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What is step 1.0 for me?

Hey all,

I'm a 26 year old from the US who recently discovered the world of quant finance. Considering the immense proliferation of MFE programs not only in the US but also countries such as the UK and China, I am fairly confident that an advanced degree (for most firms) is needed to become a quant developer, researcher, or trader.

Because I made the grand mistake of majoring in biology and getting a masters in epidemiology, I've only completed calculus 1 and 2. Considering my age as a small yet important factor, how can I demonstrate the pre-requisite knowledge for an MFE in the most expeditious manner? I could study the material on my own, but there would be no evidence about my knowledge. I'm not too afraid about taking on more student loans to go back to undergrad, but I know that it's a risky road. There's no guarantee of admission to a legit MFE or even finding a quant role that pays enough to break-even.

Addendum: I've seen some posts about doing a master's in CS instead of an MFE because the "finance can be learnt on the job." While this statement might have some merit, it begs the question, why do legit programs teach the finance portion of their curricula? I'm sure it's not just for shits and grins.

Thanks for any advice and happy to elaborate or clarify
It takes 2 years to plan properly for MFE application. You are 26, while above average age for most incoming classes, are not outside of the spectrum. Your task would be to fill the math/programming courses efficiently.
You may take courses at local colleges in the evening while working. Build up some relevant experience and relationship for letter of recommendations.
Another option would be to be really good at programming and get a job as a developer and then later move to more quant role. It's one pathway to get there if the MFE path proves to be extremely challenging.
If this is something you open to, I would strongly suggest taking the courses we offer here (C++/Python/Options). They are the best on the market for people to get a very strong foundation with enough financial applications to be able to contribute on day one. This option is much less expensive. It should cost you a year and less than $6K to compete.