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gekko


Total Posts: 21
Joined: May 2006
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 13:32
If u were to choose between the two, an MBA from a top school like Wharton / Kellog / Stanford or a PhD in stat from again a top univ, for a "lucrative" career in finance, which wud u choose?
My thinking is that each of the B schools pass out 800+ of MBAs each year while PhD are of the order of 30s to 40s, and more than 50% going into academia..so i wud be more sought after if iget the PhD, I dont value much the oppurtunity lost cost since the MBA is going to cost a fortune while I can sustain myself in the PhD..with their fellowshis and stipends.

FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8372
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 14:01
I would choose... the one who is able to spell properly, which isn't you. So PhD or no PhD, you ain't getting the job.

An MBA from good university is a piece of paper. It doesn't mean you can do anything, it just means you went to a good school and maybe read two general books on accounting and simple arithmetic, along with some org chart drawing instructions.
Now, for some people that is enough. They assume that it's reasonably hard to get into those schools (or not, depending on how much money you pony up I suppose). So to them, the fact that you got into Stanford or Wharton is like a vote of confidence (especially to HR departments).

Most practioners in the more quantiative fields (which is what this phorum is about, in case you haven't noticed) will certainly prefer the indepth statistical insight a PhD in statistics has to offer.
To me (and quite a few other people on this board) an MBA means jack shit. Give me electrical engineers, (computer) scientists, mathematicans or someone entrepreneurial, experienced and highly skilled in a particular field (say a games programmer or a bankruptcy lawyer).

What do you want with an MBA? Tell me that if you DCF our business model, we'd be billionaires? That if we spend more than we take in, we lose money? That our division's hierarchy is called "Matrix Organization"? That Peter Drucker lent his name to the "Peter Principle" and that you can spell "synergy" right, but don't quite know what it means? That you've done some homework in Excel and know a little bit of VBA? Great skillset. Uh-hu.

Having said that: "lucrative" career means making a lot of money to you, I suspect? I've said it before and I'll say it again: Choosing a career based on earning power is quite likely to leave you in a frustrated spot. The people who are successful are those who do what they do with a passion, not because they get paid well for it.

Next time, search for "MBA" there's like a dozen threads here on this nonsense.

The Figs Protocol.

gekko


Total Posts: 21
Joined: May 2006
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 15:11
wow, quite a reply, spare me Im a newcomer here!, Im not as dumb as you might have percieved, Im just confused :(
other ppl may want to comment?

Cheng


Total Posts: 2864
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 15:59
Sure, here we go.

An MBA (master of b*llshitting and a*slicking) means not really much in phynance. Spend enough money and time and you will get it. A PhD in statistics is nice to have but I would recommend doing that only if you like what you are doing. While doing PhD you will reach a point where you are close to giving it up (believe me, I know what I talk about...). If you like what you do you will continue and finally make it, otherwise you are screwed.

"Lucrative"... Well, depends on what you do. But if you aim only for big $$$ you are almost surely doomed to fail.

HTH.

PS: It is not a phorum policy to be harsh to noobs but we had too many people asking questions like "PhD or no PhD", "MBA yes or no, if yes from where" etc. So take FDAXHunter's answer with a grain of salt as well as mine.

"I’ve come to realize / With every little glimpse you fade / I was told that I could fly / When least expected - cloud connected"

apine


Total Posts: 1009
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 17:21
maybe my skin has grown quite thick, but i don't find FDAX's post harsh at all.

first, i don't really think FDAX was really poking about the spelling. he was making the point that it is far more important when new around town to act professionally, polished and show respect. when gekko makes a real financial inquiry, FDAX will be the first to help. second, he was being harsh on mba's which is appropriate. that said, no one will argue that it has its uses. mostly as wallpaper for those who need external justification to get hired (i.e., most of us). third, he gave examples of backgrounds that would be technically useful in a modern trading environment. finally, he gave eternally good advice: do what you love, the money will follow.

wtf is harsh about that?

Too many people make decisions based on outcomes rather than process. -- Paul DePodesta

Mars


Total Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2005
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 17:39

FDAX has been fair. Also, if you had read some other posts regarding your same question in NP (there is a very helpful Search button in NP) you could see many discussions regarding the question you have written. I also think what FDAX has written is a good suggestion. I hope I had had NP a few years ago, when I started. I suggest you spend a couple of hours reading previous posts on the subject, and ask questions after that.

NP has its own flavour, and I think you still have not smelled it.


NÄ ES TÖ. TÖ ES NÄ. Nikito Nipongo.

IAmEric
Phorgy Phynance
Banned
Total Posts: 2961
Joined: Oct 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 18:20
apine,

I think your post is kind of harsh.



