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Should I take up CMU engineering PhD offer?

Hi all, so I kinda got some sponsorships from my government for a PhD study at CMU (funded). And you know I have been thinking about quant, so I am struggling between the two. I have been thinking these days and going by heart, I like quant better. But I think I need to be realistic also, I don't even know if I would be able to survive in quant at this moment. No job, and unknown career path after MFE as well. I have been trying to secure a job as Connor pointed out before, but sadly nothing yet.

What do you guys think? Interest wise, I think I am OK with both. But at the age of 25, I am more concerned about the job prospect. Yes I am still young, but I don't have too much time to jump around... Career prospect of PhD seems even worse than quant/MFE/finance...
 

koupparis

Carpe noctum
... I like quant better ... I am more concerned about the job prospect ... Career prospect of PhD seems even worse than quant/MFE/finance...
Seems like you've answered the question yourself. If you're this torn and leaning towards quant before you even start your PhD, it'll only get harder to stay focused whilst trying to complete your PhD. Follow the path of least resistance ;) What motivates you more and gives you more pleasure pursuing?
 
Thanks all for fast response.

@euroazn and Connor: I was thinking of MFE to get me an entry level job in quantitative finance. I have plan to grow as a risk management specialist. I think I used the term wrongly, I think quant positions nowadays require a PhD, at least a headhunter told me that. What do you all think? Or ideally, my current bachelor+master qualification can lead me to some really junior role, I don't mind at all.

@koupparis: I get what you mean, but some how I think I need to be realistic. There is also a possibility that I could not get anything in quant fin in the end. I am still happy enough with PhD, but to be very frank, I think I care more about $ now. SG is getting more and more expensive, I really need a careful plan in order to get myself a house and a car here, and some savings for emergency and retirement. But I don't know if I should not think that much, am I right to say that I can't go wrong with Engineering PhD from CMU?

I actually need to decide quite soon, at least for this PhD offer, would appreciate speedy response:) Thanks all.
 
Right. You can't go wrong with a PhD in Engineering from CMU. What type of engineering? How long will it take? There is a chance you wouldn't even need to do the MFE after you got the PhD, you could just hop right into the field. Plus, it helps your overall job prospects out much better, not just those in the financial world.

Personally, I'd probably go for it.
 
SG is getting more and more expensive, I really need a careful plan in order to get myself a house and a car here, and some savings for emergency and retirement.
if you are planning to go back to SG, then you should seriously think about the job prospects for Ph.D in SG. There are very few entry level quant positions.
 
if you are planning to go back to SG, then you should seriously think about the job prospects for Ph.D in SG. There are very few entry level quant positions.

oh, that's bad news for me as I'm thinking of switch from engineering to quant in SG as well :(

Back to OP's problem, I'm not sure if your government funded PhD program requires any service bond after finishing it. If yes, you better think twice if what you really after is a quant career. I can't comments on the quant job prespects here in SG, but for engineering, phd is almost always overqualified in private sector since no major high-tech R&D exists in SG. Your best bet with an engineering phd is university or government affiliated institutes. Being a professor in SG is just as lucrative as working in financial sector, but in institutes, not worth it...
 
I have talked to some of my friends around this week, it seems that possibilities with a PhD in SG is quite limited. The PhD sponsorship comes with three years bond after a study period of 4-5 years. So..., 26+5+3=34, and competition for faculty positions here is getting worse... I expect it to be tougher in future, especially in the huge cut in education in Europe and possibly US, more top school PhDs and Professors will come to Asia. I believe SG government would not miss this chance:)

Do you guys think a top (<=2nd tier like Columbia MAFN/Toronto/UCLA) MFE is a good alternative? I will just skip the interest part, I am keen, especially into risk. Instead of investing my most precious 5-8 years into PhD, I feel like giving it a try in the market outside. I feel that I am more suitable to be in the industry than going real hard core on acad. Anyway, my friend and I are planning for some engineering commercialisation too, SG gov has a lot of supporting schemes for locals. But I am taking this is part time or at most a project before I leave for MFE, and part time after that.

Also, I do know what MFE grads are expected to know or where the skills are needed. But what are the more general job titles for MFE grads? Quant >= PhD, so MFE? I have seen a lot of analysts but I thought that is for fresh grads out of undergraduate programs and we are higher? Financial Engineer? But I haven't seen anyone with this title.

Anyone knows if how much I can expect as an MFE grad from Columbia/Toronto (I like these 2 lol) in Asia say SG/HK? 4K USD/month for basic?

Thanks a lot. I should be deciding within these few days, will keep you guys updated.
 

atreides

Graduate Student
I have talked to some of my friends around this week, it seems that possibilities with a PhD in SG is quite limited. The PhD sponsorship comes with three years bond after a study period of 4-5 years. So..., 26+5+3=34, and competition for faculty positions here is getting worse... I expect it to be tougher in future, especially in the huge cut in education in Europe and possibly US, more top school PhDs and Professors will come to Asia. I believe SG government would not miss this chance:)

Do you guys think a top (<=2nd tier like Columbia MAFN/Toronto/UCLA) MFE is a good alternative? I will just skip the interest part, I am keen, especially into risk. Instead of investing my most precious 5-8 years into PhD, I feel like giving it a try in the market outside. I feel that I am more suitable to be in the industry than going real hard core on acad. Anyway, my friend and I are planning for some engineering commercialisation too, SG gov has a lot of supporting schemes for locals. But I am taking this is part time or at most a project before I leave for MFE, and part time after that.

Also, I do know what MFE grads are expected to know or where the skills are needed. But what are the more general job titles for MFE grads? Quant >= PhD, so MFE? I have seen a lot of analysts but I thought that is for fresh grads out of undergraduate programs and we are higher? Financial Engineer? But I haven't seen anyone with this title.

Anyone knows if how much I can expect as an MFE grad from Columbia/Toronto (I like these 2 lol) in Asia say SG/HK? 4K USD/month for basic?

Thanks a lot. I should be deciding within these few days, will keep you guys updated.

Some of the programs you mentioned don't publish their salary stats. Take a look at the figures from CMU, Baruch and UCLA to give you an idea. You can also try calling your top choice universities to get some hard numbers.

Baruch MFE
CMU MSCF Salary Stats
UCLA Employment Stats 2009

Some of your other questions have been discussed in some shape or form here..search the forum
 
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