Ca’ Foscari University of Venice is one of the oldest European schools of economics and finance, with a long tradition of excellence in business, science and the humanities.
So while looking for a partner to teach its students important fintech and analytics concepts like data visualization, time series and machine learning, it only made sense to look for a younger, tech-savvy business school.
That’s a key reason Ca’ Foscari signed an agreement with the School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology that will allow students at the Italian university to enroll in the Financial Analytics master’s program at Stevens.
Ca’ Foscari Rector Michele Bugliesi, also a professor of computer science, visited Hoboken in March to sign the paperwork and tour the campus, including the two high-tech financial analytics labs that comprise the Hanlon Financial Systems Center.
The Financial Analytics program, Dr. Bugliesi said, reflects his school’s interest in improving education and research in areas where economics, finance, technology and analytics overlap. That's a trend that continues to send shockwaves through the financial services industry, where modeling and quantitative insights are as important as traditional concepts like derivatives and venture capital.
“Stevens is one of the leading institutions in these trends, and of course, it’s located so close to New York City,” Dr. Bugliesi said. “The ties to Wall Street and the job opportunities for students make us very excited about partnering with Stevens.”
“The ties to Wall Street and the job opportunities for students make us very excited about partnering with Stevens.”
Under the agreement, Ca’ Foscari students will earn a master’s degree in either Economics and Finance or Management in Venice, then travel to the United States to complete the master’s in Financial Analytics. Students earn two degrees in two years and, because the Financial Analytics degree is a STEM program, can work on Wall Street or elsewhere after graduation.
The partnership came about from a presentation Dr. Gregory Prastacos, dean of the School of Business, delivered at a recent HERMES conference, where he presented Stevens’ leadership in technology and data analytics as a reason to form partnerships like this one. HERMES is a network of European universities that share research and faculty in management disciplines.
“We’re very excited to partner with Ca’ Foscari to offer a true technology-focused finance degree to students at such a prestigious university,” Dr. Prastacos said. “We hope it is the first of many partnerships with Europe’s premier universities.”
A finance degree for math and science students
The Financial Analytics program is designed to provide practical finance skills to students with strong math, statistics, technology or physics fundamentals. Themes such as optimization, data analytics, programming and machine learning comprise the curriculum and prepare students for work at companies such as Accenture, Jefferies and UBS.
Students in this master’s program enjoy access to faculty with a diverse background of technical skills, said Dr. Ionut Florescu, director of the Financial Analytics program.
“Learning from experts in mathematics, statistics, computer science and financial engineering gives incredible breadth to the program,” Dr. Florescu said. “But more importantly, faculty in these disciplines collaborate on research, which gives them new insights about their own work that is then brought to the classroom.”
Stevens has a large and growing presence in the finance space. The university’s undergraduate Class of 2018 sent 17 percent of graduates into financial services, second only to manufacturing. The alumni base working in finance, called Stevens on the Street, meets regularly to hear from invited speakers and learn about new developments in technology, the industry and the university.
Those connections to industry are something Dr. Bugliesi is excited to offer Ca’ Foscari students who study in Hoboken.
“That’s one of the key elements that distinguishes Stevens, the strong links with alumni and with the enterprise world in general,” he said. “The data those companies can provide for research, the opportunities they can provide for a hands-on experience in student learning — this is why we’re so excited to work with Stevens.”