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Best Major/minor combo

Discussion in 'Quant Programs' started by Gordo Wardo, 1/3/10.

  1. Gordo Wardo

    Gordo Wardo New Member

    Best Undergrad Major/minor combo

    I am currently halfway done with my freshman year in the engineering school at Columbia. I just recently decided I'd like to pursue a career as a quant, and I was wondering what the best path would be. To me, it seems that major in FE and minor in comp sci, econ or applied math would make the most sense, but would it be more beneficial to major in comp sci or app math, and minor in OR or econ?

    I'd appreciate any insight as to which track would be the most prepare me for graduate school, and ultimately a career. Thanks!
  2. Connor

    Connor Active Member

    I think the major/minor option you choose also depends on whether you plan to go directly into a masters program or not.

    Briefly looking at the OR:FE program plan, it looks like you cover a decent about of math/stats (with electives) so I would say minor in comp sci.
  3. Andy Nguyen

    Andy Nguyen Member

    I have a Math/CS combo so I would obviously vouch for that combo. You can't have enough of study in math and programming, on the other hand, the finance part...
  4. Gordo Wardo

    Gordo Wardo New Member

    Thanks for the response!

    Ok so you said it also depends on whether I plan to go directly into a masters program. Is your recommendation of FE/comp sci for that scenario? Because that's what I'd hope to do.

    ---------- Post added at 08:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:00 AM ----------

    Ok, the thing is though, with me being in the engineering school I can't major in purely 'mathematics,' only in applied mathematics.
  5. Connor

    Connor Active Member

    I would think that doing FE at undergrad and grad level would be fairly redundant. If you plan on pursuing a MFE then I would agree with Andy on the Math/CS (maybe minor in finance or take a few finance courses to get the basics and show an interest in the field).

    I think applied math would be fine.
  6. Gordo Wardo

    Gordo Wardo New Member

    Ok, would there be any chance tthough that as far as getting into a top MFE program, that having that FE major would help at all?

    And thanks a lot for the responses u guys :prayer:
  7. Connor

    Connor Active Member

    That's a very good question Gordo! I don't know, I'm currently doing a msc in finance.

    I doubt that math/cs would hurt you in comparison to fe. But I will say that many of the entry level analyst programs that I applied to were more than willing to teach trainees about finance. They were looking for intelligent people with strong basics (verbal, numerical, etc)

    I would still personally lean towards the applied math/cs because it provides a strong base to do many things beyond and including FE. Plus it gives you more diversified knowledge compared to doing fe at both levels.

    I'm interested in what someone more knowledgeable has to say :D
  8. Andy Nguyen

    Andy Nguyen Member

    If you are 100% certain you will go for MFE, then don't do a lite-FE major/minor. It does not serve you well by taking dumped down FE courses when you are not equipped enough to fully appreciate them. Use the time to beef up on math and programming because God forbid, you decide to work for Google, Apple, MS, or the government, having a full-fledged CS/Math degree would be better than having a FE-what? major.

    If you can, maybe take a course, audit, sit in the class (stochastic calculus) to get a flavor of what you will endure. I have seen applications from people with various form of FE education (either graduate/undergraduate) from different countries applying again into MFE program. IMO, it's very redundant and does not weight much on how that applicant is perceived. If the education was good enough the first time, you wouldn't need to a do over.
  9. Gordo Wardo

    Gordo Wardo New Member

    Ok thanks a lot you guys, I'm almost ready to leave u alone ;)

    So you seem to agree on that fact that because I plan to go for an MFE, that it would be unnecessary to major in FE undergrad, and I should focus on math and CS.

    So would u recommend a CS major with applied math minor or vice versa?
  10. Connor

    Connor Active Member

    I think it depends on what you are interested in doing (which may be hard to know at this point). If you want to focus more on research and modeling, I would go with applied math major CS minor. If you want to focus more on implementation through software development, then go CS major applied math minor.

    Briefly looking at Columbia's requirements, I would probably recommend majoring in applied math and minoring in CS.

    The minor in CS mainly covers Java from the looks of it so I would recommend taking a few classes on C/C++ and Matlab (saw that they have an intro to matlab).

    Now if you considered CS as your major: the problem I see with the minor in applied math is that it doesn't cover much math really, just intro courses from the looks of it.

    Either way you go, if you have any room for electives I would recommend economics and finance classes so you can get exposed to the basics (and of course you can always take more math and cs courses!)
  11. Gordo Wardo

    Gordo Wardo New Member

    Ok great thanks for the input you guys:prayer: