Chapter 3

A Profile of Programs and Curricula with a Financial Engineering Component

John Cornish

SBCC Group, Inc.


As should have been made clear from the preceding chapter on career paths, financial engineers pursue employment in a number of different functional areas that may be thought of as subspecialties within the discipline. As the demand for quantitatively trained finance professionals has grown across many industries, so too have the programs offered by colleges and universities. Today, worldwide, an estimated 5,000 students graduate each year with some substantive training in financial engineering.1 As also noted in the preceding chapter, different jobs within the broader field of quantitative finance require somewhat different skill sets. Employers’ job postings may seek individuals with expertise in derivatives, risk management, mathematical modeling, computer programming, structured finance, and/or other specialized areas. Not surprisingly, many of the programs now offered do not explicitly incorporate the term “financial engineering” in their degree title. Nevertheless, they do provide the requisite training that distinguishes quantitative finance and financial engineering graduates from other degree majors. Even though the program titles and contents vary, for ease of discussion we refer to them all, in this chapter, as financial engineering programs.2

An understanding of the similarities and differences among financial engineering programs is important ...

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