Applying to MSc Stats Or Comp Sci at Top Uni

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vlademel
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Hi all,

I am currently working in finance as a quant researcher on a trading desk. I have around 3 years of work experience (total) also working as an economist at an American bank and a quant at a consultancy (calibrating econometric models etc). My background is BSc Economics (First) and MSc Econ (Merit) from an average uni and good uni respectively, both with a lot of econometrics.
So I am looking to further my career and as a result I am coming up against a brick wall from recruiters and HR departments etc that say I need a STEM degree to progress. To remedy this I would like to do an MSc in stats or comp sci at a place like Oxford/UCL/LSE/Imperial/Cabridge(comp sci only). Would my profile be competitive for any of these programs at these unis? I am worried my non-stem academic background might hold me back.
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LookAtHisEyes
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What sort of role are you looking to get into? Most aspiring quants end up in quant research roles after studying their stem MSc. You should be fine with your experience to get into computer science, and perhaps find it more difficult to get into statistics. There are however specific courses designed for quant finance roles, such as mathematical and computational finance and Oxford or mathematics and finance at Imperial
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vlademel
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(Original post by LookAtHisEyes)
What sort of role are you looking to get into? Most aspiring quants end up in quant research roles after studying their stem MSc. You should be fine with your experience to get into computer science, and perhaps find it more difficult to get into statistics. There are however specific courses designed for quant finance roles, such as mathematical and computational finance and Oxford or mathematics and finance at Imperial
Yeah I've seen the MFEs be advertised but they are 30k+ at the good unis. I thought stats might be a better possibility given that I had a lot of econometrics during my degree and a lot of my work exp has been stats related.
With regards to quant role - i'm currently working as an execution quant and want move into alpha research or quant research supporting a PM. Would other unis such as Kings and QML be okay for making this switch?
Side quesiton - do imperial, or oxbridge offer any stats/comp sci courses (not the 30k ones) on a part time basis? I couldn't seem to find anything PT.
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Keele University
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(Original post by vlademel)
Hi all,

I am currently working in finance as a quant researcher on a trading desk. I have around 3 years of work experience (total) also working as an economist at an American bank and a quant at a consultancy (calibrating econometric models etc). My background is BSc Economics (First) and MSc Econ (Merit) from an average uni and good uni respectively, both with a lot of econometrics.
So I am looking to further my career and as a result I am coming up against a brick wall from recruiters and HR departments etc that say I need a STEM degree to progress. To remedy this I would like to do an MSc in stats or comp sci at a place like Oxford/UCL/LSE/Imperial/Cabridge(comp sci only). Would my profile be competitive for any of these programs at these unis? I am worried my non-stem academic background might hold me back.
I'd agree with threeportdrift that good quality supervisory support from a supervisor with a good reputation in your field is one of the most important things when considering where to do your PhD. The other is having an active research culture in your school/department, and a sense that your subject is valued within the university. I chose to stay at Keele to do my PhD because I'd had excellent supervisory support during my MA and could continue to work within a department where a number of leading academics in my field were working, and where the research culture was supportive and vibrant.

Other than that I think that the overall university reputation can be a factor in some professions - names like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale etc do carry weight with some employers, and there's clearly advantages in terms of networking. However I would add that the transitory nature of modern academic employment means that many 'lesser' universities have former Oxford/Cambridge/Russell Group graduates and staff teaching at them - and many 'elite' institutions have staff teaching there who have graduated from 'lesser' organisations! So the quality of teaching at, for example, post-1992 universities can still be extremely high - especially if it's a subject they specialise in.

In addition, there should be lots of opportunities to engage with researchers and research at different institutions during your PhD. For example, I've given conference presentations at Oxford and Edinburgh, and am co-supervised by a leading professor at Manchester (a Russell Group university). I'm also able to access the resources of any of the six institutions within my doctoral training partnership - so my research network extends far beyond my home institution of Keele.

Hope that helps!

Amy
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LookAtHisEyes
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(Original post by vlademel)
Yeah I've seen the MFEs be advertised but they are 30k+ at the good unis. I thought stats might be a better possibility given that I had a lot of econometrics during my degree and a lot of my work exp has been stats related.
With regards to quant role - i'm currently working as an execution quant and want move into alpha research or quant research supporting a PM. Would other unis such as Kings and QML be okay for making this switch?
Side quesiton - do imperial, or oxbridge offer any stats/comp sci courses (not the 30k ones) on a part time basis? I couldn't seem to find anything PT.
Kings would certainly be considered a target uni, not sure about QML.

I’m not sure either about doing those courses part time. Ive just finished doing Math and Finance MSc at Imperial and I know there were part time students on that course, but can’t say for others.

If price is an issue then look at Computational Finance at UCL. Much cheaper than other MFE courses, I think it was £20k when I applied
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vlademel
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(Original post by LookAtHisEyes)
Kings would certainly be considered a target uni, not sure about QML.

I’m not sure either about doing those courses part time. Ive just finished doing Math and Finance MSc at Imperial and I know there were part time students on that course, but can’t say for others.

If price is an issue then look at Computational Finance at UCL. Much cheaper than other MFE courses, I think it was £20k when I applied
Cheers for the heads up. How does Imperial place at quant funds? Do a lot of quant funds directly recruit there?
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LookAtHisEyes
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(Original post by vlademel)
Cheers for the heads up. How does Imperial place at quant funds? Do a lot of quant funds directly recruit there?
I’d say it’s probably 2nd in the UK behind Oxford, but still incredibly hard to get into a quant fund straight from uni. The majority of the people on the course tend to go work for the banks, and try to move into a buy side/quant fund role further down the line.
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