Financial engineering master's programs are multidisciplinary in nature and include courses in engineering methods, advanced mathematics, quantitative methods, and programming practices. Program curricula emphasize studies in financial history and theory and provide practical instruction in areas such as computer modeling. Master's degree programs in financial engineering also address portfolio management, investment strategies, and derivatives valuation. Many programs are heavily project-based, providing students with real-world experience in the creation of financial contracts. This includes meeting with clients, analyzing problems and proposing solutions. Students learn to employ optimization, Monte Carlo simulation, stochastic processes, and risk reduction techniques.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree, strong background in finance, linear algebra, vector calculus, and engineering probability. A course on stochastic process is often recommended, and GRE scores are also required.
Master's in Financial Engineering
Master's degree programs in financial engineering can generally be completed in one to two years. Some of the common degree requirements include courses in the following:
- Monte Carlo simulation methods for financial engineering
- Credit risk modeling and credit derivatives
- Data mining and statistics for financial engineering
- Quantitative financial risk management
- Methods in computational finance
- International finance
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a master's degree program in financial engineering find employment in the public treasury, corporate finance departments, and insurance companies. Some common job options include:
- Financial engineer
- Financial analyst
- Investment banker
- Business analyst
- Quantitative developer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial specialists, including financial engineers, earned a median annual salary of $66,670 in May 2015. The related occupations of financial analysts and personal finance advisors had median salaries of $80,310 and $89,160, respectively also in May 2015. The BLS projected that job opportunities for personal financial advisors would grow by about 30% between 2014 and 2024. Comparatively, the employment of financial analysts is expected to increase by 12%.
Graduates seeking further education and employment opportunities in the field of finance can pursue a Ph.D. in financial engineering. Such programs give students the opportunity to contribute original research to the financial engineering field. A minimum undergraduate and graduate GPA may be a prerequisite for the doctoral program.
A master's in financial engineering prepares students for Ph.D. programs or employment as financial specialists, analysts, or personal finance advisors. Students will cover a wide range of financial methods, management techniques, and simulations in their course of study.