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_reh
02-25-2008, 09:53 PM
Hi, I'm one confused individual! I have narrowed my choice of study down to engineering or business. The problem is I am really interested in business and finance but do not really have interest in engineering.

I've got many people who tell me however that it is wiser to get an engineering degree first, since it is a 'professional' degree. After all financial firms do hire people with engineering degrees. Doing a finance degree only however only limits one to finance.

Do finance graduates have an edge over engineering graduates when it comes to jobs in the financial sector? Or is the playing field level for all who come in?

I plan to go into finance eventually. Is it worthwhile to pursue a 4-year course in something which I know I would not do? I'm taking engineering only because it seems like a more 'secure' degree, and it is also possible to take an MBA during postgrad. Any myths to debunk here?

Thanks!

dershing
02-25-2008, 10:13 PM
hey reh,

u are not alone. I too took up EEE 12 years ago as my mum told me it is an iron rice bowl and many others told me too that as an engineer, we can always do business but a businessman cannot do engineering. So here's my experience.

1) Engineers can make good businessmen. Engineers can also move in finance sector either by joining upon graduation or by studying a Master in Finance. Studying as a engineer gives us a certain rigour of logical thought and problem solving ability. However, it can also give us a lower EQ and push away intuition as part of the decision making process. This is something i learned can be a negative point esp when running your own business and scaling up with management team.

2) Business students can also start a business in an IT or engineering field. Just find a good partner or hire the right technical staff. Branding & Marketing are key skills and assets which are critical to any firm's survival.

3) My work life so far has shown me that a logical mind and problem solving attitude helps a lot. But i have seen many businessmen who are not engineers who have that. I have also seen many engineers who think they can run businesses but are unable to make good use of intuition and EQ to build and manage a good team.

4) Interest matters alot. I was not interested in engineering. So it was tough even to just maintain the 1st class honours grade. If i studied business, i think i would have done even better. So you better take something you are keen on, you will learn a whole lot more and score better too.

5) If you want to climb the management route in some MNC/GLC, being an engineer or business grad makes little diffference. It's work performance.

6) Finance. I suggest major in Finance. Makes more sense.

Just my opinions. To me, study engineering only if you want to R&D or want to do engineering work or if you are keen in the subject and know you have that academic interest.

truewt
02-28-2008, 05:06 PM
I have to agree with dershing. Taking on an Engineering degree, followed by a Masters (either in Business Administration or Finance) is certainly more prestigious than a BBA or Bachelor in Finance/Commerce.

However, do not let us sway your thoughts! Go with your heart, a popular and stable degree can only bring you so far, but passion will bring you infinite possibilities. Besides, you will definitely do better in something you are more interested in!

_reh
02-28-2008, 06:12 PM
Hi dershing and truewt,

thanks alot for your opinion. I've also considered a double degree in both engineering and business/finance. But i've heard that it is indeed challenging and demanding. Do happen to know of anyone who is taking ddp now and if so how are they doing (as in are they totally stressed out) or sth?

truewt
02-28-2008, 08:44 PM
Hi _reh,

Sorry but I do not have anyone in any DDPs. I can help you ask around though, because iirc my friend's brother's in Cambridge doing DDP in Engineering and something else. But apparently, from his brother, it is a rather relaxed programme.

But it is important to take note, the education in Singapore is extremely heavy. There's a lot for you to study and work, because I've a ex-classmate in Imperial and basically from her she's on an Accelerated Masters (3 years or 4, can't remember) programme, and she feels that the workload is about the same as a Bachelor degree in Singapore, if not lesser :( That's a sad fact for us Singaporeans because we're kiasu!

iamme
06-06-2008, 09:50 AM
Hi dershing and truewt,

thanks alot for your opinion. I've also considered a double degree in both engineering and business/finance. But i've heard that it is indeed challenging and demanding. Do happen to know of anyone who is taking ddp now and if so how are they doing (as in are they totally stressed out) or sth?

Hey there, you could try talking to nanachan on this forum, she should be able to give you lots of useful advice on that. :)

ihatelaw
08-08-2008, 01:57 PM
If you're dead set on finance, the question is: how ambitious are you?

