was not enough to make me feel different about my earlier preference. In fact it was to the contrary.

Choice of NYU over UCB was based on my personal circumstance and need and it will be different for another person. So, I will not make flat statements like "XXXX is the best".
 
Okay, NYU, CMU, and Princeton are at the same level as the UCB MFE. But NYU and Princeton are extremely selective in admissions and the quality of their student body is extremely high. It is like applying for Finance PhD in the top Business Schools. Columbia and Chicago and Baruch (and UCLA and MIT) are excellent schools but I do not think that they are in the same league. There are a lot of schools which are only minting money from ignorant students through the MFE program.
 
I added a poll to the thread. Go ahead and vote on what you think UCB MFE should do about this claim.

E. apparently be more selective in their admission process. you'd think this caliper of student would know a more mature way of handling this situation. e.g., talk to someone at school about it and handle it internally.
 
Sue you/this site for defamation?
That also means people take us very seriously and we must be doing something right by our members. What you call defamation, I call transparency and openness.
About Quant Network
With over 10,000 members worldwide, we are proud of our ability to provide independent news, share current developments in the field, and promote transparency among Financial Engineering programs to better serve our diversified audience of practitioners, academics and prospective students.
 
I added a poll to the thread. Go ahead and vote on what you think UCB MFE should do about this claim.

I'm on no admissions committee or anything like that for UCB, but given that I've already refuted the claim as an independent party with special knowledge of the situation, I find that poll a little insulting.

As I said, I already refuted the claim. What do you expect the official guys to do? Re-post the numbers? They are already clearly available for all to see...
 
I'm on no admissions committee or anything like that for UCB, but given that I've already refuted the claim as an independent party with special knowledge of the situation, I find that poll a little insulting.

As I said, I already refuted the claim. What do you expect the official guys to do? Re-post the numbers? They are already clearly available for all to see...

There are a couple of points I would like to make here:

(1) From my perspective your arguments are as good as the arguments of original poster of the UCB fake salary article. He talked from his experience and you talk from yours. My lesson from this thread is not that UCB is 100% fake as newgraduate said or 100% great as you say, but to take everything that is published on UCB website with a grain of salt and make appropriate decision.

(2) No matter how nosy you are, you will never know the real number. I understand that you went around and asked your buddies their salary but what is the guarantee that they gave you the true number. Only staff from UCB would know the truth of those numbers. The poll reflects this mindset of other members as well.

(3) Maybe you did get the right number from a couple of people you interviewed in your class. But the number of people interviewed can be 10 - 15 and not 65.

(4) UCB staff are the only who can refute the fake salary claims by coming out in open and they can share the reporting standard they are using, etc., if any. I know CMU uses one such salary reporting standard (read interview of Steven Shreve).
 
Let me just first thank MNB and Newgraduate for bothering enough to sign up and post on forums like QN and GD to give future students some insights on what going on inside of these programs.
That said, I don't see any reason for why I would value one person's opinion more than another. Just because Newgraduate said something negative about UCB doesn't give me any reason to trust him/her less than MNB who said positive things.
I'm on no admissions committee or anything like that for UCB, but given that I've already refuted the claim as an independent party with special knowledge of the situation, I find that poll a little insulting.

As I said, I already refuted the claim. What do you expect the official guys to do? Re-post the numbers? They are already clearly available for all to see...
I'm going to give you a recent example: Apple iPhone.
Do you really think because some Apple customer service representatives told people that there is absolutely no problem with the new iPhone 4, people will just shut up?
You are in no position to know the method behind the UCB MFE stats. Do you know if they look at each student's offer sheet?
Do you know if they just use the number reported by the students?
Do you know if they count internship, TA, self-employment as full-time employment?

What would you think people do when asked for their salary? Understate or overstate their salary?

Toeing what line, Tigga? Everything posted by the Berkeley MFE is factually accurate, as is everything I have said (and as far as I know I am the only one defending the program by referring to statistics / numbers).
You yourself said you are no UCB admission staff and you have no access to everyone's stats and you can come out and say "Everything posted by the Berkeley MFE is factually accurate".
How?

All I have seen is one post doubting the accuracy of the numbers, and that seems to be only based on word of mouth rather than anything concrete.
So is your data. Don't discredit people because they don't say the official line. You don't know what Newgraduate knows.
JDMe seems to be saying something along this line.
I have a proposal for you! See if you can find out the standard bulge bracket IB year 1 associate base salary. I'll give you a hint: it's pretty much universally $100k or $95k. That'll help explain the numbers...!
I have no interest in your proposal. I don't see anyone around here sitting in a room and cooking up negative stories about UCB or any program to make them look bad.
The thread was started by a student in the program. He/she must be pissed enough to bother posting it. And now his account is gone. Why?

I have a proposal for UCB MFE: take a cue from Apple.

If you have a brand and business image to protect, then do the right thing. I'm sure UCB is serious about their reputation and they care enough to sign up on GD (username BerkeleyMFE) and answer prospective students' questions on the forum there.

But don't just answer the soft questions and ignore the uncomfortable questions. How you act in a crisis speaks volume about you.

