A hedge funder supports a free master’s program in a field that is integral to the future of Wall Street.
Igor Tulchinsky, the founder of WorldQuant, a New York-based quantitative hedge fund, founded WorldQuant University last year.
The program provides students with a free two-year training in financial engineering.
“It went live about a year ago, and now we have 600 students enrolled from around the world,” Daphne Kis, CEO of WorldQuant University, told Business Insider.
Financial engineering draws from several fields, including computer science, economics, and mathematics. So the program course load, according to the program site, covers economic theory and statistics and offers students the opportunity to work with programming languages such as Python and MATLAB.
In 2007, Tulchinsky founded WorldQuant LLC, a private institutional investment management firm linked to the $35 billion hedge fund Millennium Management. He had spent 12 years as a portfolio manager at Millennium.
Tulchinsky told Business Insider that the idea for WorldQuant University came to fruition while he was developing WorldQuant.
“As I grew my core business, which has 23 offices around the world, it became apparent that talent is spread very evenly around the world, while opportunity is not,” Tulchinsky said. “The most valuable and lasting asset you can give an individual is an education.”
WorldQuant University claims that it has students from more than 35 countries, including those from Africa and Asia.
As the digitalization of Wall Street continues unabated, more companies will need talent with coding and technical skills. Hedge funds have hired tech experts from Silicon Valley in recent years, and a degree in financial engineering is a valuable asset on Wall Street.
Financial engineering professionals are among the highest paid workers on the street. The national average salary for a financial engineer is $102,020, according to the Glassdoor job search platform.
Fannie Mae, Citadel and Pimco all have positions on Glassdoor for financial engineers, offering salaries of up to $134,745.
The WorldQuant University faculty includes several former Wall Street quants and is licensed by Louisiana council of regents. Tulchinsky hopes to increase the number of students in the program over time.
“There are a lot of smart, educated people all over the world,” he said. “We are designing WQU to be scalable. We want to reach a large number of students.”