PhD Degree in Financial Engineering

Programs for a Ph.D. in Financial Engineering usually require a bachelor's degree, relevant experience, and a GRE. These programs provide graduates with extensive skills in finance that enable them to work in a variety of positions. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Earn a Ph.D. in Financial Engineering

Ph.D. in Financial Engineering programs typically require at least a bachelor's degree along with relevant work experience and can be completed in around four years. These programs are very research-oriented, and some courses that may be included are listed below.

Research Methods

In research methods, or research design courses, students will explore different approaches to research methodologies and ethics in preparation for the extensive research involved within the Ph.D. program. Students may be responsible for creating a hypothetical problem, completing research, and developing a solution design. Students may also analyze and critique research reports to further develop their research skills.

Mathematical Statistics

Students will learn about algorithms, data exploration and statistical models while taking classes related to mathematical statics. Courses will likely cover both the mathematics of models and their computations, as well as how to interpret data into real-life situations and applications.

Stochastic Processes and Methods

Stochastic processes courses introduce students to specific processes and applications such as Markov chains and Brownian motions. Students may also be introduced to in infinite divisibility, stationary processes and spectral decomposition.

Models of Optimization

Throughout courses focused on models of optimization, students will explore mathematical models and methods for optimizations in finance. Students will develop knowledge of optimality conditions, duality, and probability. These courses may also feature portfolio balancing and risk management as they apply to investments.

Numerical Solutions and Analysis

Numerical solutions courses will provide students with a platform to learn about numerical solutions as they relate to differential equations. Students may apply different methods to solve equations such as hyperbolic, elliptic and parabolic. Other topics covered may include stability analysis and theories on consistency and convergence.

Stochastic Mathematics or Calculus

Stochastic calculus courses provide a foundation for financial engineers in understanding current financial theories. Additionally, these courses may provide instruction on random variables and processes, Brownian motion, and discrete continuous distributions.

Admission Requirements for a Ph.D. in Financial Engineering

All Ph.D. in Financial Engineering programs require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree, and may prefer that the degree be in a related field. Additionally, programs may require relevant work or research experience, a qualifying GPA, and a qualifying GRE score. Applicants may also be required to submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Ph.D. programs will take around 4 or 5 years, and may allow students to transfer in some credits from a graduate level.

What Can You Do with a Ph.D. in Financial Engineering?

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts guide individuals and businesses through financial and investment decisions by studying and analyzing the performance of investments such as stocks and bonds. Financial analysts need to be aware of current financial methods and instruments, possess effective research skills, and be able to write professional reports on their findings. Each of these necessary skills are developed and strengthened within a Ph.D. program.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts assist organizations with financial organization by creating budget reports, proposals, and revisions, along with implementing and managing budgets. By completing a Ph.D. in FE, candidates are able to show their extensive knowledge of financial topics and research, along with the necessary analytical and financial skills. An applicant who holds a Ph.D. already possess extensive knowledge of finance and may hold more skills from their educational program than many of their competing applicants.

Financial Manager

Financial managers help to ensure the financial health and growth of their organization by producing and reviewing reports, providing guidance on projects and acquisitions, as well as overseeing the activities of financial departments. CFOs are the top level of financial managers, and hold more responsibilities than those who work in lower levels. Because of the deeper knowledge and skills required to effectively complete job functions, a Ph.D. in FE may provide candidates with more opportunities as financial managers.

Cost Estimator

Cost estimators research and analyze data in order to calculate estimates of materials, time, money, and labor that might be required to make a produce, provide a service, or build a structure. Cost estimators must possess strong mathematic and analytical skills in order to properly retrieve and review data in their positions. Not only does a Ph.D. prepare candidates with familiarity of financial environments and methods, it also provides them with extensive research skills through practice that are essential in this role.

Postsecondary Educators

Postsecondary educators are part-time or full-time college educators who may work as instructors or professors. Typically community colleges require at least a master's degree for teaching, while universities require a Ph.D. for a regular teaching position. By completing a Ph.D. program, individuals are provided with extensive knowledge in their subject field along with practical skills, research capabilities, and a student's perspective on best-practice teaching methods.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Financial Analyst $85,660 6%
Budget Analyst $76,220 4%
Financial Manager $127,990 16%
Cost Estimator $64,040 9%
Postsecondary Teacher $78,470 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Ph.D. in Financial Engineering program can be completed in around four years, and provides students with an extensive understanding of financial engineering topics such as statistics, stochastic processes, data analysis and research methods. Individuals who hold a Ph.D. in Financial Engineering are equipped with valuable skills that can be applied in a number of careers.

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