harrylynn
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Hey guys,

I'm graduating with BSc Accounting & Finance this year from one of the red-brick unis and want to pursue MSc Computing & Information Systems next year.

I feel like Accounting + Information Systems combination could probably lead to good job prospects in implementations or systems/business analysis. At the same time, Finance + Computing could help me get employed as an, e.g. financial analyst with Python skills. I probably would like to either work in the cloud or start in business intelligence and later move to data engineering in financial services.

I live in London and consider four programmes:
MSc Computing Science | Imperial College London
MSc Computer Science | UCL
MSc Computing & Information Systems | Queen Mary, University of London
MSc Computer Science (online programme) | University of Kent

I also looked at MSc Computational Finance, but I think computing will open more doors for me. I plan to either stay in London or move to Canada/US later in my career.

MSc Computing & Information Systems would complement domain knowledge I already have so I don't treat it as a conversion master like someone who studied, for instance, a bachelor in Politics.

I am inclined to choose Queen Mary as it seems to be half-computing and half-IT rather than pure computer science theory and mathematics programme.

Which programme would you recommend for someone with my background?
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Nawaz_101
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(Original post by harrylynn)
Hey guys,

I'm graduating with BSc Accounting & Finance this year from one of the red-brick unis and want to pursue MSc Computing & Information Systems next year.

I feel like Accounting + Information Systems combination could probably lead to good job prospects in implementations or systems/business analysis. At the same time, Finance + Computing could help me get employed as an, e.g. financial analyst with Python skills. I probably would like to either work in the cloud or start in business intelligence and later move to data engineering in financial services.

I live in London and consider four programmes:
MSc Computing Science | Imperial College London
MSc Computer Science | UCL
MSc Computing & Information Systems | Queen Mary, University of London
MSc Computer Science (online programme) | University of Kent

I also looked at MSc Computational Finance, but I think computing will open more doors for me. I plan to either stay in London or move to Canada/US when I'm older.

MSc Computing & Information Systems would complement domain knowledge I already have so I don't treat it as a conversion master like someone who studied, for instance, a bachelor in Politics.

I am inclined to choose Queen Mary as it seems to be half-computing and half-IT rather than pure computer science theory and mathematics programme.

Which programme would you recommend for someone with my background?
hey bud,

dyu carry any comp science/programming experience from before or as a hobby.? or u want to apply fresh for comp sci/fin.?
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harrylynn
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When I was applying to uni, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to study Accounting & Finance or Business Computing (also known as Info Systems major in the US and often praised on YouTube). I learnt that pure Comp Science degree was not for me as it was too theoretical. I also have pretty good soft skills (employed as a personal trainer and events coordinator in the past). I eventually chose Acc & Fin because I wanted to become a financial analyst or investment banker. Only later I learnt how exciting the world of data and financial technology is and that old-fashioned banking roles are not for me (everything wrong from the workload and 80hrs workweeks to people in the industry in general) :/

I got into web development/design and got a grasp of CSS/HTML after starting a bodybuilding blog when I was 16 years old. I attended a couple of technology events in my first and second year at uni on data engineering, product design, data analytics etc. to figure out what field would suit me best. I also completed a few courses on business intelligence (20hrs from zero to hero), databases, introductory Python, Data Science in finance on Linkedin, Coursera etc. I am reading about the tools such as Hadoop and Spark atm, and I feel like I'd like to give myself one more year of full-time training to polish my skills and gain a formal qualification as well before I apply for a job.
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harrylynn
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I was always good at numerical assignments but not mathematical if you know what I mean (mental math etc. ). MSc Computational Finance teaches data science, financial engineering, machine learning, numerical optimisation etc. and I am not sure whether I can meet the standards :/ I feel like computing & information systems would be better suited for my needs. I also had a look at MSc Data Analytics and MSc Business Analytics, but they both look very bland :/ Many people also discouraged me from applying for a masters in Big Data as the topic is very complex and overhyped. I think that masters should be more versatile as I can always focus on big data in my research project/masters thesis
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Nawaz_101
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(Original post by harrylynn)
When I was applying to uni, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to study Accounting & Finance or Business Computing (also known as Info Systems major in the US and often praised on YouTube). I learnt that pure Comp Science degree was not for me as it was too theoretical. I also have pretty good soft skills (employed as a personal trainer and events coordinator in the past). I eventually chose Acc & Fin because I wanted to become a financial analyst or investment banker. Only later I learnt how exciting the world of data and financial technology is and that old-fashioned banking roles are not for me (everything wrong from the workload and 80hrs workweeks to people in the industry in general) :/

