Masters in Financial Engineering or Mathematics?

You know how when you would watch athletes play out their game, be it soccer or escrima, you would just say: “Wow, I wish I could do that.”

Well, that’s my situation now. Long story short, I’m a recent graduate from a non target finance course and now working in Deutsche Bank’s BO under the P&L department. I really, really want to get into trading, and the only certainty I have now is that I need to develop the mathematics. So, given this, which one between a Master’s in Financial Engineer or Mathematics would be more suitable? I really want to learn the skills needed that could fit into most trading products–be it fx or equities–and also develop the coding skills required for models.

And, I know, moving to FO from BO is more of a bedtime tale than Robin Hood, but I really want to become a long-term trader, eventually completing the CFA and move into more complex portfolio management roles.


You don’t need an MFE to become an equity trader. An MFE generally works with more complex derivative products and builds models to price them as well as models to manage risk. Do you have a mathematics, computer science, or physics background? Most MFE programs will require this. Those who have economics or finance backgrounds and get into these programs generally took a lot of advanced level mathematics and computer science courses.

With that being said, MFE will make you much more employable than a Math master’s, since many MFE alumni already work in finance, and you will be assumed to have more directly applicable financial math knowledge. My firm recruits from MFE programs and we have hired many MFE graduates. No such activity exists at Math master’s programs.

An MFE may make one more employable in finance, but as one who has a Master’s degree in mathematics, I can assure you that the math degree makes you more employable in general. I’ve worked in finance, software development, defence, risk management, and others because of my math degree.

Definitely MFE. I wish I had the background to do one instead of wasting my time and money on other degrees.

MFE ftw - get some code practice too and you golden

Thanks everyone.

Shame though, the MFE programs here demand at least 2yrs of industry experience. Any suggestions as to how I should develop myself while waiting–besides CFA of course.

Really? Something like 60% of the US MFE class has no industry experience. In fact, half the program is composed of foreign students. Maybe you should come here for a bit.