Education/Career advice please

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by golong, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. golong


    My goal is to have a career in finance/banking, specifically investments/securities. (I am not a trader, more of an investor but have always had an interest in it)

    I am in my 4th year of getting my BA in political science, and my plan was to transfer over into business school and get a finance degree, after which I want to get my CFA. Maybe eventually get an MBA after working for many years.

    What would you guys suggest I do? Maybe I should just 1) try and get a finance job with my BA (I hear many investment banks will hire entry level people with just a random BA), 2) try and become a CFA after I get my BA (apparently you just need A 4 yr degree to apply for CFA, not business), or 3) get a finance degree too and then go for a CFA?

    Again, I am not looking to become a trader (at least at this point in my life, maybe later on I will think about it)... I want to work in investments and make big bucks eventually. Sorry if this is the wrong forum, it just seemed best.

    Any suggestions or advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. rosy2


    When i look at a candidate I look for raw intelligence. Being smart matters and what you know from school is a nice to have. So for me, I think school name and test scores are important.

    Where do you measure up against everyone else? What makes you stand out?

    Obviously, if you can come in and actually do something that would be useful. 9 times out of 10 that requires programming skills.
  3. vita


    Totally agree with Rosy's points on being smart and from a top school. Although small schools produce many great talents, the hiring process on the Street is biased toward top schools.

    My advice, is to get a finance degree from a top school with good career center and possibly an internship program to guarantee a job as soon as you're done. You should also think of getting a CFA and pursue a career in sales and trading if you want a good bonus.

    You can try to start becoming CFA candidate now but your chances to get a job with decent salary is slim, particularly due to the recent turmoils and the diminishing number of potential employers.

    As an alternative to CFA, you can also consider a risk management career path to start. Check out and for further info. You can make a transition from risk management to investment banking later.

    Good luck!
  4. try to apply for an entree level position in financial firm. during your employment, the firm will pay for you to study & get the CFA & even MBA for that matter. it will take you longer to get these degree/certificate but you get valuable working experience that other students don't have.

    after 5 years, with dedication & hard work, as well as study, you will get both real life working experience & the academic (MBA/CFA) to move further into management/more prestige position like analyst/M&A specialist.... or going into more prestige financial Goldman.

    best wishes.
  5. MYOM


    I was in the business for 30 years. I came in through the insurance door but soon was licensed for securities and fell in love with investments. Your idea of a business degree is excellent. Upon graduation, I would knock on a Broker/Dealer’s door and ask for their sponsorship to get your Series 7, 63, 65, and 24. All of those will get you started while you study for the CFA or CFP. I was a CFP managing about 50 million dollars. This is a really great industry and I am very thankful for the opportunity to prosper.

    I don’t mean to promote my book on the forum but knowing my money management technology will get set your practice light-years apart from other financial advisors. In it, I share all my best kept secrets.

    Dan Clemons, author Manage Your Own Money
  6. <cite>Again, I am not looking to become a trader (at least at this point in my life, maybe later on I will think about it)... I want to work in investments and make big bucks eventually.</cite><p>Have you read the papers in the last couple of weeks? Thousands just like you will be filing for unemployment in the tri-state area, and the only difference between you and them, is that they have resumes with years of experience.

    As all the minions on CNBC are even saying the landscape of Wall Street has changed forever.

    Making big bucks in Ponzi schemes with 35 to 1 leverage has put "investment" types in abundant supply.

    "Trading" might be worth a second look in these times, us lowly scum sucking bottom feeding "daytraders" are surviving, although trading in "nationalized" markets do have its challenges.
  7. golong


    Good points. I'm almost wondering if the future for finance jobs too dark to really make them a reliable career anymore unless you are one of the top best and brightest. I am not going to a top school, that isn't really an option. I have determination and drive on my side though, for what that's worth.
  8. most industries are cyclical. Aerospace or Petroleum engineers are unneeded at one point, then 5 years later, they are hot.

    5 years ago, people thought all the IT jobs were going to India. The number of Comp Sci majors plunged. Now, it is hot.

    In other words, by the time you get out, the industry will still be a good one.

    But for my money, the ideas above sound good. Risk management, getting your series 7/etc...

    Don't just stick your head into the Occupational Outlook books, and try to shoot for the "fastest growing for graduates." Follow your dreams.