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# FE degree is a nice alternative to MBA for top quants

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GMAT Instructor
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FE degree is a nice alternative to MBA for top quants [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2004, 21:47
Rather than get an mba or PhD, if you want to do strictly cutting edge finance, you might consider a career in Financial Engineering. Most schools require the GMAT (or math GRE) and the programs are from 1-2 years. Starting salaries are VERY good for graduates of the top schools (Berkeley, Columbia, CMU, Chicago, etc.). Warning: Non-quants need not apply....

Here is a brief description from Berkeley's web site.

http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MFE/whatis.html
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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27 Apr 2004, 00:20
Thanks Aka for visiting !! You seem to have vanished off the board for good. Drop in occassionally, it keeps up the spirits of guys battling the GMAT.
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28 Apr 2004, 17:14
Hello,

FE sounds really interesting. Do you know what kind of educational background you need to succeed in that field? Based on the descriptions at HAAS and Carnegie Mellon, it looks like CS and extensive math.

For those who know alot about FE, how extensively do you need to be familiar with eigenvalues, vector spaces, mappings, multivariable calculus? Is there alot of C programming involved? If someone hasn't touched those subjects in a long time, it seems like he or she would be in for a rough time...

Anyone gone through the cirriculum and can give some thoughts on the education and experience?

Do you think that the FE cirriculum might be too specialized?

Also, depending on the school you attend, it looks like the degree earned can be different. It seems like you could recieve a Master's of Engineering or MBA... or maybe even another name for the degree... just wondering if employers would differentiate between the degrees or if they'd view it all as an MBA equivalent?
GMAT Instructor
Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 770
Location: New York NY 10024
Schools: Haas, MFE; Anderson, MBA; USC, MSEE
Followers: 26

Kudos [?]: 212 [0], given: 0

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28 Apr 2004, 20:32
jo1to6 wrote:
Hello,

FE sounds really interesting. Do you know what kind of educational background you need to succeed in that field? Based on the descriptions at HAAS and Carnegie Mellon, it looks like CS and extensive math.

For those who know alot about FE, how extensively do you need to be familiar with eigenvalues, vector spaces, mappings, multivariable calculus? Is there alot of C programming involved? If someone hasn't touched those subjects in a long time, it seems like he or she would be in for a rough time...

Anyone gone through the cirriculum and can give some thoughts on the education and experience?

Do you think that the FE cirriculum might be too specialized?

Also, depending on the school you attend, it looks like the degree earned can be different. It seems like you could recieve a Master's of Engineering or MBA... or maybe even another name for the degree... just wondering if employers would differentiate between the degrees or if they'd view it all as an MBA equivalent?

You need a solid foundation in all the subjects you mentioned, but you do not need to be an expert as you would for a PhD. For example, Haas offers a 10 week "refresher" course that half the class took which was very good at giving us enough of a refresher to get through the program. You CANNOT get thorugh the program with no knowledge of the above, but you can be rusty.

You need to know some type of programming language. C++ is the language du jour, but MATLAB, java, VB, etc. are fine. IF you know one lnaguage, you can program in any other.

Anybody hiring FEs certainly will not confuse them with MBAs. If you do not want to do quant finance work, then the FE is too specialized. However, if you do, the FE is a much better door opener than an MBA (i already have an MBA). Some schools offer a joint degree.

My advise is to get the degree from a school that has classes customized for FEs. I originallly went to Claremont whose program is jointly run by the b-school and math dept. Unfortunately, the MBA classes are way too easy, and the math classes do not focus on how they relate to finance, so it was not a good mix.

BTW, I got my engineering degree in 1988 and by MBA in 1993. Despite the long layoff from academia, I am doing just fine at Haas. (It's not easy, but it is not impossible).
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

Manager
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28 Apr 2004, 22:53
Thanks for all the great information AkamaiBrah. It was very, very helpful!
GMAT Instructor
Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 770
Location: New York NY 10024
Schools: Haas, MFE; Anderson, MBA; USC, MSEE
Followers: 26

Kudos [?]: 212 [0], given: 0

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30 Apr 2004, 02:56
BTW, if you want to know the types of backgrounds you need for an FE program, go to:

http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MFE/bio1.html

It has bios and background of all 60 students in the current class.

