Which is better, an MBA or PhD?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by mrclean, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. mrclean


    Where do you guys think the best salary and/or overall job opportunities in finance exist for a current physics student? A PhD, possibly in mathematical finance, or an MBA.

    The PhD would probably be better to land a quant job, but I've recieved ambiguous info. about that career from browsing around these boards... I've read that it's a highly competitive, high paying job that everyone wants and I've read horror stories about working 12 hrs a day as a computer monkey, programming code and taking crap from traders.

    Also, can you get into business school strait out of college, or do you need to work for a while first? I still have a lot of learning to do about this whole financial industry.. thanx
  2. I'm a high school drop-out and I eat PhDs and MBAs in the open ForEx market - 24/7.

    because I'm a currency trader.

    not a college boy.

    think it over.

  3. thn5625


    Try going to wilmott.com

    The quants there say its best to get a phd in engineering, pure mathematics, statistics, physics. They will not weigh as heavily into financial mathematics believe it or not. They rather you take some electives in finance. Also, they want you to come from a top school.

    As for the MBA, its not a way to go to be a quant- even from a top school its not quantitative enough for them.

    Goldman Sachs will hire you as a trader from a good business undergrad program and of course a top MBA program.

    Start trading as soon as possible because they dont teach you everything in school!
  4. Neodude


    I had an interview in August for a trader position at a branch office of a large European derivatives house in NYC, the person I spoke with suggested getting an MBA first before I go any further, I asked him about their quant positions and even thought the top spots are filled with math and physics Phds he did say that not all of them have Phds in their field. So not having a PhD may not be the end of the world, but it will make it a lot harder.

    Be carefull though, many of the trader positions at Institutions are not proprietary (buy side), but instead the sell side. They still pay very well, but get ready to do a lot of ass kissing and/or traveling.

  5. FT79


    What's the difference between a MBA and a PhD??
  6. Neodude


    MBA is Masters of Business Administration, Phd is a doctorate in a given field. Phds are a lot harder to get and take more time. You can be a professor after a Phd.


    PS. I have nothing against FXsKaLpEr, but I wouldn't take his above advise too seriously. He trades a small FX account through OANDA and doesn't sound like he has much experience with the industry or knows the amounts of money the pro's pull down. No offense FX...
  7. maxpi


    I spoke with an engineering recruiter for a high tech company once about Phd vs MA. He said he would pay a premium for a PhD at the starting wage but what anybody made after that was up to the individual.
  8. I have PhD training in Economics with a focus on "prices"....

    Studying "price behavior" is helpful because short term forecasting is what trading really is...

    I have traded since 1978...and grew up in a single parent...poor environment...now I have several houses in several countries...and the world is my oyster....

    In terms of job $ potential...no other job has the potential for money as you yourself creating and solely feasting on your endeavors...

    I would never consider working for anybody else..giving them any control whatsoever of my time..and my freedom...

    And without a doubt...trading is by far a very very difficult endeavor...

    Maybe you will be successful...maybe you will not...

    Many Phds and MBAs have flunked trading and have had to work for somebody other than themselves....

    I choose the quest for total independence and freedom anyday over losing it...even though it may mean going broke several times getting there...

    I am already there.......
  9. Finance is a much larger field than trading of course. An MBA will get you into Private Equity, M&A, Corp Finance, Investment Banking, Consulting, etc... while a Phd in some form of quantitative finance will probably not.

    The hours are the same no matter which field you opt for. You are starting a career in a pressure cooker field and it takes time to master the field and the particulars of the firm you work for.

    Unless you are very lucky, you will take crap from your bosses all your life. So, I wouldn't even worry about that.

    The best plan for a new grad is to get a job in an I Bank as an analyst. This makes getting a job post MBA (and during your first summer ) much easier. It also adds a small plus to your application to B school.

    Best of luck. Finance can be a very interesting as well as lucrative career path.
  10. none taken, ND.

    If you think I don't have any experience in ForEx, try getting on the other side of my British pound trade.

    any British pound trade.

    It doesn't matter what size you're trading and I don't care how many degrees you got.

    none of that will matter.

    see, my point to Mrclean is, in college they don't teach you how to be a dangerous placer in the ForEx.

    sounds like that's what he wanted to get accomplished in the markets.

    maybe I misread his signals.

    the bottom line is, unless you can beat a guy like me in the market, who destroys common relative benchmarks, I wouldn't take your advice.

    It is the PhDs and MBAs who set those benchmarks.

    If Mcclean can't trade, then all his degrees won't do him any good in the ForEx.

    he may earn a "salary" but when he steps into the market, I'll take it from him.

    #10     Oct 15, 2005