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Msc computational engineering (FEM) or Msc financial engineering

  1. Feb 3, 2012 #1
    Hello and nice finding you!For a long time now I am thinking of financial markets and the world of derivatives as a very good future opportunity.Since I am a ''computational guy'' and in love with the finite element analysis,I decided to let my mind go of the Msc in geotechnical engineering and to start thinking of a Msc in computational engineering.Now my question is,what is the best to do?An Msc in computational engineering and a thesis or Phd on FEM and derivatives or going straight for an Msc in financial engineering?Thanks a lot guys for taking the time to read and answer my question! :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2012 #2
    Derivatives (particularly exotics) aren't hiring. The current hiring revolves around risk management and algorithmic trading.

    Finite element analysis turns out to be almost useless for financial problems. Finite element works best when you have a set of dynamics that stay the same but you have complex and changing boundary conditions. In most financial problems, the boundary conditions are trivial but the dynamics are complex. So you see mostly monte carlo, a lot of finite differences, and maybe an analytic equation here and there.

    Also if you are getting out soon, I'd have to say that oil/gas looks better than CS or finance right now.

    Depends where you are. If you have working computer science experience, I'd skip the degree and talk to a recruiter that hires for financial companies. If you just have a bachelors, I'd recommend against a financial engineering degree because it's too niche.
  4. Feb 3, 2012 #3
    Thanks for answering my question! I have heard something about pricing derivatives by using the FEM so I just told myself to give it a try.Moreover in an Msc of computational engineering I suppose I will broaden my horizons not only in FEM but also in several computational methods,that is why I have had it in my mind.So your opinion is that you recommend against the financial engineering Msc?

    ps I am not getting out soon and I have bachelor. :smile:
  5. Feb 4, 2012 #4
    Pricing derivatives with FEM is an interesting research topic, but it's not used in any production system that I know of, and that's because the specific mathematical form of derivatives don't fit into FEM. But these sorts of things can change quickly.

    I tend to be very negative toward MFE's because you are hosed if the banking industry blows up, whereas with computational engineering, you can still apply for banking jobs, and avoid them if things blow up.

    The only reason I'd even consider an MFE is if the school has good job placement, but that involves talking to actual alumni rather than reading the schools website. Also, if you have MFE alumni that can't find a job in finance but get decent jobs elsewhere, that's a very good sign.

    Also going into geology isn't a bad move right now. One thing about finance is that you can still get good pay for good work, but the totally crazy salaries people were getting in the early-2000's are gone, and I don't think they are coming back anytime soon. The salaries are still decent, but the gap between financial computing and non-financial high end computing has shrunk considerably to the point that I don't think it makes any sense now to focus exclusive on finance.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  6. Feb 4, 2012 #5
    This is exactly what I believe and that is the reason why I was between these two Msc's.I consider that having an Msc in computational engineering will provide me a much better mathematical background and generaly more qualifications for many jobs,including finance!The reason I asked this question is just if somebody had any idea what financial institutions prefer better,the first one or the second one. :smile:

    In fact I am a geologist and I have just started a 5 year bachelor in mining engineering.. :smile:
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