The best option is to apply into a good US uni. What are your grades like? You do not have to enter Harvard or Princeton. A solid college such as Uni of Chicago will be more than sufficient to secure your future. If you look to the UK, LSE will be the best option. Some say that career placement opportunities at LSE are far better than Oxbridge.

Sorry, let me backtrack abit. The finance industry can be divided into 'quant' jobs and everything else (I am only referring to front-office positions and not ops). 'Quant' positions require alot of math - financial modelling is essential. Think of 'quant' hedge funds like DE Shaw, Renaissance Tech. If you love math (i'm talking multivariable calculus, regression, stochastic analysis), then this is area for you.

Now if for whatever reason you aren't able to study abroad, there are only a few options I can think of. NTU Accountancy, SMU Double Degree (major in Quant Finance if you're up for it), NUS Science (Major in Quant Finance). I don't see any point in doing Engineering because it will not open any doors in finance after you graduate.

Having said that, the chances of a local grad getting into any investment bank are so so slim. On average, there's probably less than 5 from ALL UNIS each year. You really really have to be exceptional in school to first get a summer internship and subsequent interview. That is only the first step. You'll then have to compete with grads from the ivies for a job. I mean most of the recruiters come from top schools anyway so you get my point.

If you insist on doing Engineering, make sure you get very good grades. Make sure your co-curriculars are outstanding. I don't mean joining hall activities which are imo, a total waste of time. Show passion in something. If it is finance, join an investment club or hell, show that you have a knack for it by investing on your own. Why? You'll need all this to get into a top tier MBA program. The thing about the MBA is, you must get into at least the top 10 programs. Otherwise, it's just a tremendous waste of money (90k USD on tuition alone).

dixgomez
01-15-2009, 03:59 PM
I agree with dershing and truewt, taking on to engineering degree and afterwards taking a master in either a business administration or a finance is more good than taking BBA or BF/C, but still you should go with what your heart wanted for.... that is the more important...





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spencer
02-15-2009, 01:37 AM
If you're dead set on finance, the question is: how ambitious are you?

The best option is to apply into a good US uni. What are your grades like? You do not have to enter Harvard or Princeton. A solid college such as Uni of Chicago will be more than sufficient to secure your future. If you look to the UK, LSE will be the best option. Some say that career placement opportunities at LSE are far better than Oxbridge.

Sorry, let me backtrack abit. The finance industry can be divided into 'quant' jobs and everything else (I am only referring to front-office positions and not ops). 'Quant' positions require alot of math - financial modelling is essential. Think of 'quant' hedge funds like DE Shaw, Renaissance Tech. If you love math (i'm talking multivariable calculus, regression, stochastic analysis), then this is area for you.

Now if for whatever reason you aren't able to study abroad, there are only a few options I can think of. NTU Accountancy, SMU Double Degree (major in Quant Finance if you're up for it), NUS Science (Major in Quant Finance). I don't see any point in doing Engineering because it will not open any doors in finance after you graduate.

Having said that, the chances of a local grad getting into any investment bank are so so slim. On average, there's probably less than 5 from ALL UNIS each year. You really really have to be exceptional in school to first get a summer internship and subsequent interview. That is only the first step. You'll then have to compete with grads from the ivies for a job. I mean most of the recruiters come from top schools anyway so you get my point.

If you insist on doing Engineering, make sure you get very good grades. Make sure your co-curriculars are outstanding. I don't mean joining hall activities which are imo, a total waste of time. Show passion in something. If it is finance, join an investment club or hell, show that you have a knack for it by investing on your own. Why? You'll need all this to get into a top tier MBA program. The thing about the MBA is, you must get into at least the top 10 programs. Otherwise, it's just a tremendous waste of money (90k USD on tuition alone).

This guiy knows what he is talking.

MOD Ashearo Edit: Please do not post unless you have something constructive to add.

spencer
02-15-2009, 05:02 AM
This guiy knows what he is talking.

MOD Ashearo Edit: Please do not post unless you have something constructive to add.

This guy is right on the spot on how local unis cannot get you into investment banking. Uni grads from unknown/regional unis like NUS and SMU are naturally destined for the back office, because that's what they are capable of. In parallel there are also regional unis in France that fits into BO, regional unis in the UK like Brunel that fits into the BOs. What's so offensive about it?

