MSc Financial Engineering

#1

It seems to me that Financial Engineering is taking a stronger part in business in many areas on a monthly basis. I personally do not have a great knowledge in this area as you would I suspect need to have very good maths and I am afraid I fall short. I am interested to know more about this and would like some input from others.

The degree that I have spotted is run by Henley Business School at the ICMA Centre’s and is a financial engineering degree that is highly respected by quantitative analysts and their employers. The credit crunch and subsequent events have emphasised the need to develop better pricing and better hedging models for all complex products. The practical and quantitative skills that you will develop will be a great support to your employers in my view.

The compulsory modules provide a firm grounding in probability theory, stochastic calculus, derivatives pricing, quantitative and numerical methods, structuring products, volatility analysis, and the modelling of credit, equity, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives. Also provided are a thorough training in C++ and other programming tools. Optional modules will allow you to focus on risk analysis, portfolio management, designing trading strategies or econometric analysis.

To my mind this is a most challenging degree and will appeal to a narrow section of students but appears to have great possibilities for postgraduates. I would appreciate input on this area.

#2

Maybe my opinion on this one is a little biased as my mathematical abilities are weak at best but I’m not sure about this degree at all. Actually maybe it’s not this specific degree but more the general way that business schools seem to be continuously creating new and specialist courses that are in effect pigeon-holing students too early. Then again I guess it’s a good way of showing precise skills and what you have to offer?
Am I the only one who thinks all of these specialist courses really don’t help matters particularly for students that don’t really know where they are going. If a students isn’t sure about their future doing such a specialist course could cause more problems than solutions and could end up with them not studying broad enough areas to do the job that they ultimately decide they want to pursue. How can anyone know with that much certainty what they want to do in that much detail before even doing a degree? Maybe I’m just being grumpy but I do wonder to whose benefit these courses are, the university, the industry or the student?
S

#3

Stella

I have some sympathy with your stance as I do think there is a chance that students will become “pigeon holed” or “tunnel visioned” Is it just that universities see this as another form of income bearing in mind that it is a Masters degree? The specialisms that seem to be in demand in business may create a good opportunity now but are they cyclical? If they are what benefit will they be in a few years time? Are the skills transferable?
Appreciating that this degree is a postgraduate qualification I do not think it will have any particular bearing on the choice of a undergraduate degree. These degrees are generalist by and large and it is only towards the end of these that more specific career progression is considered, but that raises the question as to whether this is a degree that should be taken immediately after the completion of undergraduate studies.
I think I have suggested that I have doubts as to the place of this degree and its long term future but I am happy to be shot down.