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Total Posts: 192
Joined: Mar 2005
Posted: 2006-06-04 15:45
FDAX is absolutely spot on :"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."

mj: I think you just had a bad experience. I've worked as a consultant in a previous life for a number of yrs and never saw any discrimination against Math/Physics PhDs. Having said that, the people that did make it past the first round and who eventually got the offer were quick learners and "practically-oriented", shall we say. The associates who expressed the attitude that they were too smart solely due to their skills in some abstract nonsense never made it past the first round. So it really depends on how you come across. But I'm sure you know all that.


Total Posts: 270
Joined: Jan 2006
Posted: 2006-06-05 07:05

So, a lucrative career?

Of course I agree with the philosophy that it is not the amount of money that you make that will determine if you have acheived success.  Mostly because I am underpaid and it is my consulation for getting a higher degree and become dumber.  But because I was in that frustrating spot.  After some time as a chemistry technical advisor for a nuclear power plant, I ended up working as an environment clean up dude - specializing in nuclear - radioactive waste.  Got paid fairly well, but after cleaning up so much I had to get into something I had a passion for.  So, I looked at what I did when I was home late at night - like right now, on some BB about finance but with a quant twist.

So, off I went to school -AGAIN.  But what to get?  MBA, MSc, PhD and in what field cause this nuke engineering/chemistry shit has worn me out.. So - Phynance. 

When it comes down to it - and you are sitting in the interview to get the job and they ask questions that you have rehearsed answers, what answer invokes a passion in you.  Is it drawing an org chart as concentric circles?  Is it developing strategy to gain market share?  Is it spinning the numbers on the books so that analysts won't pound your market price?  All of which may point toward the MBA!  Is it crunching numbers, developing some test?  Perhaps the PhD.

When you end up on any phorum with a question about which to get,  the advice you get is biased, not only by the nature of the board but by that fact that we do not know who the hell you are, what makes you tick and if you would even make a good MBA or are just one in a million pushed out into the corporate planet.   Maybe, I am not giving you the credit that Vincent does, but it is how you come across - work ethic, adaptability, teachability and a willingness to clean out the septic tank when it needs it.  If you start out by faking the passion, your only phucking yourself.




The Delux Electric Monk


Total Posts: 330
Joined: May 2006
Posted: 2006-07-12 23:41
Do you want to be Dubya or Einstein?



Total Posts: 69
Joined: Feb 2006
Posted: 2006-07-16 23:29

I find it an odd question... the two things are so totally different - why would you compare them at all?

I would never do a Phd with a view to 'enhancing my career/having a lucrative career' afterwards.  They should only be undertaken for the love of the subject imho.


Total Posts: 379
Joined: Mar 2018
Posted: 2019-07-04 21:00
> Apply for a job at McKinsey and they'll tell you having done lots of maths is a negative.

@mj could you elaborate as to why they view more maths as a negative? you would at least look capable of basic research and have analytical capability

I dont understand where this dichotomy comes from


Total Posts: 481
Joined: Dec 2008
Posted: 2019-07-05 10:49
@mj won't be able to respond, his practical but profound contributions are missed

EDIT: @Jurassic, not sure of relevance, both in terms of era produced and your orientation/interest, but hints of Mark Joshi's thoughts on your question are available in his books/materials on careers in finance for quant, and maybe implicitly in his technical work, possibly in his exchanges here.


Total Posts: 4
Joined: May 2019
Posted: 2019-09-23 21:51
Now that this thread has been revived, I have to ask:
When you said "Give me ... someone entrepreneurial, experienced and highly skilled in a particular field (say a ... bankruptcy lawyer)." What would make an experienced bankruptcy lawyer valuable for a quant firm? Or are you referring to more M&A stuff?
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