(just kidding! Cool)

gekko,

If what you care about is a "lucrative" career, get an MBA from a top Uni. Hands down. If you really enjoy pain and suffering, a.k.a. research, get a PhD. If you search previous similar threads, the best advice regarding doing a PhD is to only do it if you love it. Like Cheng said, that is the only thing that will carry you through the rough times (and there will be plenty).

By the way, that stuff that would set you apart from the other 800+ MBAs is some of the same stuff that is going to be needed to get you through the PhD. Either you have it, or you don't. If you have it, then I wouldn't worry about the competition. If you don't, not much (not even a PhD) is going to help you anyway.

As a final note, having a PhD would almost guarantee a less lucrative career.

Crassus


Total Posts: 1194
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-28 19:56
It depends on your character. If you're a PhD type then a PhD may be better...

Whatever the forum says, everybody loves an MBA, because it is sexy. Beyond that it is a good finishing school (especially if you've already got a technical degree).

So if you think you can get into a top MBA (only the best will do here), get in there and punt that fukka out of the stadium. Having said that, I recommend not to go into corporate finance, M&A, or management consulting.

We're at a dinner party in an appartment on rue Paul Valéry between Avenue Foch and Avenue Victor Hugo and it's all rather subdued because a small percentage of guests were blown up in the Ritz yesterday.

mj


Total Posts: 1049
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 01:45
if you ask on a forum dedicated to quant work which would you prefer PhD or MBA, you'll get the inevitable answer: "we hate MBAs"

if you ask on a forum full of MBAs you'll get the opposite answer. Apply for a job at McKinsey and they'll tell you having done lots of maths is a negative.

gekko


Total Posts: 21
Joined: May 2006
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 02:34
Having re-"searched" this forum, I take no offence at any of the remarks, this is after all my 3rd post..

I will be mostly going for the PhD, but my friends warned me that the MBA guys will make much more cash than me and also lead a more peaceful life (lesser work), which got me thinking and I still am...

But from the responses I see here and from other research i did, money will not be a deciding factor in a man's success / satisfaction..atleast in his own eyes..
Considering I have always loved maths / physics from school days and not particularly good at speaking in public / giving presentations..a PhD would be better for me


IAmEric
Phorgy Phynance
Banned
Total Posts: 2961
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Posted: 2006-05-29 03:18
But from the responses I see here and from other research i did, money will not be a deciding factor in a man's success / satisfaction...

?!?!??!?! Head against Wall

doctorwes


Total Posts: 577
Joined: May 2005
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 05:31

I don't think "MBA or PhD?" is the right question. I work with lots of people who are talented, successful and happy. Some of them have doctorates (in various fields, including the humanities); some of them have MBAs; some of them have CFAs; a few never finished high school. But they are all very, very good at what they do. So I think you should begin by asking a different question.




FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8372
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Posted: 2006-05-29 09:37
crassus: Whatever the forum says, everybody loves an MBA, because it is sexy.

On which planet would that be? On every trading floor in the world, MBAs just get laughed at. Either by the guys who never went to uni but still make 50 times more money than you do, or by the guys who can actually solve [4 5]' x + [1 8]'y = 0 without having to hire a consultant.

To quote a buddy of mine who actually has an MBA: "Well, I didn't really know what to study and this MBA crap seemed easy...."

The Figs Protocol.

Crassus


Total Posts: 1194
Joined: May 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 09:59
lol. normally the consultants would be MBAs non? in any case FDAX, you know as well as I do, that some MBAs do have decent technical backgrounds. agreed that there are many morons, but I think you have to be a moron in the first place. can also understand that many are ridiculed, especially graduate program MBAs (some hires there are beyond belief. it is also beyond belief that some are left for the wolves after one year because no desk will have them: wtf were they hired in the first place? )

so let me rephrase: if prior to MBA you would be able to get the respect of people on the trading floor, an MBA would most likely add to your sex appeal.

p.s. surely you invented that quote. you? buddies with an MBA?

We're at a dinner party in an appartment on rue Paul Valéry between Avenue Foch and Avenue Victor Hugo and it's all rather subdued because a small percentage of guests were blown up in the Ritz yesterday.

FDAXHunter
Founding Member

Total Posts: 8372
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 10:07

LOL! Awesome, you know me too well by far Blush We used to be buddies. Haven't stayed in touch.


The Figs Protocol.

