Alex Tordjman, X-ENSAE, Insee administrator and 3rd year engineering student, Data Science, Statistics and Learning track
To help you make sense of ENSAE Paris' range of courses, our students share their experiences.
Why did you choose ENSAE Paris at the time?
I had several points in mind:
- The school's reputation for teaching economics and statistics.
- The joint economics and statistics department of École polytechnique and ENSAE Paris (CREST), a guarantee of academic excellence.
- Knowledge of part of CREST through my teaching at Polytechnique.
- Top-level research in these fields.
- Possibility of doing a Master's degree in research at the same time as the ENSAE Paris engineering diploma.
Looking back, what do you consider to be the main strengths of ENSAE Paris?
- Proximity to IP Paris and an impressive catalog of top-level research masters with IP Paris.
- Overall quality of teaching and intensity of training.
- Renowned research professors, access to high-caliber individuals.
- Leading institution in France for statistics, and to a lesser extent (because of competition from PSE/TSE) for economics.
Who would you recommend ENSAE Paris to?
What's important to understand is that entering ENSAE means writing off the possibility of becoming a physicist, biologist, specialist in energy, fluid mechanics, fundamental mathematics, chemistry, theoretical computer science... On the other hand, if the student is already motivated by applied mathematics and economics (or quantitative sociology), don't hesitate for a second!
The school is at the top level in economics and statistics, and the teaching staff are the same as at X in these fields. So I'd recommend ENSAE to anyone who already knows they want a career in data or economics. In these fields, the school is certainly part of the very best training pool in France.
For students with a sense of the common good, joining ENSAE can enable you to prepare for the competitive examination for Insee administrators with peace of mind (if you didn't enter X or an ENS, but still want to be in the top civil service). This corps of data scientists and government economists offers very rich career prospects, and no one will care whether you come from the ENSAE or X external entrance exam, once you've joined the corps. Having this possibility seems to me to be an important asset for people wishing to go into the public sector.
What advice would you give to candidates?
Censorship is first and foremost a matter of considering a preparatory school. Economic studies show that the best schools, such as ENSAE or X, recruit roughly the same percentage of scholarship holders as they do in preparatory classes. The competitive entrance exam does not therefore fundamentally differentiate on the basis of other characteristics (gender, parental income, sexual orientation...). So don't censor yourself. Now, ENSAE is one of the best schools in the country, so of course we can't guarantee that you'll get in. For those who do, ENSAE has the advantage of focusing on two highly remunerative fields of science: data sciences and statistics, and economics. There are many job opportunities (institutional, private, research...), and the salaries on leaving the school will more than compensate for the cost of tuition and studies in Paris.
Can you tell us about one or two highlights of your life at ENSAE so far, and why they stood out for you?
- Midterms: a veritable marathon in January, midterms last just 2 hours, with sometimes as many as three per day, reminiscent of competitive exams, but we're very proud and happy once they're over.
- Back to school at the CI: the integrated curriculum, which corresponds to one month of courses for students entering ENSAE directly in 3A, is quite intense, but it's also a period when the weather is fine (September), when you get your bearings, go out in Paris with your friends...
Thanks to Alex for this feedback! To find out more about ENSAE Paris :