2nd undergrad + Master in financial engineering vs Work

Sir0001's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 4

Hi everyone, I'm graduating this semester from a bachelor of science in actuarial mathematics and I really want to do a Master in financial engineering but I don't think i have any chance to get accepted in the program since it's highly competitive... I have a gpa of 3.1 / 4.3 right now.
The thing i could do is to get enrolled for another undergrad like a B.A in commerce and get excellent grades .) and then apply for the MFE.
The thing is that I did an internship with a consulting firm as an actuarial junior, and i can go work full time with them upon graduation with an average salary of 45K or so...
I don't know if I should invest approx 5 more yrs in education (B.A + MFE) to become a quantitative analyst...
The opportunity cost for for not working those 5 years is smth arnd 250 000$ but being a quant looks way more exciting for the moment!
what would you guys do? I'll be 23 in 2 months.
Thanks to all

Anonymous Monkey, Upload Your Resume - Land a Job

Members that upload a resume get 2.3x the number of interview invites through the Talent Oasis. Learn more.

Comments (14)

Jan 27, 2011

It shouldn't take 4 years to get another bachelors but regardless

taking time off for a bachelors and masters is not worth it..... take the actuarial job and do say a math masters part-time, any chance your firm pays for it?..... then try for a competitive MFE if still interested

"being a quant looks way more exciting for the moment!"..... you do realize being a quant involves a lot of coding, doesn't seem you have much experience with that?

"I came, I saw, I networked"

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

Jan 27, 2011

Another BA in Commerce won't make a difference. If anything, it just looks like you pick a non-quantitative major to boost your GPA.
Are you comfortable programming? What is your biggest program? Can you stomach stochastic calculus.

There are cheap ways to find out if you can understand the MFE level material before you decide to invest time to do one.

Check this out http://www.quantnet.com/master-reading-list-for-qu...

Jan 27, 2011
baraider:

Another BA in Commerce won't make a difference. If anything, it just looks like you pick a non-quantitative major to boost your GPA.
Are you comfortable programming? What is your biggest program? Can you stomach stochastic calculus.

There are cheap ways to find out if you can understand the MFE level material before you decide to invest time to do one.

Check this out http://www.quantnet.com/master-reading-list-for-qu...

Ohh, will my current gpa be computed as i'll be taking the new classes from the Bcom? I thought I would have a 2nd gpa related to the new program..
About programming, i'm not a pro that's why i want to study in fin engi, to get the necessary tools to be able to improve later on the job market by myself. I can handle VBA, SAS and R.
I know i would need C++ or Matlab

The math doesn't scare me, my bacc was in math. I just regret that i didn't work a bite harder since the beginning, to have assured a higher gpa. When I started the my bachelor's I was told that a bachelors in actuarial mathematics is so hard that the most important thing is to finish it, the employers wont look at your grades afterwards but on how many exams of the Society of ACtuaries you passed. And during my last years at university i discovered new areas of finance that i had no idea they existed.

The Bcom is 3 years and the MFE is 16 months full time at HEC montreal

Thanks guys

Jan 27, 2011
Sir0001:
baraider:

Another BA in Commerce won't make a difference. If anything, it just looks like you pick a non-quantitative major to boost your GPA.
Are you comfortable programming? What is your biggest program? Can you stomach stochastic calculus.

There are cheap ways to find out if you can understand the MFE level material before you decide to invest time to do one.

Check this out http://www.quantnet.com/master-reading-list-for-qu...

Ohh, will my current gpa be computed as i'll be taking the new classes from the Bcom? I thought I would have a 2nd gpa related to the new program..
About programming, i'm not a pro that's why i want to study in fin engi, to get the necessary tools to be able to improve later on the job market by myself. I can handle VBA, SAS and R.
I know i would need C++ or Matlab

The math doesn't scare me, my bacc was in math. I just regret that i didn't work a bite harder since the beginning, to have assured a higher gpa. When I started the my bachelor's I was told that a bachelors in actuarial mathematics is so hard that the most important thing is to finish it, the employers wont look at your grades afterwards but on how many exams of the Society of ACtuaries you passed. And during my last years at university i discovered new areas of finance that i had no idea they existed.

The Bcom is 3 years and the MFE is 16 months full time at HEC montreal

Thanks guys

Dude, the BComm is a terrible idea. The MFE I graduated from only looks at quant courses for admissions. They don't give a shit if you get a 98 or a 52 in financial accounting 101.

-MBP

Jan 27, 2011

do not do a second undergraduate degree. Take a job in accounting at a consulting firm and learn on the job and grow out from there... without knowing any more I can't be sure on this --- but that would be my advice.

Jan 27, 2011

2nd all of this advice.

Spend two years in industry, pick up some really strong references, and apply to the University of Michigan or Cornell. They'll take you- especially if you've got an average GPA in a tough program, and you'll have earned money from working those two years rather than paying money on tuition.

Assuming you've taken diffy'qs and linear algebra as a math major; make sure you've got ideally a basic object-oriented programming course and a numerical methods course under your belt. Real analysis could also help, but basic programming is much more critical right now.

Jan 27, 2011

MFEs (good ones anyway) rarely accept students without a medium to hard science backgrounds.. more than half of every class has a BSc in Engineering, Math, Physics, Statistics, Com Sci. Lots of Math and coding..

You should really search this before posting.

ambition is a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the present.

Jan 27, 2011

Yeah I know it makes sense, but I went to the information session about their MSc and they told us that the only way u are certain to get in the MFE is to apply from the Bcom of HEC montreal with at least a 3.6 of gpa....
other than this criteria, they're going to select only a few based of grades, academic recommendation letters, etc etc..

Jan 27, 2011

Bro....HEC Montreal sucks. Only two programs worth considering in Canada are UofT MMF and Waterloo MQF. With a strong preference to UofT if you're looking to go into industry, and a strong preference to Waterloo if you're interest in academia/research

-MBP

Nov 20, 2011

Well apparently he was told he needed 3.6 gpa from the Bcomm of HEC Montreal, so it must not suck that much lol.
If you do go, make sure you double major finance-quantitative methods, the profs who teach it also teach M.Sc Financial Engineering at HEC Montreal, they'll be good references. If you do honours you can take one class from the MFE as well.
Beware though, 3.6 is the bare minimum, most kids in that option were much higher in undergrad.

Nov 21, 2011

3.1 in your major will not get you into a good MFE program

Period.

Nov 21, 2011

Beware though, 3.6 is the bare minimum, most kids in that option were much higher in undergrad.

3.6 is hardly the bare minimum. I would call it 3.2 for a top tennish program like Chicago or Cornell when it comes to an engineering undergrad, especially if you have a few years of real-world quant experience. This comes from first-hand experience.

Nov 21, 2011

Well, it seems to be at HEC Montreal M.Sc F.E. Anybody in the program to confirm?
Students pursuing their undergrads there receive a letter with invitations to apply to the M.Sc programs, and they suggest M.Sc F E if your gpa is above 3.7, then Econ or Financial Econ for over 3.6 and the lowest they suggest is 3.4 or 3.3 for some courses (now obviously they might accept lower than that in some circumstances!)

Nov 20, 2017

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)