Financial engineers use advanced mathematics, computer science, economics, and statistics to solve finance problems in business and government organizations. Finance engineering master’s degree programs train students in the mathematics, statistical techniques and financial theory needed for a financial engineering position. Financial engineering may also be called financial mathematics, computational finance or mathematical finance.
Finance Engineering Degrees
Master’s degree programs in finance engineering include courses in data analysis, financial risk analysis, portfolio theory and derivatives valuation. Students also complete courses in the tools used to model financial markets. Programs may allow students to select a concentration, such as derivatives, asset management, finance, and economics and trading systems.
A graduate degree in finance engineering can lead to a career as a financial analyst. Analysts work in insurance companies, investment firms, pension funds, banks and other businesses. Financial analysts study economic trends, financial statements, and data to identify investments for businesses and individuals. Analysts with a background in finance engineering use statistical and mathematical techniques to study economic trends and investment opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many employers require a master’s degree in finance for a finance analyst position. A license may be required to work in a financial analyst position. The CFA Institute offers the Chartered Financial Analyst certification for qualified applicants. To earn the credential, applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of experience and pass three examinations. According to the BLS, the median annual income for financial analysts in 2012 was $76,950.
Securities Sales Agents
Graduates of a financial engineering program can work as securities sales agents. Sales agents give advice to clients on the sale or purchase of securities. To provide sound advice to clients, securities sales agents monitor financial markets and analyze business finances. Securities sales agents may be stockbrokers selling securities and commodities to clients or investment bankers bringing businesses and investors together. A bachelor’s degree is necessary for a beginning position as a securities sales agent, but a master’s degree leads to advancement in the field. Securities sales agents must pass a series of examinations from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to obtain a license to represent their firms as brokers or investment bankers. The median annual salary for securities sales agents in 2012 was $71,720, according to the BLS.
Financial managers work to help organizations develop financial strategies that meet their goals. A financial manager prepares reports and financial statements, manages finance employees and provides advice on financial strategies. The minimum education for a financial manager is a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is common among applicants. The median annual salary for financial managers, according to the BLS, was $109,740 in 2012.
- Columbia Engineering: M.S. in Financial Engineering
- Columbia Engineering: M.S. in Financial Engineering Curriculum 2013-2014
- Columbia Engineering: M.S. in Financial Engineering Career Information
- International Association of Financial Engineers: Resources : Student FAQ
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 13-2051 Financial Analysts
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Financial Analyst
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Financial Analysts Do
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 11-3031 Financial Managers
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Financial Manager
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Financial Managers Do
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012 41-3031 Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Securities, Commodities, or Financial Services Sales Agent
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: What Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents Do
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