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The public college whose quant grads earn more than Princeton's

While its no secret that attending a prestigious private college will give you an edge in the search for a job in finance, public schools can be just as good if you choose the right one. For engineers and quants, one school in particular stands out, Baruch college in the City University of New York.

While it has always been highly regarded, Baruch recently made history as Risk.net announced it as the number one school for Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) courses, knocking Princeton off the top spot. 

Risk.net states the primary reason for this is a significant rise in graduate starting salaries from $127k to $150.2k, making it the second highest earning university for MFE grads behind UC Berkeley Haas. The driver for this is a number of this years graduates securing roles at high paying hedge funds and trading firms.

Examples of this are Lingzhi Lin who graduated in 2022 and was picked up as a quant researcher by Citadel Securities, and 2023 graduate Zhen Gao who was hired as a quant researcher by Steve Cohen's hedge fund, Point72 in New York.

Which top quants studied at Baruch?

Looking at past alumni, the course boasts a number of impressive technologists on the buy side. 2012 graduates include Jing Cheng, CTO of venture capital firm AXQ Capital and Alexei Smirnov, quant development team lead at hedge fund Millennium. One of the earliest graduates, Bobby Koupparis studied the course from 2008 2010 and is now a managing director at hedge fund Two Sigma.

Within banks, the most impressive graduate is Adolfo Cheong, who also studied in 2008 and has worked at both Jefferies and JPMorgan. He is currently head of portfolio engineering for HSBCs asset management arm. Peng Wu graduated in 2014 and has been a quant at Credit Suisse ever since, being promoted to director last year.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • ph
    photobug56
    26 May 2023

    Look past the snob factor from fancy schools, and it's not strange to find public and other schools, where students may have gone at night, where they may have gotten a far better education than at the snob schools.

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