People know that you have been reading the thread here and on GD for days and your silence is curious to say the least. It's one thing if the program is not aware of what is said about them online (like most MFE programs are). It's another thing for a program that is known for actively monitoring and participating in social networks, forums to ignore bad publicity.

Fordham and Chicago serve as cautionary tales. One refuses to answer and the other has the Dean comes out and replies in public.

And don't let your students do the PR work for you. They may be passionated but aren't trained in crisis management.

Interesting to look at the response to the poll. Majority seems to think a public response is what you should do.
 
You yourself said you are no UCB admission staff and you have no access to everyone's stats and you can come out and say "Everything posted by the Berkeley MFE is factually accurate".
How?

I am friends with 62 others on the MFE program. They tell me things...! Whether it is slight exaggeration or slight underestimation I don't know, but it is at least more accurate than second hand information that "so many people are on 80-90k".

If you have a brand and business image to protect, then do the right thing. I'm sure UCB is serious about their reputation and they care enough to sign up on GD (username BerkeleyMFE) and answer prospective students' questions on the forum there.

I don't think there is any "crisis" here. Just one disgruntled student implicating 6 others. However, I will inform the "official" people on here that Quantnet would like a public confirmation that the previously posted numbers are accurate.

P.S. JDMe, one thing I do know for sure is the job title and company of over 50 students (and I know the students still looking).
 
It is a bit strange to see so many people attacking a prestigious school like UCB and questioning its integrity. Are these guys from H/S/W or are they from some low-ranked state school?
 
not sure what is wrong with these numbers...

1) "Average First Year Compensation: $156,294 Average First Year Compensation: $156,294 "
this, I am 100% sure, includes bonus.

2) Median First Year Base Salary: $100,000

sounds just about right. Taking into account 1), it looks like the average bonus is about 50%, which seems very realistic for FO quants.

...oh yeah, and LOL @ UCB being the best claims :)
 
not sure what is wrong with these numbers...

1) "Average First Year Compensation: $156,294 Average First Year Compensation: $156,294 "
this, I am 100% sure, includes bonus.

2) Median First Year Base Salary: $100,000

sounds just about right. Taking into account 1), it looks like the average bonus is about 50%, which seems very realistic for FO quants.

...oh yeah, and LOL @ UCB being the best claims :)

Well it sounds right to some people, not so right to others. 50% bonus in the first year is out of the ordinary. Of course it happens in a hedge-fund or some "special" position. Most graduates work for large banks, at the start of the career there is a clear compensation evolution.
The income can be high however you have to prove yourself first and produce results. This is very difficult in the first year. You may have a bit too high expectations.
 
I was reading Roger Ebert's writing this morning when what he said resonates with me a good deal and it reminds me of this thread and many others I saw over the past few years.
If anyone is interested, Ebert is one of the most highly respected film critics.
Okay, NYU, CMU, and Princeton are at the same level as the UCB MFE.
This is a quote from Ebert that reminds me of your post above.
I can't say you're wrong. The one thing you can never be wrong about is your own opinion. It's when you start giving your reasons that you lay yourself open
But NYU and Princeton are extremely selective in admissions and the quality of their student body is extremely high
Full disclosure: Since you mentioned NYU, I have worked on the admission committee for the NYU MSFM program for the past two years and I've been responsible for whether an application should be further evaluated. And I don't even want to make such a bold claim. I know what I know about the caliber of applicants I read. I know absolutely nothing about applicants at other programs so in no way I can compare. So how can you?
Keep in mind that a good number of applicants apply to many programs so to say quality of students from one is higher than another is incorrect.
Like Ebert likes to say, "that was an error of objective fact."
Columbia and Chicago and Baruch (and UCLA and MIT) are excellent schools but I do not think that they are in the same league.
This is not even useful. To be able to serve our users better, I think we should move away from the cat-dog fight of useless, vague personal opinion and encourage more posts that offer reasons. It would promote accountability as well.

There are a lot of schools which are only minting money from ignorant students through the MFE program.
That would be a lot more interesting to list about these schools, don't you think?

In any case, Ebert's writing is great as I learn a lot about the parallel between film's review and school's review. I also learn about human behavior when they face opinion not conforming to their own belief. I also see the parallel between sites like Rotten Tomatoes to quantnet.com where "in the "open marketplace of ideas," it is believed, the better ones will eventually rise to the top".

It's a good breakfast read and happy Monday, everyone.
 
Well it sounds right to some people, not so right to others. 50% bonus in the first year is out of the ordinary. Of course it happens in a hedge-fund or some "special" position. Most graduates work for large banks, at the start of the career there is a clear compensation evolution.
The income can be high however you have to prove yourself first and produce results. This is very difficult in the first year. You may have a bit too high expectations.

these are not expectations. this comes from facts. I was thinking about 1st year IB quants (MFEs of PhDs). most people I know got around 50% for 1st year (FO quants).
I personally got 40% bonus for my 1st year and I worked in model validation, so not even FO.
But, I have to admit, I do not know that many people, so the sample size is small...
 
Top