Prop Trading or PhD

Hi friendly friends,

I recently received a couple offers (graduate quant trader) from prop trading firms (think Optiver/SIG/IMC/VIrtu/DRW level) based in their European office. They have great pay and good benefits plus relocation opportunities back to home (APAC) after a couple of years.

But one of my professors has now expressed interest in funding my PhD with him (at one of oxbridge) on the topic of deep learning/machine learning in Finance. Obviously, due to committees and stuff there's no 100% guaruntee in funding/admission, but if I decide to do a PhD, it would open up doors for future possibilities in Quant Research.

I am in kind of a dillema right now: the job offer at the prop firm is quite attractive and allows me to become financially independent earlier, but the PhD opportunity is also attractive as at the end I do have strong academic curiosity plus it does open up more possibilities in the future.

I would really appreciate any suggestions/advices on what I should do!

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
You do a PhD not for the money, but because you REALLY want to. You are on your own and don't expect supervisor to be alwaay accessible. And Pay <<< prop shop.

topic of deep learning/machine learning in Finance.
Bleeding edge, what will ML look like in 2025?
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Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
If your end goal is making money, I would take the job. Phd wont necessarily help make more money. Maybe forget about phd all together, do a self fund phd part time later, or do a full time one after early retirement.
Yeah, maybe waiit 10 years to see how that ML pans out. Then you can do a PhD for fun.
If your end goal is working in industry you should take the industry gig. The experience you get from working in the trenches will beat anything they can teach you at the ivory towers.