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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
Hello everyone,

I am currently rethinking my whole career plan and I need your advice.
Here’s my profile: 22 years old male, French, graduated from a Top 3 B-School in Canada GPA: 3.75 / 4.3 (fluent in English, Spanish, French); GMAT: 640 (Q 38; V 39); CFA level 1 passed in December 2013, CFA level 2 candidate June 2015

Extra-curricular activities: Student athlete plus administrative role in the athletic program of my university, no particular and relevant job experience, various scholarships for academic and sport achievements.

My long term professional goal is to work either as a portfolio manager either as an economist analyst whether in the private or public sector.
My short term goal is more of an issue as I don’t know which path I should take to reach my long term objective. My personal goal is to attain a strong understanding of the macroeconomic and capital markets mechanisms, decent programming skills (I start from scratch); speak another language by the age of 25. I reckon it can sound very dull.

At first, I thought a MiF to be my best option. As you see, I am also involved in the CFA program which I consider an excellent self-education tool. So here’s the thing. I find myself wondering why I would pay a lot of money for a curriculum I have already in my bedroom books (at least 70% for the schools CFA partners). I don’t want to spend the first semester reviewing classes I have already seen the content, before I could select electives that are far more interesting. But don’t get me wrong. Of course there is the value of teaching, networking, prestige of the school etc. and of course you learn much more during a MiF than with the CFA program, and of course there are some really good Mif free of charge for EU students.

So I am not rejecting at all the idea itself of enrolling in an MSc but maybe I can get more value in another master program than the traditional MiF. This is where I need your help. Can MSc in Economics present a good alternative? Are they compatible with my career plan? I had this first feeling that MSc Econ lead to mostly PhD, insurance work? Am I wrong?

Their curriculums seem very attractive to me but I have only studied Macro I and Micro I before going full finance classes during my BBA; do I have any chance entering such programs with my profile? Why is GRE more important than the GMAT for those programs, do they require more advanced math skills than a basic BBA graduate would have?

Here are the MSc I am considering.

Master of Science in Economics at SSE
Master in Economics or Master in Quantitative Economics and Finance (looks very strong) at HSG
Master in EBA Applied Economics and Finance at CBS

Does it make any sense to you? I know that’s a lot of question marks but please don’t hesitate to share your insights. Any opinion concerning any part of this post really matters to me.

Thank you for your time. Take care all!

PS: I will be posting this on other forums to get maximum feedback, sorry for the spam.
Badges: 14
Report 6 years ago
Without going into lots of detail:
First, can you clarify your plans? You say portfolio manager or economic analyst? These are generally not the same roles, although economists do sometimes move into PM positions - more often within the fixed interest sphere.
If you want to be a PM, CFA is the way to go. If you want to do economics, an economics msc is highly recommended. It sounds like you may need to investigate the options for economics MScs that do not require econ as an undergrad major; this probably means you are looking at a two-year msc.
I have no idea where you get the idea that an economics msc leads to insurance work.... That is more actuarial science or stats. Plenty people in real world finance with economics msc.
I also don't really see the point in doing an msc that largely replicates the CFA curriculum, though if it does I would note it can't be a very academically challenging masters. You may want to do a bit more digging to see how much more the msc delves into what superficially looks the same as the CFA curriculum.
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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
Thank your for your answer.

I would like to start as a research macro analyst, it really awakens my interest. From there, I think I could move to PM don't you think?
I've looked at several Econ masters, I would indeed have to go through a two years program, which doesn't bother me at all. Thanks for mentioning that MSc Econ also open doors into the financial world, I didn't know about it.

I have done some digging regarding the curriculum. Several top programs put forward the similitude (complementary?) between their classes and the CFA program For instance, IE MiF : "A 10-month finance program developed by capital markets professionals that prepares students for the CFA level I exam". You always encounter mandatory classes such as Financial Accounting analysis, Capital market theory, Valuation and equity research, Ehtics, Portfolio Management etc... So the first semester nothing is really new I guess. On the other hand, electives seem really interesting. I would learn much more with advanced macro micro, econometric etc .

Also, as I am still making my mind regarding the choice of MSc, I don't want to loose the advantage of applying early. Is a double application for the Econ and Finance MSc regarded as something penalizing by the admission team or is it something rather common and I should not worry about it.

Thank you ! take care

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