Chicago Academics

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by jasonbraswell, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. I currently work for a firm in Chicago that specializes in algorithmic trading. Accordingly, I've been thinking about going back to school for some further education in this area. Thus far, I've looked at comp. sci. and financial engineering programs at U. of Chicago and Northwestern, and I've looked at IIT master's program in finance, where you can specialize in financial engineering and programming.

    To me, it seems like the IIT program is best, due to its focus, but I was just curious if anyone on this board had any experiences with these or related programs. If so, I'd like to hear your opinions.

  2. toc


    Trading is a field where most of the learning is done on own and in your case already working for algo trading firm, you can do more personal research given the resources. UofC or NW sure would look good on the resume for the long run though as these are Ivy Leagues.
  3. I applied to the IIT program starting in Aug. Should be hearing the verdict soon.
  4. I'm also looking at the IIT program, and would be curious to see what graduates of the program have to say. I went to a couple of their open houses and they talked up the jobs this year's grads got - jobs at PIMCO, IB's, etc.

    I agree that in trading a lot of learning takes place on your own, but that can be limiting as well. For example, my experience is in prop shops and trading for other people, and I will never gain high level knowledge (such as alogorithms, complex strategies, financial engineering, etc) in my current situation.

    Thanks for the post - I'm looking forward to seeing what people have to say.

  5. Which program is best for you really depends on what you are trying to do.

    I have looked at the UC program, which is similar to others around the country such as those found at Columbia, NYU/Courant, Carnegie-Mellon, etc. It is run by the math department and is essentially focused on bringing the forces of PDE, stochastic calculus, and measure theory to bear on financial problems, such as derivative pricing and risk management. My guess is that it would be good for getting entry to a quant position at a major investment bank, but there you are competing with math and physics PhDs.

    I glanced at the IIT program. To me it appeared to be at an MBA level of intensity, so I really think that is the type of person you would be competing against.

    Of course none of this will help you become a good trader. If you want to work at a bank or do quant work the more math the better. That's just the way things are going.
  6. Thanks for comments, folks.

    Bernoulli, I'd agree one of the other two programs would be preferable for working at a bank, but I'm happy where I'm at and just want to contribute more directly to the development process. I figure the IIT program covers the basics of financial engineering, and if I change my mind, I can always enter a PhD program later.

    GhettoTrader, I think I feel the same way you do.

    ImamicPH, maybe I'll see you there this fall!
  7. brism


    Program at UC is great if you have a strong math background (undergrad math, physics major). It's also nice that it can be done fairly qucikly. I'd do that over anything else if I had the aptitude (and $$). A friend of mine did it and she now works for Lasalle bank in Chicago as a quantitative analsyt in the risk department. Her salary is great but, fuck, I wouldn't want to do that boring ass shit.
  8. One thing I can so far is that they suck at finding your test scores.
  9. Is anybody else taking classes in Chicago?

    Just got my paperwork back. I think I should start looking for a new job quick.

    Any ideas.
  10. Good luck with that.

    After some word-of-mouth research and the comments on here, I've decided to apply to the U of C program in computer science once I get my CFA results back in August.

    If I haven't picked up any financial engineering on my on by the time I'm done with that, I guess I can apply to the financial engineering program at U of C at that time.
    #10     Jul 20, 2006