Studies & Degrees in Financial Mathematics
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The simplest explanation of financial mathematics is the concept of a compilation of mathematics techniques that find application in finance. This suggests that a person involved in financial mathematics would be working with terms like asset pricing, derivative securities, hedging. They would also be able to manage and evaluate the risk of these assets and securities. Furthermore, such a person could be responsible for the optimization of a portfolio of assets –the portfolio of a company, or an individual. This also relates to developing lists of appropriate investments for clients, planning the buying and selling of assets, and calculating the costs of a transaction.
If you are very much drawn to mathematics, statistics, finance, and other related fields, you would definitely enjoy the subject. Other qualities are:
- Ability to make accurate calculations in a short time
- Ready to work under pressure
- Feel at ease when having to work independently
- Excellent communication skills
- Good IT skills
- Ability to think logically and analyze
- Interested in finance and the financial market
There are many options to study Financial Mathematics, and these range from undergraduate to postgraduate degrees, to advanced courses within a related degree program. Often majors in Financial Mathematics are combined with statistics, economics, and other similar subjects. Students embarking on the study of such a degree will examine areas like the pricing of securities, pricing of bonds, all of which can be challenging material. For this reason, it would be smart of you to explore whether the university you choose offers enough practical experience, like a simulated electronic trading project, the opportunity to do an internship, or the opportunity to regularly attend lectures with specialists who can provide a pool of real world examples.
The entry into such a degree program is normally very selective, for which reason you should strive for excellent academic record, and in particular high exam results in mathematics and statistics. For entrance into a postgraduate course, the requirement usually involves previous studies in engineering, science, mathematics, economics, or computing.
The study of Financial Mathematics is usually closely related to pursuing a career in investment banks or other financial institutions. Some of the specializations in this field that you may wish to consider are the following: commodities trader – a person bringing together buyers and sellers, while initiating a negotiation; financial planner – providing financial advice to clients, covering all areas of finance (taxation, retirement, insurance, etc.); financial market dealer – buys and sells securities within the financial market on behalf of financial institutions; investment banker – such a person offers financial products and services, operates large financial transactions, and acts as an intermediary between the commercial and professional sectors of the finance industry. Investment bankers also deal with corporate lending and the money market.
All of these career prospects have a very good potential to become well-paid jobs, and a good option would be to pursue internship options that can lead to a permanent job before you graduate.