MS in Accounting and Fundamental Analysis - Columbia Business School

Hello All,

I am an Undergrad from India (Econ major with Math minor) who aims to learn the ropes of the hedge fund industry in the US. I applied to many Financial Engineering programs (NYU, Columbia, etc.) but have been rejected by them all.

I have a very good chance of being admitted to Columbia Business School's MSAFA (Masters in Accounting and Fundamental Analysis) program. However, I have a few reservations about the same. They are as follows:

  1. The MSAFA program is barely two years old. Does it hold a good reputation in the finance world, given that it is run by CBS.
  2. Upon graduating from the program, what kind of roles can I get in the Investment Banking industry/Hedge Fund industry?
  3. One major worry that I have is the fact that I will not be able to differentiate myself from a CFA holder if I do the program. Hence, is it worth paying so highly for the program?
  4. Most of the graduates from the program seem to go back to Hong Kong/Singapore for a job. Is the job market in such a bad state in the finance world in the USA?

I would be really grateful if someone can help me out here.

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Comments (11)

Mar 13, 2019 - 11:17am

Columbia Business School is an exceptional school for an MBA, but I think not many people will be able to comment on their "newer" programs. They recently started to introduce a lot of different Masters programs.

Ironically, most of the students at these Master's degrees tend to be international students who come for the school name and go back to their respective countries as "Columbia" graduates.

Reach out to current Columbia MSAFA students and ask all your questions directly. Most students will be happy to help you.

Most Helpful
Mar 14, 2019 - 5:39am

Hi. Thanks for replying. I did speak to a couple of students about all of this. One of them had graduated and moved to Hong Kong in an IB role and other is due to graduate this year. So there seems to be a trend of moving back to the country. However, I have heard that if the Chinese Govt. funs the program, the students have to go back once they finish their degree. CBS's Masters in Financial Economics program seems to have a great placement record in hedge funds. So, would this MSAFA program also evolve that way is my question.

Cutting to the chase: Can I get a foot in the door in top IB firms given the fact that I will have a degree in valuation and will be in New York to network? If yes, will I be able to convert the entry into a full time job offer.

Mar 14, 2019 - 9:12am

Everything is possible when you live in New York and have Columbia Business School on your resume. It sounds like you would be one of the first to try to break into a U.S. Finance career, so you may need to work harder than the rest of people. For IB, do they recruit at analyst level (post-Bachelor's) or associate level (post-MBA) after MSAFA?

Also, it is now getting harder for folks from India to get visa in the U.S. even from top schools. So you probably still need to be open minded on having to work abroad after Columbia MSAFA.

Lastly, I checked Columbia MSAFA program and their acceptance rate is like 6%. Just apply there and see how you do. Are you applying to any Master's in Finance programs as well?

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Jun 19, 2019 - 7:29pm

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