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Financial Engineering Jobs: 5 Skills Employers Want Today

From understanding data to sharpened communication skills, find out what skills you need to land jobs in financial engineering and how a specialized master’s degree can help


Tue Jun 7 2022

Financial engineering—the use of mathematical techniques to solve financial problems—is an exciting career route for ambitious business school grads, but the field is constantly evolving. 

Top companies like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and Spotify are always on the look out for financial engineers to fill roles including quantitative engineer and program manager. 

For anyone dreaming of a career in financial engineering, you’ll need to strengthen more than just your numerical skills to impress employers and stay ahead in the business world.

Here are five skills that could help you find success when applying for financial engineering jobs, and how a master’s in financial engineering can enhance these skills.

1. Understand advanced math to land jobs in financial engineering

It’ll come as no surprise that those wanting to secure a financial engineering job will need to have a strong grasp of advanced mathematics. bdee9189bba85dcd8c09d665b7bd2540cf4e5c15.jpeg

Almost every role within financial engineering—including market analyst or financial specialist—will require you to use advanced numerical skills like statistics and numerical analysis when solving financial problems.

This is why master's in financial engineering programs need to place an emphasis on helping students hone advanced quantitative skills, explains Charlie Charoenwong (pictured), academic director of the one-year Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MFE) at Nanyang Technological University Singapore’s Nanyang Business School (NBS).

In the NBS master’s in financial engineering, students learn advanced maths within courses like Calculus & Linear Algebra and Linear Financial Models. Both courses enable students to use computer software when applying their skills to real-world financial problems.

2. Financial engineering demands knowledge of programming theory

In today’s financial world, it’s not enough to understand traditional finance and math-based skills—Master in Financial Engineering grads need to be proficient in data modeling and be able to create algorithms using programming languages. 

“Python has become really popular in the finance industry in the past five years,” says Charlie.

The NBS MFE degree incorporates programming languages like Python and C++ into the curriculum to equip students for their future financial engineering jobs.

NBS also facilitates a speaker series, where industry professionals are invited to explain real-life examples of how programming languages are used to represent complex data, and what it’s like to work in financial engineering. 

Students can dive deeper into industry trends by taking elective courses in topics such as machine learning.

Read: Why Do A Master In Financial Engineering?

96c41f47cc45c3e779f25f2989a26954ff2d7f68.png ©Nanyang Business School

3. Financial engineering employers want strong presentation and communication skills

It’s great to be armed with the technical expertise that financial engineering jobs demand, but you’ll also need those all-important soft skills to impress employers.

“We’ve seen in conversations with hiring managers that verbal and written communication skills are something they look out for in their hires,” explains Min Chan (pictured), responsible for graduate studies career development at NBS. 94f2f47a8a4ec824dd653f24c761f745d892c988.jpg

To help students learn how to better position themselves and present their ideas, the NBS Graduate Studies Career Development Office facilitates workshops on networking, personal branding, and storytelling. The careers team also organizes recruitment and alumni events.

“We prepare students for a range of jobs within the financial sector,” says Min Chan (pictured). These roles could be anything from being a risk manager or trading analyst to hedge fund manager or enterprise management consultant.

Hands-on and collaborative learning opportunities at NBS enable students to fine-tune their communication and presentation skills. For instance, in the trading-simulation competition, students can create and pitch an investment product. 

The MFE program also offers students the chance to participate in an exchange with the program’s partner Carnegie Mellon University in the US, which offers an opportunity to network with US students and employers.

4. Critical thinking and analytical skills are key for careers in financial engineering

Professionals working in demanding financial engineering jobs need to confidently identify patterns within large data sets.

Critical thinking skills are therefore crucial when identifying financial problems and providing effective solutions, Charlie explains. “Within a dynamic market, it’s important to make intelligent data-driven decisions efficiently. Otherwise, opportunities can slip through the gaps.” 

In the NBS master’s in financial engineering program, students enhance their critical thinking skills through courses like Trading Analytics & Processes and Financial Risk Management, learning how to think outside the box when modelling financial and trade-related risks.


5. Stay ahead of tech trends to stand out to financial engineering employers

Staying ahead of changing tech and digital trends is vital for those looking to launch a high-flying financial engineering career.

“Areas like crypto/digital currencies have implications for financial engineering since they can reduce processing times,” says Charlie.