At least, people from my school who apply for banks have no problem at all getting interviews with investment banks at all. In London, your applications are layered. Those people from targets are interviewed first, sorted automatically using the app form. Most of the time vaccines are filled without even printing the applications out from the non targets. They won't even reach teh CV book stage.

We don't want people from bad names to do stupid things and taint the reputation of our bank. Those people who work for BO are naturally onyl capable of working for BO. No sour grape here.

yanshuo
02-15-2009, 08:44 AM
How about for investment banking in Singapore?

spencer
02-16-2009, 05:17 AM
How about for investment banking in Singapore?

My understanding is that grad vaccines for HK and Sing offices are filled by US, UK and in some cases Australian grads. Local students hardly get a look (until very recently, where truly exceptional ones may get an interview). A friend of mine from Cam is going to start work at McKinsey HK later this year.

I would also add that NUS is no where near the Ivies. Would be hard pressed to be near UC Davis. Certainly not near UCSB's level in terms of research.

Namn
03-01-2009, 06:45 AM
If you are considering a degree in engineering a Master in Finance is also a good way to apply your quantitative skills, and this is an education that really pays off.

If you are looking for an overview of Master in Finance programs http://www.mscfinance.com/
provides an extensive overview of Master in Finance programs worldwide.

spencer
03-02-2009, 04:57 AM
If you are considering a degree in engineering a Master in Finance is also a good way to apply your quantitative skills, and this is an education that really pays off.

If you are looking for an overview of Master in Finance programs http://www.mscfinance.com/
provides an extensive overview of Master in Finance programs worldwide.

MSc Finance is the worst degree you can get.

Better MFE.

Namn
03-03-2009, 01:33 AM
Thank you for sharing your view on this matter. Personally I think that a master in finance is broader than a MFE, thus it gives more freedom to choose.

spencer
03-03-2009, 07:44 AM
Thank you for sharing your view on this matter. Personally I think that a master in finance is broader than a MFE, thus it gives more freedom to choose.

There are way tooo many MSc Finance, MBA and such grads around the world. I advise you against it.

Last time, CFA was rare. But now, loads of people are doing CFAs and the supply > demand.

LockT31W
03-03-2009, 07:45 AM
Thank you for sharing your view on this matter. Personally I think that a master in finance is broader than a MFE, thus it gives more freedom to choose.

If you're already doing your Masters and still have no idea what career you want to go to, then I think it's time you sat down and thought long and hard to make up your mind.

spencer
03-04-2009, 08:37 AM
If you're already doing your Masters and still have no idea what career you want to go to, then I think it's time you sat down and thought long and hard to make up your mind.

His career choice depends on the future employment market.

I would say that Finance's most glorious days are probably over. It's going to be like the dot coms, there will be more of them after the bust, but the profit margin would be lower.

spencer
03-04-2009, 08:38 AM
Thank you for sharing your view on this matter. Personally I think that a master in finance is broader than a MFE, thus it gives more freedom to choose.

There are way too many CFAs around. Trust me.

Also, CFA is more useful for equity research or asset management, but not for most other areas of investment banking .

yanshuo
03-04-2009, 09:23 AM
Wikipedia: Comparison of MFE with MSc(Finance) and MBA

The program differs from that of a Master of Science in Finance (MSF), and an MBA in finance, in that these degrees aims to produce finance generalists as opposed to "quants", and therefore focus on corporate finance, accounting, equity valuation and portfolio management. The treatment of any common topics - usually financial modeling and risk management - will be less (or even non) technical. Entrance requirements are similarly less mathematical.

In addition to the study of probability, there are various other topics that would be considered part of both actuarial science and quantitative finance [14], and there is therefore some overlap between the degrees (and they are often offered by the same department). Nevertheless, quantitative finance programs are distinct from those in actuarial science [15]. Specifically, whereas actuarial programs cover risk and uncertainty as applied to pensions, insurance and investments, quantitative finance programs are broader (although offer less depth in these areas), and prepare graduates for the various highly numerate roles in finance [16] - and for other areas that require "quants" [17].