I got into web development/design and got a grasp of CSS/HTML after starting a bodybuilding blog when I was 16 years old. I attended a couple of technology events in my first and second year at uni on data engineering, product design, data analytics etc. to figure out what field would suit me best. I also completed a few courses on business intelligence (20hrs from zero to hero), databases, introductory Python, Data Science in finance on Linkedin, Coursera etc. I am reading about the tools such as Hadoop and Spark atm, and I feel like I'd like to give myself one more year of full-time training to polish my skills and gain a formal qualification as well before I apply for a job.
hmm... thats sounds great... in my experience of working as a senior software engineer and an entrepreneur for the last decade, i would reccomend a few things..

- Ur background is great, and i think u do have a pretty good hands on experience with code, even if they were courses and not a formal degree etc , so i think you will be familiar with things in info systems..
- ur past of interest/woking in alternative fields really does show your capacity of learning, managing your time, getting a grasp of things,very important for a career in info systems...
- comp sci being very theoretical is almost correct (mostly ox bridge etc) there are many good comp science courses offering theory+practicals approaches up to industrial standards.. so don't be very restricted towards MSc comp sci as it does give a very solid foundation of programming. BUT it includes a lot of HW/Operating Systems/DBMS/Network that you wouldn't need for Fin/IT ... so i would say doing a core MSc in comp sci would add good exposure to code etc but a load of very unnecessary modules that u may not want if ur hell bent on Fin/IS. in this regards there should be more unis offering Fin/Computing , Queens included so that line of thought is better.
- i always personally discourage a Masters in a very particular tech as the first masters, it should be more of an umbrella subject covering many different modules to give u a feel of whats to come, with a bit of industrial experience, u can always enter a specialist master program (big/data sci/ distributed ledgers/cyber laws) etc
- LASTLY, ur background sounds perfect for a Fin/IT career, the question is that the career u want.? i would say a masters should be done with more of a career/future research u want to pursuit over what u have already done.. it definitely can be the same as well if u want.. so if u have the background of fin/exposure to code and u want to really get into a fin/tech career, then omit comp sci , would do u much good, rather look at Computational Finance MSc at UCL or similar degrees in other Unis.. that might help better.. have u gone through this course https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-st...al-finance-msc
lemme know what do u think of it.
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harrylynn
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I had a look at computational finance at UCL. Still, it seems that they target mathematicians/statisticians and turn them into 'quants' (quantitative analysts) or even quantitative developers which is an entirely different career path. I think that financial computing at Queen Mary is the best out of all finance+computing courses https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/...computing-msc/ but the fees are double when you compare it to computing and info systems https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/...n-systems-msc/. I wonder whether financial computing carries any real value and employment prospects or whether they charge double for the 'finance' in the name of the course.

By mistake, I found a course which seems perfect https://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/study/ma...cial-computing, but I got tricked when I saw 'Uni of Liverpool' while the campus is located in China lol 'Graduates from this programme are well-prepared roles such as software engineer, database specialist, infrastructure manager, financial analyst, financial consultant, business analyst, system analyst, investment analyst, e-finance architect, credit manager, portfolio manager, business intelligence executive, wealth services officer, and risk management auditor.' I wish I only found something similar here in the UK or even via distance learning.
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Nawaz_101
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well the computing infosystems course looks mostly like a msc comp sci without the hardware , when one reads " You will learn about databases, computer programming, security and authentication and interactive systems design. You can then build on this knowledge with modules covering mobile services and cloud computing, as well as Bayesian decision and risk analysis.", sounds much like a theoretical course. mostly all the OS/microprocessors/network modules are replaced with interactive designs.. Not sure if its close to what u r looking for.

finance computing on the other hand puts u through math modules focussing around finance/trading platforms. This is a more focussed course circling around tech specialising in finance. Something that suits your profile exactly.