Nonius
Founding Member
Nonius Unbound
Total Posts: 12783
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Posted: 2006-05-29 11:13

if you ask on a forum dedicated to quant work which would you prefer PhD or MBA, you'll get the inevitable answer: "we hate MBAs"

if you ask on a forum full of MBAs you'll get the opposite answer. Apply for a job at McKinsey and they'll tell you having done lots of maths is a negative.

Actually, McKinsey also hires a number of very technical people.  an example....check out Jed my bro...

http://www.whonewllc.com/management.asp


Chiral is Tyler Durden

kr
Founding Member
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Total Posts: 3561
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 13:02
A couple of things

- 'The business' is not as easy as it used to be.  When money grows on trees, having a dunce cap on your head can be considered a qualification.  But now there are tons of MBAs out there and that isn't working.  At the same time, advanced technical knowledge does not equal profits these days either. 

- Of course, everybody has their own yardstick of success.  But I think a certification of your MBA or PhD is neither the entry ticket or the closing P/L for this.  If you want to be successful in finance, you need the appropriate curriculum, AND, you need to get in the door, AND you need to avoid an early stopping time.  NP can probably help you with the first, and just maybe the second.  The third requires a bit more individual effort.

- If there's any advice I can give on the third, it's that at the end of the day, you work for yourself.  This is obviously true on the desk, where you may be destroying the firm's long-term business franchise for short-term bonus potential, say, or cultivating clients to take with you when you move to a new job.  It may be more innocent stuff.  But it is also what happens when you bullshit your way through either an MBA or a PhD as a means to get in the door, when your real interests (making money, doing intelligent finance work) aren't really parallel.  On that specific note, may I suggest that when interests aren't aligned properly, that you should use the Gram-Schmidt process.  We waste far too much time kidding ourselves about 'being team players' - if it's not locked in by the mechanics and it's not obvious, it's probably not true, so don't be inefficient. 

- On that last note, it's probably true that doing a PhD is less 'efficient' than an MBA.  My recommendation then is that you carefully manage your time.  Though these days, with less free money lying around, some of the pressure is off.

probably none of that is helpful, sorry 

my bank got pwnd

Anthis
It's all Greek to me

Total Posts: 1180
Joined: Jul 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-29 16:15

I hold already an MBA and hopefully in the near future a PhD as well. The fact the everybody here, with FDAXHunter leading the chorus, makes unlimited fun of me is a good reason no to do either of them.

Eventually i would rather herding a flock of cows or goats, they are much more peaceful than many NPers... I hope you too... Tongue out 


Αίεν Υψικράτειν/Τύχη μη πίστευε/Άνδρα Αρχή Δείκνυσι/Νόησις Αρχή Επιστήμης //Σε ενα κλουβί γραφείο σαν αγρίμι παίζω ατέλειωτο βουβό ταξίμι

Scotty


Total Posts: 726
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Posted: 2006-05-30 02:37
Well, an MBA is good for engineers to learn about things that aren't engineering (about which we typically have no idea) such as accounting, corporate finance, managing people, etc so they can contribute more broadly to a company.  It is far from the ideal stepping stone into a quantitative role in a bank.

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”

Johnny
Founding Member

Total Posts: 4333
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Posted: 2006-05-30 09:39

Exactly. MBAs and PhDs in statistics are designed for entirely different purposes. It's like asking whether you should use a toothbrush or a piano ... it depends what you're trying to do*.

 

* Hint: do not attempt to brush your teeth with a piano.

 


Pathological Inference Radiation CSD LLC

monkeyA
Mr. Ass to you

Total Posts: 856
Joined: Apr 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-30 09:49
I can play some great Chopin on my toothbrush

If there was problem, Yo I'll solve it

MadMax


Total Posts: 424
Joined: Feb 2006
 
Posted: 2006-05-30 10:27
You might be able to play some great Chopin on your toothbrush, but as Johnny said don't try to brush your teeth with a piano.

Cheng


Total Posts: 2864
Joined: Feb 2005
 
Posted: 2006-05-30 10:54
monkeyA, when is your first concert ? A man and his toothbrush...

"I’ve come to realize / With every little glimpse you fade / I was told that I could fly / When least expected - cloud connected"

gw33
Certified Headhunter

Total Posts: 358
Joined: Nov 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-30 12:59

MBA is more about networking and honing soft skills than any genuine academic achievement / satisfaction (Awaits barrage of abuse from corporate financiers)...banks will always hire MBAs for public perception, they hire guys with more concrete skillsets (stats PhD being a good example) to make money...

disclaimer - this is a very crass generalisation of course but I do feel that a lot of MBA hiring is about 'keeping up with the joneses'


mj


Total Posts: 1049
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2006-05-30 13:11
mckinsey do hire maths phds but its despite, not because of, the phd
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