P.S. DOn't be intimidated by the background of the student here. Don't forget that Berkeley was just ranked #1 in the world for its FE program and the selectivity of its students reflects that
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

Last edited by AkamaiBrah on 30 Apr 2004, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.
GMAT Instructor
Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 770
Location: New York NY 10024
Schools: Haas, MFE; Anderson, MBA; USC, MSEE
Followers: 26

Kudos [?]: 212 [0], given: 0

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30 Apr 2004, 03:00
BTW, if you want to know the types of backgrounds you need for an FE program, go to:

http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MFE/bio1.html

It has bios and background of all 60 students in the current class.

Also, here is a profile of last year's class.

Profile of MFE 04
Enrolled Students: 59
Countries Represented: 17
Average Age at Enrollment: 29
Average Years of Post-University Experience: 3.7

Quantitative Scores in Percentiles
99: 13%
97-98: 36%
94-96: 7%
90-93: 18%
Under 90: 26%

Degrees Held:
Bachelor's: 63%
Master's: 29%
Ph.D: 8%
Ph.D Candidates: 2%

Majors

Engineering: 34%
Mathematics: 20%
Economics: 19%
Finance: 6.5%
Natural Sciences: 12%
Computer Science: 6.5%
Humanities: 0%

Domestic (24 students)
International (35 students)
Asia: 26
Europe: 5
Latin America: 1
Middle East: 3
Africa: 0
North America: 0

Selected Current Employment
Engineering: 17%
Marketing/Sales: 2%
Information Systems: 9%
General Management: 0%
Finance: 25%
Research & Development: 18%
Project Management: 8%
Consulting/Management Services: 15 %
Other: 6%

Language Proficiency
71% of the class is multilingual
2 languages: 49%
3 languages: 17%
4 languages: 5%
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

Manager
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 60
Location: Ithaca, NY
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

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09 Jun 2004, 15:45
Hello,

Do you know how a career path for someone with a Financial Engineering degree would progress as opposed to someone with a Finance MBA? What are the jobs out of school like and how do they advance compared to someone who got an MBA specializing in finance?

Also, after reading some of the sites on FE, many schools require some sort of calculus based probability course as a pre-requisite. If you are missing a course or two, do they allow you to take those courses during the program or, do you really need to have taken those courses prior to beginning the program? It's too bad I didn't know about this field in undergrad, I would have definitely taken the pre-requisite courses

Do you know which schools might offer a joint MBA, FE program? The only school I've seen that explicitly mentions this is CMU.

Thanks for the information!
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27 Jul 2004, 14:13
Hey!
Is the FE degree a good option if somebody does not have experience in the financial industry. Are starting salaries significantly different based on previous experience?
If you dont mind, what was your GMAT score?? I am thinking about applying and want to see if my score is competitive.

Thanks...
CEO
Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 3281
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28 Jul 2004, 11:49
Hi,

Princeton's MFin program gives the following information:

"In broad terms, students with prior work experience are compensated in terms comparable to an MBA graduate; students without prior experience are compensated somewhere in between an undergraduate and an MBA graduate."

The median quant score on the GRE was 790 for the class entering in Fall 2001.

Hjort
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14 Jan 2005, 01:20
Hello,

I'm very interested in financial engineering. I was wondering if you had any resources about careers. Specifically, I am interested in the following:

A day in the life of type information.
Is this career more engineering or computer programming?
What kind of career can I expect with an Masters Degree as opposed to a PhD?
How much is learned on the job as opposed to in the classroom?
Will studying financial engineering limit my options in finding work when I graduate? In the event that I cannot find work in quant. finance, would FE be applicable to more general finance careers?

I've visited sites such as wilmott.com and have read through many of the posts. Quite frankly, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount and depth of topics covered in the quant. finance forums and am having trouble figuring out if it's the right career path for me.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Hjort wrote:
Hi,

Princeton's MFin program gives the following information:

"In broad terms, students with prior work experience are compensated in terms comparable to an MBA graduate; students without prior experience are compensated somewhere in between an undergraduate and an MBA graduate."

The median quant score on the GRE was 790 for the class entering in Fall 2001.

Hjort
CEO
Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Posts: 3281
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Kudos [?]: 467 [0], given: 0

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15 Jan 2005, 19:10

http://www.cba.ufl.edu/fire/msf/Prospec ... entpg1.asp

Hjort
15 Jan 2005, 19:10
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# FE degree is a nice alternative to MBA for top quants

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