https://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/study/ma...cial-computing this seems like a dream come true for u so is this i think https://www.cmu.edu/mscf/academics/c...index.html#nav

did u have a look at advance technology for computational finance at UCL..?? guess it covers informatics , math and finance

https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgr...on=2021&id=992

career prospects covers
Typical areas in which to pursue a career might include:

quant developer
financial system architect
application engineer
financial system consultant
software developer
data scientist (in academia or industry)
financial system engineer in IT firms, banks, investment, or finance sectors
government and public sector positions



something that u might want to go for as a career.??
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harrylynn
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I don't want to pursue mathematical finance, and all the computational finance programmes seem to go in that direction, including financial computing at Queen Mary (except for the one in China) . Here are some job offers and the direction(s) I'd like to pursue (in the next 10 years): https://www.totaljobs.com/job/data-a...CResultsBottom or https://www.totaljobs.com/job/busine...ng-job91524017. Also, implementations seem interesting https://www.totaljobs.com/job/financ...nt-job91453339 (I am a part-qualified accountant at the moment). So I would like to take my domain knowledge (finance), learn some programming and technologies and be a liaison between tech and business. Business Analyst in IT also sounds very appealing to me. Or maybe become a software developer and start developing business applications with accounting focused themes. I definitely want to keep my choices open in the future, so I agree with you 100% that master's degree shouldn't be limiting your options and be very specialised.

I checked the Advanced Technology for Computational Finance, and it looks like an advanced comp science masters. Edinburgh requires a maths-heavy undergrad degree (graph-theoretic models, Markov chains etc.) with at least one programming course and I only studied MatLab for 5-6 weeks for one assignment
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Nawaz_101
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(Original post by harrylynn)
I don't want to pursue mathematical finance, and all the computational finance programmes seem to go in that direction, including financial computing at Queen Mary (except for the one in China) . Here are some job offers and the direction(s) I'd like to pursue (in the next 10 years): https://www.totaljobs.com/job/data-a...CResultsBottom or https://www.totaljobs.com/job/busine...ng-job91524017. Also, implementations seem interesting https://www.totaljobs.com/job/financ...nt-job91453339 (I am a part-qualified accountant at the moment). So I would like to take my domain knowledge (finance), learn some programming and technologies and be a liaison between tech and business. Business Analyst in IT also sounds very appealing to me. Or maybe become a software developer and start developing business applications with accounting focused themes. I definitely want to keep my choices open in the future, so I agree with you 100% that master's degree shouldn't be limiting your options and be very specialised.

I checked the Advanced Technology for Computational Finance, and it looks like an advanced comp science masters. Edinburgh requires a maths-heavy undergrad degree (graph-theoretic models, Markov chains etc.) with at least one programming course and I only studied MatLab for 5-6 weeks for one assignment
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postg...-data-science/

have u seen this.??
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harrylynn
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It's been a while, and after initial confusion, I decided to pursue the MSc part-time as it will be the best I think. I can already apply for a job and start gaining experience so I won't be wasting time. I think that my final choice will be Birkbeck, Uni of London as it is well-known for part-time study and in London, so lots of opportunities are available in the field. With so many resources available nowadays, I'd rather choose more general part-time masters and focus on the area that interests me and do additional studying or research project on the topic/get certs. Fees are really reasonable at £4,680 per year so I may not even apply for a loan (I don't need more debt).

I found three courses on Birkbeck, which interest me:

MSc Comp Science http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2021/post...mes/TMSCOSCI_C
MSc Information Technology http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2021/post...es/TMSITECH_C/
MSc Data Science http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2021/post...mes/TMSDATSC_C

I think it's not worth going for masters in big data as it is overhyped and very limiting. I could basically do big data/data science and more with masters in comp science but not vice-versa. So I really only consider MSc Comp Science and MSc IT at Birkbeck. Which one do you think would be better?

I'm planning to find an entry-level data analyst role this year and progress from there, so basically Data Analyst -> Data Engineer -> Big Data Engineer or BA -> Business Intelligence Analyst/Engineer -> Data Scientist

Someone told me that it would be madness to compete for, e.g. a java position if I never programmed in the language. There are people here in the UK and overseas who have been doing it for a decade and longer and jobs are increasingly being outsourced as well. I would probably spend a very, very long time as a junior code monkey lol (if I found a position) before making good money. So I will focus on new technologies and less saturated jobs such as info systems and big data.

I checked the programme at Bristol, and it looks interesting. It is a new course though, and I worry about the reputation and moving to Bristol. But it sounds interesting and fresh

It may sound like overkill, but my family really pushes me to do the master's degree and is even willing to pay. No matter how ridiculous it sounds here in the UK, higher education without a master's degree is seen as incomplete in many countries (e.g., Germany). It is a cultural difference, and master's degrees also take 2 years to complete instead of 1 year like here in England. Bachelor's or engineering degree usually takes 3,5-4 years to complete so 3 years of study on your resume look pretty weak to your employers and family. So I'm so determined to get the masters lol
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