There is some overlap with a Master of Financial Economics although the emphasis is very different. This degree focuses on the underlying economics, and on developing and testing theoretical models, and aims to prepare graduates for research based roles and for doctoral study. The curriculum thererfore emphasises coverage of financial theory, and of econometrics, while the treatment of model implementation (through mathematical modeling and programing), while important, is secondary. Entrance requirements are similarly less mathematical. Note that some Financial Economics degrees are substantially quantitative, and are largely akin to the MQF.

For students whose interests in finance are commercial rather than academic, a Masters in Quantitative Finance may be seen as an alternative to a PhD in finance. At the same time though, “Masters in Mathematical Finance” programs are often positioned as providing a basis for doctoral study.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Financial_Engineering

Wikipedia on CFA:

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is an international professional designation offered by the CFA Institute of USA (formerly known as AIMR) to financial analysts who complete a series of three examinations. In order to become a "CFA Charterholder" candidates must pass all three six-hour exams, having already completed either a bachelor's degree or four years of professional work experience. CFA charterholders are also obligated to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards governing their professional conduct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartered_Financial_Analyst

spencer, do you have anything to add on to these definitions?

spencer
03-12-2009, 03:09 AM
Wikipedia: Comparison of MFE with MSc(Finance) and MBA



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Financial_Engineering

Wikipedia on CFA:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartered_Financial_Analyst

spencer, do you have anything to add on to these definitions?

I'd be happy to take any questions relating to this area.

spencer
03-12-2009, 03:17 AM
Basically, MSc Finance shares a similar curriculum as CFA.

For MBA, well MBA is MBA. You learn a basket of business skills, and some networking. Excellent for becoming managers in multinationals, or joining the M&A division (investment banking division) of banks.

MFE: MFEs are useful for the markets side of things. There are two types of quants, the PhDs and the MSc. To do a MFE you would be expected to have a maths/physics/engineering/(computer science) background. You must be pretty good with writing programs for scientific computation.

Actuarial would be looking at the survival models and risk side of things, from a pensions/insurance perspective. Having said that, the whole CDO boom was due to a paper by David Li that applied actuarial maths to pricing CMOs.

vitalism
03-13-2009, 01:32 AM
Basically, MSc Finance shares a similar curriculum as CFA.

For MBA, well MBA is MBA. You learn a basket of business skills, and some networking. Excellent for becoming managers in multinationals, or joining the M&A division (investment banking division) of banks.

MFE: MFEs are useful for the markets side of things. There are two types of quants, the PhDs and the MSc. To do a MFE you would be expected to have a maths/physics/engineering/(computer science) background. You must be pretty good with writing programs for scientific computation.

Actuarial would be looking at the survival models and risk side of things, from a pensions/insurance perspective. Having said that, the whole CDO boom was due to a paper by David Li that applied actuarial maths to pricing CMOs.

so how can someone pursue a MFE then? thanks for your time as i'm really noob in this area

spencer
03-13-2009, 02:50 AM
so how can someone pursue a MFE then? thanks for your time as i'm really noob in this area

A first degree in maths/physics/engineering

Very advanced maths + some languages (like C, C++, MATLAB, R, etc)

TheBruce
03-15-2009, 06:09 PM
I have several friends who started with an engineering degree and then went into finance on top. Corporations will appreciate if someone know "both sides".

spencer
03-23-2009, 09:44 AM
I have several friends who started with an engineering degree and then went into finance on top. Corporations will appreciate if someone know "both sides".

Finance depts in big non-financial companies?!

seomaybank
10-27-2010, 11:46 PM
Well for me, it's still best to choose the course that you are passionate about. Learning makes easier and is enjoyable if the course you wanna pursue is your passion.

Linnette Jane
04-26-2013, 08:29 PM
I would probably prefer to the engineering course because as what I have observe nowadays engineering course are literally in demand. However, try to analyze if what you want then you can follow what you like most.

georgenelson
12-12-2013, 08:31 PM
At present situation getting into engineering in the toughest one because yearly lakhs and lakhs of engineering students are passing out they can’t get exact job. Most of them were turning their eyes to financing area, because they want any degree as their qualification.