Financial engineering is a growing field that’s emerging from its shell and rising in prominence.
Investopedia describes financial engineering as “the use of mathematical techniques to solve financial problems”. It uses a hybrid of knowledge and tools from several fields, including computer science, statistics, economics and applied mathematics to address current financial issues and devise new and innovative financial products.
Financial engineering experts are already using their skills and knowledge in commercial and investment banks, insurance agencies, hedge funds, and more. They play important roles in risk management and investment strategising, which makes a Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE) an ideal field for finance undergraduates or working professionals looking to develop their expertise in the area or hoping to take their career to the next level.
Unsurprisingly, there’s pressure for financial institutions to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of the worlds’ technological revolution. For example, a McKinsey & Company report notes that as customer expectations rise, industries such as banking services can expect changes due to technological developments and the emergence of new business models.
As financial engineering graduates are equipped with a range of skills, including the ability to solve financial problems, develop financial models, predict stocks and other financial tools, among other things, making them a valuable asset to various industries, especially those that involve financial transactions.
If your interest is piqued, here are four global universities that are leaders in financial engineering.
If you’re looking to launch your career in finance, data science or technology, you may want to consider doing so at one of the world’s most prestigious state universities.
Berkeley’s MFE programe is offered under the Haas School of Business, which dominates global charts: it ranks first for the TFE Times’ Best Master’s of Financial Engineering Programmes and has stood among the top schools in the QuantNet ranking of Financial Engineering, Quantitative Finance masters programmes in North America for two consecutive years.
This is hardly surprising because the MFE programme is anchored in cutting-edge research and integrates theories, frameworks and practical applications in a seamless learning experience. It also combines mathematical, statistical and computer science methods, along with the theoretical frameworks and institutional settings in which they are applied for an all-encompassing programme.
To boot, students also encounter, explore and address real-world issues and challenges through a 12-week internship and a capstone project.
Pursuing an MFE at Berkeley will prove a solid investment. According to QuantNet’s survey, Berkeley’s MFE has a 168 average GRE Quant among admitted students, while graduates earn an average starting base salary (excluding bonuses) of US$118,322. They’re also ranked second in the nation this year for employment outcomes three months after graduation.
Imperial, ranked 9th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019, is a high-spirited global education for graduate students.
The business school stands among just one percent of business schools worldwide to be accredited by some of the largest and most influential business school accreditation associations, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Association of MBAs, European Quality Improvement System and Athena Swan Bronze Award.
Imperial’s MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering programme is a highly technical, quantitative one-year course that prepares students for careers in financial engineering and risk management.
Students will learn how to put the latest academic thinking and business strategies into practice, led by leading practitioners and world-class faculty, while its London location and ongoing relationships with major employers in the finance sector means students can meet and network with leading global organisations.
Some recent examples of organisations that have supported the business school include Accenture, Amazon, Apple, McKinsey, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, and more. As a testament to the programmes’ prowess, a whopping 91 percent of graduates are employed within three months of graduation.
The University of Toronto is not only one of Canada’s top universities, it’s also placed among the world’s best at 21, according to THE World University Rankings 2019. The university’s Rotman School of Management is a leading business school in Canada, ranking in the top 10 for faculty and research. They offer Risk Management and Financial Engineering as one of their majors under their MBA programme.
The school notes that the Risk Management and Financial Engineering major opens students up to a wealth of career opportunities. Students will learn about the derivatives market, how to price a wide range of derivative instruments and how instruments such as futures and options can be used for risk management.
Students will also learn about risk management from the following perspectives: a corporate treasurer who is interested in hedging his or her exposure to interest rates, exchange rates, commodity prices and the like; the perspective of a fund manager who wants to change the nature of his or her exposure to financial markets; and the perspective of a financial institution that trades derivatives and is faced with an increasingly complex regulatory environment.
Students also have the chance to put theory to practice through a four-month internship placement.
Students looking to pursue their graduate studies with one of Asia’s leading universities might want to consider NTU. NTU is ranked 51st in the THE World University Rankings 2019 while the Nanyang Business School is considered among the world’s top-tier business schools, standing as one of most established and comprehensive providers of business and management education in the region.
Prospective students will be heartened to note that the school is accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – the world’s most widely recognised quality assurance standards for accounting and business education.
The MSc in Financial Engineering is an intense, one-year programme designed for those with a strong drive to penetrate the top tiers of the finance industry. The programme enables students to learn from world-class faculty and seasoned industry professionals on how to implement solutions in areas such as risk management, product structuring, quantitative trading, quantitative research and financial information technology.
It’s offered in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University in the US, and helps students stay ahead of industry developments. Studying at the school means learning in an environmentally sustainable campus and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Its 200-hectare garden campus has frequently been named among the Top 15 most beautiful in the world, notes THE.
*Some of the universities featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International