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Battle of Two Careers: Trading vs. Prof/Research

is it wrong that I really don’t know which route I wanna head and they are so bloody different?

on one hand, trading is exciting, you see how your work affects people directly and you know when you screw up and when you don’t (relative to ER and other less concrete professions). i’ve prop traded, been successful and loved doing it, but obviously prop trading was nowhere as enticing enough.

on the other hand, i have a LT need to have a major impact and theres no better place than in producing theory used in practice. i think i think (2x) twice (haha) as much as most and love attempting to prove theories wrong. i’m a good mathematical debater. i’m not a pure academic like most but i could see that being to my advantage as i come with a different mindset.

so the question is…

do i have fun as a trader for 20 years, have a heartattack and stop…

or do i go back to school, improve grades/get required economics courses for a year, then do an MABE and then Ph.D and rack up 80k in debt in the process?

anybody have a similar tear in their life?

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Matt:

I don’t think you have seriously thought about academia.

What subject area would you go into?
What makes you so sure with your new MABE you could get into a decent Ph.D. program?
What makes you so sure that if you get into a Ph.D. program that you could get a job a good university where you can do research? (It’s near impossible in economics now.) If you end up at a 4-4, your research career is over.
What makes you so sure that your ‘non pure academic’ view will be accepted by your peers and they will grant you tenure?

Just my devil’s adovate $.02

do you have job offers for both?

not at all. this is a strategic decision. i’m 23, L3 candidate, not done with learning, i would love to sit and research all day and i would develop my own research from home if i had to as its something i need to get out of me, but i’m sure my thoughts could be developed more eloquently if i had professional assistance.

i’m smart but have a major ambition problem. finished in the 80th percentile of my class but didn’t go to most classes. the reason for this was i was a bba and didn’t want to go to marketing or hr classes b/c they were lame and full of idiots. i learned more by staying home and playing cod3. i loved my finance and econ classes of course. now that i’m away from school and the next step is taking 90% finance and econ classes, i would love to do it. the cfa is nowhere near enough now that i’m almost through with it. i don’t even care about the money. i come from the most blue-collar family i know, (dad and brother are tow truck drivers), and money means nothing to me, so if i don’t get tenure, it doesn’t matter really. i think i just answered my own question.

fyi - for those not in the know…

MABE — Michigan Association for Bilingual Education

fxguy1234 Wrote:
——————————————————-
> fyi - for those not in the know…
>
>
> MABE — Michigan Association for Bilingual
> Education

hahaha.

trading is pretty intense and requires a lot of time and energy. I am whipped by end of most days however no cfa’s on our desk

it doesn’t have to be an MABE. i would be able to get an MABE for free, thats all.

Go for it man. Your work is cut out for you. I’m assuming MABE is some sort of math masters degree. If not, you will have to take a lot of math classes in the next few years (because you have a non-quant background) before you apply. You need a strong GMAT with a very strong quant gmat score.

BTW: The PhD route can be a lucrative one. The PV of the degree mignt not be what an MBA is, but you will do fine. Tenured professors have it made. You can also go industry and start at well over $100K.

Matt:
What you don’t understand is that academia is all about research. You have to get into the best school possible to have a shot at a good prof. job. Otherwise you will end up in a lower tiered school teaching econ/bba students all day long. That sounds like it will bore you to tears.

Are you trying to go for a Ph.D. Finance in a b-school or Econ? Either way you are up against SERIOUS competition. Have you taken the GMATs or GREs? If you are trying to go for Finance, you’ll need 750+ most likely. Most Econ department are filled with Russian Ph.D. students that already have Master’s degrees from some of the finest schools around. They smoke the crap out of the best american students in the first year because they have seen all the material already.

Your best bet is to work for a few years, go get a top 10 MBA, become buddies with your profs and hope to goodness they can help you get into academia.

Seriously though, pick up the motivation man! Both traders and profs (at the top 25) are motivated dudes!

Hey Danlieb:

What’s a 4-4?

joemontana Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Hey Danlieb:
>
> What’s a 4-4?

Teaching load:
4-4 = Four classes in the fall, four classes in the Spring
3-0 = Three classes in the fall, zero classes in the spring,
etc.

Better schools have you teach 2-4 classes so you can focus on your reseach. If you are at a 4-4, and still have to do some research then you better buy some good espresso.

yeah. i’m thinking of bailing on the MABE although its free as its only offered from a T2 school would hold me back. no gmat yet, that comes after l3 this june. i think a major obstacle is that i want to stay in country and that means a ph.d from uoft, uwo or queen’s with an aim for the first one. are there any respectable finance/econ ph.ds from uoft out there, i’m hoping so..

the mba route is another option for sure, but i think it should be more of a contingency plan than anything.

i’m trying to work up the motivation but i feel its derived from my lack of direction. passing l3 and writing my gmat will get me pumped i think. but maybe i just need karenc to “wake me up”.

thanks for the comments all :)

Matt:
I forgot you were in CA.
Being Candaidan you have a leg up over all the russians/indians/americans trying to get prof jobs.

DanLieb Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Matt:
> I forgot you were in CA.
> Being Candaidan you have a leg up over all the
> russians/indians/americans trying to get prof
> jobs.

what the reason for that relative to US?

Hey don’t bring me into this - I stayed out of this thread since I know nothing about the US/CA educational system with your b/T2 schools…. we just have trinners and UCD and everything else isn’t worth doing!

Canadian public universities give preference to citizens/nationals in hiring decisions. American public universities do not.

interesting. but they still charge internationals twice as much ;)

KarenC Wrote:
——————————————————-
> Hey don’t bring me into this - I stayed out of
> this thread since I know nothing about the US/CA
> educational system with your b/T2 schools…. we
> just have trinners and UCD and everything else
> isn’t worth doing!

wasn’t sure what UCD was, went to the website and bam, a cow on the front page. only university with a Dairy Business degree? maybe I’ll go get that, then move into academia.

Hey don’t be slagging off UCD - Bcomm Quinn School graduate here :)

i’m serious. i’ll be the first Ph.D in Dairy Business.

i think my first thesis will be:

“UCD’s Dairy Business Degree’s effect on Dairy Business”

Well they do actually provide an Ag masters/phd…………………for some reason that is completely beyond my comprehension!

You’d defintely be stranded in the Atlantic if you had one of them! ;)

have you ever taught any classes, or at least private tutoring sessions? i think teaching sucks as a strategy to make impact. you end up finding fast that most students are either retarded or dont give a cr*p what your subject, or both

UCD is probably the best ag school in the us.

Mobius Striptease Wrote:
——————————————————-
> have you ever taught any classes, or at least
> private tutoring sessions? i think teaching sucks
> as a strategy to make impact. you end up finding
> fast that most students are either retarded or
> dont give a cr*p what your subject, or both

welll… i taught grade 2 in grade 2.. haha, my parents sent me to private school after that. and yes, i’ve tutored and yes, those you tutor are not fun to teach.

i think this just further’s the above comments that its very important to get into a top phd program so you can teach students who care more about what you’re teaching.

teaching at devry, hand me a pistol, teaching at a T1, hand me the foundation to a sense of a accomplishment.

DanLieb Wrote:
——————————————————-
> UCD is probably the best ag school in the us.

And when exactly did UCD uproots and move to US??

oh sorry! someone said UCD and Dairy farming. I thought we were talking about the same place.

Nope another slagging of the Irish way of life……

Not all of us are looking after cows with our business degrees Matt!!!