The MFE program offers a course in Programming Web Languages in Finance, Charlie explains, which touches on how Bitcoin and Blockchain works. This course could be helpful for those looking to work in banks or security.

There are also areas like quantum computing to consider too. “The lightning speed of computing provided by the quantum computers will revolutionize computation which is the core of applications in financial engineering,” Charlie adds. 

To help students keep abreast of these trends, NBS regularly invites experts in the field of quantum computing to speak to master’s in financial engineering students about this growing area.

A specialized master’s degree can help you to land financial engineering jobs as it provides the opportunity for you to hone these skills and connect with industry leaders at networking events.

Student Reviews

Nanyang Business School




Good campus life and extra-curricular activities

This is a great place to learn and interact with more like-minded people. The campus is something that stands out to me. The infrastructure is great and the university is very well-built. There is lots to do on the high campus, from a large number of eating joints to the numerous clubs and sports activities. I also quite like Singapore as a country, as there is so much to do around not very far from campus. The educational facilities are extremely good, there are lots of opportunities to take on research projects and do industrial projects, which I really enjoy. The only thing I dislike about NTU is that the number of international students is really low and I would like to see a larger international intake in the future. Definitely recommend for the amazing educational facilities and on-campus social life.




An international campus that provided diverse choices for students

It's a beautiful campus with a high degree of internationality, providing diverse choices for students in terms of research opportunities and career consultation. Also, scholars are knowledgable and very inspiring, and are good at motivating the thinking of students.




Great University

In overall, the university has met my expectations with its wonderful lectures and research staff. However, there are some issues with the administrative side, i.e. administration may give you different answers on the same question. Also, the university’s website often provides outdated information and it takes time to get what you need; perhaps there is not enough people for managing it.




Good resources

I would recommend. Good resources for research. Knowledgeable professors and instructors. Conducive environment for studying and doing assignments. Helpful staff and faculty. Food options are good. An overall good place to study.




On Campus

inefficient communication and lack of transparency

The administrative team at the university is slow to respond and is often inadequate in their responses and solutions. The uni is also unclear and resistant to explain their actions and motivations when carrying out policies or when questioned




On Campus

Formative experience for success

NTU prioritizes giving students ample time for independent research. The academic schedule consists of 6–7 weeks of study, followed by a week without classes, allowing students to catch up on any material they may have missed. This is succeeded by another 6–7 weeks of study, culminating in a week dedicated to final exam preparation and exams. The curriculum is designed to be student-friendly, minimizing burdens such as excessive assignments, projects, exams, quizzes, and attendance requirements. This approach affords students the freedom to pursue personal interests and self-development. In my experience, each of the four courses I took had a comparable workload, typically comprising 2 assignments, 3 easy labs, 2–3 quizzes (some without), and 1 final exam. In contrast, comparable courses at other universities often entail significantly heavier workloads, including 3 homework assignments, 5 projects, 5–6 pop-up quizzes, mandatory attendance, 2 midterms, and 1 final exam. Moreover, each project typically demands 3–4 days of work. It is hard work, but it pays off.




On Campus

Academic atmosphere

Nanyang Technological University offers a vibrant academic atmosphere that fosters innovation and excellence. The strong emphasis on research and practical learning equips students with real-world skills. Positives include access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborative projects, and a diverse student body. However, the competitive environment can be intense, leading to high stress levels. NTU's academic atmosphere encourages growth but requires resilience to thrive.




On Campus

Diverse professors

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of education I have received. The professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate about their subjects, which makes learning engaging and enjoyable. The teaching styles vary from lecture-based to interactive discussions and group projects, providing a well-rounded learning experience. The use of technology in the classrooms also enhances our understanding of the course material. One of the things I love about NTU is the diversity on campus. Not only are there students from all over the world, but the professors also come from various backgrounds, making the learning environment truly global. English is the main language spoken on campus, which makes it easy for international students to feel at home. In terms of examinations and coursework, the workload can be challenging at times, but the support from professors and classmates makes it manageable. The exams are fair and assess our understanding of the material effectively.




On Campus

Video lectures

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I am extremely impressed with the transportation options available on campus. The buses and shuttles make it easy to get around the huge campus. The beautifully landscaped garden campus adds a peaceful and scenic vibe to studying. The facilities, from the state-of-the-art labs to the comfortable study spaces, are top-notch. The video lectures are a convenient and effective way to supplement classroom learning.