Quant Guide 2021: University of California, Berkeley (Haas School of Business)

Berkeley, US

Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
David Schmitz
 

The Master of Financial Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business ranks fifth in this year’s Quant Guide – another strong performance, drawing on its strong research score, high number of students taking up offered places, and excellent employment prospects.

The programme, led by executive director Linda Kreitzman, has some impressive stats: applications for the 2020–21 intake, at 709, are the highest recorded, while it also reports an increased employment rate of 99.18% for the most recent crop of graduates, up a full nine percentage points on last year’s figure.

Student numbers have also increased slightly, with 93 candidates in the 2019–20 intake and 96 for 2020–21. Graduate salaries, however, have dropped slightly to an average of $115,132 — a high figure compared with the overall Quant Guide population, but a decrease relative to this institution’s reported average base compensation of $118,530 last year.

Kreitzman says that the master’s – “the programme that never sleeps”, as she calls it – has coped well with the challenges Covid-19 has presented.

“We started the programme the very same day governor [Gavin] Newsom put California on lockdown,” Kreitzman tells Risk.net. “We worked hard to maintain the quality of our teaching, and firms continue to hire from us. One major global investment management firm hired eight interns, and an investment bank made four offers.”

The course has also organised a flexible internship programme, allowing students to complete placements in summer, autumn or winter, in response to Covid-19.

Course material includes an increased quantity of industry practice seminars. Kreitzman says these are designed to help students get to grips with the influence of the virus on financial markets, with a specific focus on credit and operational risk. A new instructor has also joined the faculty: chair of finance and accounting Christine Parlour, who has been a professor at Berkeley since 2012, will co-teach the financial innovation with data science applications class.

View this institution’s entry in the 2020 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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