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What are some of the more Math-oriented professional certificates in Finance? In particular, I'm interested in learning about professional certificates that are more Math/Statistics-oriented than the CFA.

Context: I'm a Statistics major who is very mathematically oriented. I'm going to be finished with college in the middle of next year. I'm really interested in the more mathematical/technical aspects of Finance, and I've always wanted to go into Finance. I first learned about the CFA and how the CFA is this sort of very prestigious and recognized certification. For a long time I thought I would finish off college and start studying for the CFA. However, after checking out the CFA program, I found out that there are a lot of things in it which I'm not interested in at all.

For example, using the official CFA materials, you find that there are approximately 200 pages of material discussing Ethics. There is over 100 pages of material about Time Value of Money(cash flows, present value, etc), and the mathematics involved in that is so basic, it feels almost silly. There are other subjects in the CFA program which I'm also not interested into, such as Financial Report Standards, Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and other things. But what I'm really interested in is things like Stochastic Processes, Statistical Inference, Real Analysis, Differential Equations, etc.


Perhaps my question can be rewritten as "I want to be a Quant. What certificate do I pursue?". The only one that I know about which is more math-oriented than the CFA, is Paul Wilmott's CQF program.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, I feel the same way about CFA and those certifications. What I have done is read the following books: Interest Rate Modeling, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from Andersen and Piterbarg; Interest Rate Models - Practice and Theory from Brigo and Mercurio, Stochastic Calculus for Finance II from Shreve and Numerical Solution of Stochastic Differential Equations from Kloeden and Platen. Also, learn how to program in a useful programming language, such as Julia, C or C++ (do not waste time in Python, R or Matlab, you will be proficient in those languages if you learn Julia, C or C++). $\endgroup$ – rvignolo Sep 28 '20 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ I know I have not pointed out a certification, but that is because I have not found any useful, at least in my country. So, if you are in the same situation as I am, you may find my advice useful! Hope it helps! $\endgroup$ – rvignolo Sep 28 '20 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ I'm in Brazil and the CFA is very prestigious here, but now I'm convinced I don't want to take it. The problem about just studying some textbooks is that you cannot go to some financial institution and say "well I read Stochastic Caculus". How did you end up in the financial industry in the first place? $\endgroup$ – Sigma Sep 28 '20 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ I am a nuclear engineer, so I did not have a financial background at the beginning, but I had math and programming skills. Then, I went to an interview to a financial company and they decided to hire me, so I started learning. Long story short: if I am interviewing someone for a real quant position, I won't take any candidate who took the CFA or FRM because I know they wasted they time and they just wanted to get that certification in the CV. Finally, If you come to my company and say that you studied those books, I will certainly hire you. It can be easily proved that you read those books. $\endgroup$ – rvignolo Sep 28 '20 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry for the long answers! Anyway, I am just telling you my story, so you can have some additional information. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – rvignolo Sep 28 '20 at 21:10
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FRM by GARP; and ARPM by Attilio Meucci are two that come to mind. An alternative is to get an MFE (Master's in Financial Engineering). It is a one year program in most institutions that offer the degree.

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  • $\begingroup$ I will take a look, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Sigma Sep 28 '20 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ Correction on the MFE/Masters in QF...it's a 1 year program at some schools (eg, Berkeley) and not at most others (eg, CMU). Also, stay away from Quantnet rankings...they're created by a Baruch alum so have significant bias $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 28 '20 at 21:39

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