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Hi,

I am a sophomore and my goal in life is to work at a hedge fund or a trading firm. I got accepted 2 weeks ago to James Madison university. JMU has a finance degree (BBA) and a QFIN (BS with minor in math and econ + concentration in financial analysis) and I am very hesitating between the two degrees. Knowing if i choose the fin degree i will graduate in 2022, however, if i choose the QFIN degree, i will grad in 2023.

I am also planing to take the CFA on my senior year and apply to a grad school 2 years after my graduation from college.

I applied to JMU bc of their investment club. They have one of the best investment clubs in the US.

Please help me choose the path that will help me achieve my goal.

Thanks in advance!

Comments (13)

 
Nov 26, 2019 - 4:47pm

You probably won’t get there out of undergrad, and frankly most employers don’t care about specific tracks of finance.
Since you are doing grad school, just take the faster program and get there asap

Array
 
Nov 30, 2019 - 8:46am

For Fundamental Equities: it's helpful to take a finance course - where you learn about how companies are structured and valued. CFA can be helpful too - level II goes into great detail on balance sheet accounting and valuation. For Quantitative Portfolio Management: you'll need computer science and math ( linear algebra, probability, etc) coursework

 
Nov 30, 2019 - 5:27am

What type of hedge fund are you targeting, L/S, macro, quant, activist? For L/S hedge funds accounting is more important and for a quant fund math and coding.

Regarding the CFA exams, you can take level I in your last year of school. If you study finance, level I won't be difficult. Then you can take level II and III in the two years before grad school. Taking all the CFA exams will show that you're committed to working in investments. However, you won't be able to become a charterholder just yet since that requires 4 years work experience.

Array
 
Dec 6, 2019 - 9:33am

If you want to become an analyst/researcher at a quantitative hedge fund you will need to be good in math/statistics and CS. Most people who get hired by quant funds have studied a STEM subject in undergraduate and then did a master's in financial engineering or a PhD in STEM or quant finance. Getting hired straight out of undergraduate happens but is less common. Non-STEM degrees are not common either. The QFIN degree is better suited for a career in quant investments than a normal finance degree. But you would still need to put in some more effort compared to the math and CS majors. I'd say it's possible if you focus on learning coding outside of class. With your finance knowledge and minor in math plus coding experience you should be competitive. Remember that entry level salaries at quant funds are higher than at pretty much any other finance job. So competition is strong and requirements are high. You can search for old threads yourself, here are three that go into detail about the educational requirements: here, here and here

Also, you should check out risk.net and quantnet.com. Both have articles on how to break in and the latter has a discussion board.

Array
 
Dec 16, 2019 - 12:42am
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