Transition to Finance

Hi, I am currently a masters student in physics (UK)and have recently been considering my career prospects and feel I am at a crossroads in my life. Currently I am undecided on whether or not I want to pursue a PhD a year or two from now or simply go to work after completion of my masters in the finance sector. Ultimately I would like to do a PhD however a few financial difficulties have arisen in my family forcing me to take time out to help them. Although I’m told otherwise I feel my physics background would make me ill-suited to a career in finance leading me to think seriously about ways to increase my chances of landing a job. I have been looking at part time Masters in finance however the course costs are absolutely extortionate. I have graduated with a first in Bsc physics and I’m projected to have a distinction in my Msc. Is there anything I can do to help my career prospects further in finance and is a Msc in finance even worth it? I hear after obtaining a PhD in physics it leads to extremely lucrative positions especially as a quant. However I can’t wait 3 years as of now. I have been researching recently and most advice me to take the CFA or CQF. However it seems the former is more respected and well known than the latter

Hi Rigor45,

I was in your situation 7-8 years back. The difference was that I had Bachelor in Business Administration and B.Sc. in Accounting. I went with the MBA+CFA route and it worked out quite well.

In my current job, about 30-40% of my coworkers (mostly quants) have PhD’s…mathematics, statistics, physics, aerospace engineering etc. In overall, they don’t feel as PhD has helped them significantly to land a job. Then again, they have a decent job…which they might not have without a PhD. But I do not think that obtaining a PhD in physics automatically leads to extremely lucrative positions especially as a quant.
In your situation, I would probably go for the CFA and try to land a job in the area of finance that interests you. Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you can look at doing M.Sc.

Excellent thank you for the advice I’ll go the route of taking a the CFA and see where it goes. One thing that I find particularly concerning in finance is automation and eventual replacement by AI. Do you feel it’s likely to happen sooner rather than later in the quant field in particular or is the hype around AI largely exaggerated at the moment?