A former hedge funder is offering a free masters degree in a field that’s integral to Wall Street’s future.
Igor Tulchinsky, a former managing director at Millennium Partners, a New York-based hedge fund, founded WorldQuant University last year.
The program, which offers students a two-year education in financial engineering, now has about 600 students from over 35 countries.
Financial engineering draws from a number of fields including computer science, economics and mathematics. As such, the program’s course load , according to the program’s site, covers economic theory, statistics, and provides students the opportunity to work with tools such as Python, Matlab, and Websim.
Tulchinsky originally founded WorldQuant LLC, a global financial services firm that develops investment strategies, in 2007. He told Business Insider that the idea for WorldQuant University came to fruition while he was developing WorldQuant LLC.
“When I decided to start my foundation, and was starting to crystallize our goals, we very quickly decided education was the best area to focus on,” Tulchineky said. “The most valuable, long-lasting asset you can give an individual is an education.”
As the digitization of Wall Street continues unabated, more firms will require talent with coding and technical skills.
Hedge funds have been hiring tech experts from Silicon Valley at a clip in recent years, according to Forbes . For instance, Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, tapped Apple and Microsoft vets for their executive teams.
In order to fend off mounting losses, Paul Tudor Jones, another hedge fund, reportedly restructured its infrastructure with more technological and data driven trading capabilities.
A degree in financial engineering is a valuable asset on Wall Street.
Currently, financial engineering professionals are among the highest-paid workers on the Street. The average national salary for a financial engineer is a whopping $100,025 per year. Fannie Mae, Citadel, and PIMCO all have postings on the job search engine platform Glassdoor for financial engineers with salaries as high as $134,745 per year.