A portmanteau for the ubiquitous term, Financial Technology, Fintech describes new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services through the focal area of Engineering. This segment empowers large corporates, entrepreneurs as well as consumers to better manage their fiscal tasks, progressions and their lives through the key enablement of automation with dedicated software and processes. Fintech has now been expanded to include all the technological innovations in the field of automation of the processes of the financial sector, including the advances in financial literacy, guidance and instruction, as well as the restructuring of wealth management, transactional liason, trade banking, fundraising, money transmissions/outflows, asset management as well as the development and use of crypto-currencies like bitcoins.
Fintech Degrees for people with Engineering backgrounds
The aspiring lot for these degrees need must be Engineers, for the prerequisites for these are likely to be a B.E degree, irrespective of the specialization, given that for the foundation courses, the first two years of engineering are pretty much the same so that’s the common factor. Here are a few degrees with the ‘Fintech’ specializations where people will land jobs such as Financial Analyst, Technical Analyst – Finance, Network Engineer – Finance etc. These degrees are a great value for young undergraduates who do not want to garner work experience before they embark on this field, unlike the standard MBA programs that do need at least two to three years of work experience, before admitting a student.
Masters of Engineering in Financial Engineering
This program straddles the fields of banking and finance, with a specialized inclination towards information systems and computers. Such students learn to use theoretical finance, mathematics, and computer programming skills to make pricing, hedging, trading, and portfolio management decisions, where an undergraduate degree in Engineering is a must and most often, the Business schools in the US varsities offer this program under their aegis. Students who wish to work in the fields of specializations include risk management, asset/liability modeling/optimization, security structuring, derivative valuation and trading, consulting, asset management, research, option-based securities valuation, special hedging, and real-option investment analysis, especially in the banking domain would be ideal for this program.
Master of Science in Quantitative Finance
A quantitative analyst (or, in financial jargon, a quant) is a person who specializes in the application of mathematical and statistical methods – such as numerical or quantitative techniques – to financial and risk management problems and this is the knowledge that a degree in Quantitative Finance equips you with. Except, unlike a graduate of Financial Engineering, a graduate degree in Quantitative Finance does get employed right out of school as this is the degree that is the springboard for a job in Finance, unlike a degree in Financial Engineering which gives the student an excellent ground knowledge of finance but more with the angle of a researcher/doctoral prospective.
Master’s degree in Computational Finance
This degree comprises advanced modules on quantitative and modelling skills, which are essential for ‘quant’ roles in trading research, regulation and risk. This applied MSc program is distinctive in that it provides a solid mathematical and statistical foundation together with an education in advanced-level programming. Most graduate programs cover Financial Engineering, Data and Statistics, Numerical Methods for Finance, each of which cover the comprehensive groundwork for lucrative careers in the fields of banking with risk advisory, financial management, investment banking etc. Be sure to choose a program with an inbuilt co-op opportunity that you may leverage for a job in the related segment.
Identifying the best quant degrees available in the market
The world of Finance is built on one principle, ‘Mathematics’; the currencies, calculations, complicated financial jargon, the progenitor of it all is Mathematics. Having a strong base in Mathematics is a given, which is why the interdisciplinary study of Finance meets Engineering has been enabled for the Engineering undergraduates, unlike the students who choose to study Commerce, Maths, Finance, Management, MBA etc., although each of them would be also qualified to become a quants analyst, however, their pathways would be different. The curriculum of the top Fintech degrees need to include stochastic calculus and black scholes, fixed income derivatives, numerical options pricing, portfolio optimization, corporate finance/accounting, risk management, entrepreneurial finance etc. which would give a solid theoretical foundation for the prospective analyst. Curriculums that offer an expanded version of these courses, especially the ones for Financial Engineering would be the perfect debut degree for the student’s maiden debut on Wall Street or even, Dalal Street.
Fintech degrees v/s Graduate programs in Finance/MBA’s
As counselors, we often get asked the reasons for recommending a FINTECH degree to Engineering grads, over the traditional route of MBA’s/MIM’s/MF’s. The students who have a partial or no Maths background would go flailing into an industry dominated by numbers and the complex algorithms. An MBA is the easiest way for an individual to learn about management as well as the finance aspects of running a business, from an entrepreneurial perspective. It does not necessarily equip one with the knowhow to predict market behavior necessarily, through say, the Bloomberg terminals. Furthermore, a MBA/MIM program would demand some relevant experience in the chosen specialization, a prerequisite that is absent for the FINTECH degrees examined above. Apart from this, the cost vs. value ratio is critical when discussing the advantages of a Fintech degree for an individual whose end goal is to become employed as an Analyst in the field of finance, banking and other allied sectors.
To discuss your interest in up skilling as a Quants Analyst, walk in to our offices or visit our website at www.imperial-overseas.com, to register for a free counselling session.