College

DeathDog
DeathDog

Is it worth going to college and getting into debt for a degree these days? I want to work as a hedge fund manager one day and the only way that I can see myself getting there is by getting a degree. Do I have any other alternatives?

All urls found in this thread:
https://www.generosity.com/fundraisers/400-dollars-for-college/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140706143722-49494474-avoid-studing-mba-before-you-turn-25
https://www.quantstart.com/articles/Understanding-How-to-Become-a-Quantitative-Analyst
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/08/quants-quantitative-analyst.asp
Lunatick
Lunatick

@DeathDog

With the costs associated with it, it really isn't worth it.

Trades are far more worthwhile, or something cheap like community college, as long as you have a job at the end. A two-year Registered Nurse associates will give you a strong middle class income for life without going into heavy debt. You can always move up the ladder as your go, getting BSN then MSN etc.

Finance and Accounting is risky to get into now because of increased automation. In the 4-5 years that you would be studying, much of the sector could be automated by the end. Effectively, the people who are in now are safe due to their experience and consulting functions, but imagine hiring someone with an accounting degree after much of it becomes automated. It would simply be too costly for what businesses get out of it.

Jobs like the previously mentioned nursing, counseling, etc. while not the best paying, have the least risk in automation. Basically, soft skills are going to be king again, as STEM is doing a good job of making much of itself, redundant.

Snarelure
Snarelure

hedge fund manager
kek

likme
likme

@DeathDog
you don't typically get out of college and just decide to be a hedge fund manager, lad...

You either do something finance related first and then move on to that, or you start out small and just invest for friends, etc. and hope you make the right calls and get your name out there.

I should remind you though, rats on cocaine are better than the best hedge fund managers out there when it comes to long term gains.

TreeEater
TreeEater

@DeathDog
It depends what type of person you are. You don't need a degree to make your way in this world, but most people don't have what it takes to get any job they want (it is possible though). The fact that you're here making this thread kinda leads me to believe you're like most people

Play it safe, get a degree. Study hard. Maintain perfect GPA (no fucking excuses, 100IQs can fucking do it if they try). Intern. Network. Be /fit/. Be interesting.

GL HF fuckboy

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@likme
I know that you can't start a hedge fund and expect to have any investors after having a degree. Becoming a hedge fund manager is a long term goal (15-20years) for me that I want to accomplish.
@TreeEater
The fact that you're here making this thread kinda leads me to believe you're like most people
I know that Veeky Forums isn't a very good place for sound financial or career related advice most of the time I was just interested in seeing what other people thought. Thanks for the advice though.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Do any of you guys actually have experience working in finance?

I dropped out of university in my second year to get treatment for cancer, took a while but I got the all clear at the end of last year.

I have an offer to do physics (could switch to mathematics) at a decent university here in the UK. It's not Oxbridge/LSE but it's one of the better schools in the Russell Group.

I've been advised that it's impossible to get into any of the highly paid finance careers here if you aren't 21/22 when you graduate, especially if you're not coming from one of the top-5 schools.

Anyone know of any older graduate success stories?

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@DeathDog
I want to work as a hedge fund manager one day
Then do it. Right now. You fucking pussy.

Don't procrastinate by getting a college degree. Trust me, you will be just as clueless at the end of your degree as your are now. You don't need anyone to hire you, just fucking do it.

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

@Garbage Can Lid
OP if you don't start now you seriously don't have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and you should quit before you waste thousands on a degree you'll never use.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@DeathDog
I want to work as a hedge fund manager

LOL good luck.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

How do I get an accounting job with no degree or experience?

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@Deadlyinx
Why don't you have a degree or experience? How old are you?

Nojokur
Nojokur

@Deadlyinx
Find a really good place that you want to work. Set up your own desk there and start working. Tell everyone you're the new intern. Get the accountants' coffees and shit. When they find out you don't really work there, it'll show a lot of chutzpah and offer you a job.

Playboyize
Playboyize

@VisualMaster
He may be self taught

Playboyize
Playboyize

@DeathDog
Be a teacher.
I enjoy it desu

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@DeathDog
Where you based? I know a hedge fund manager and I know his story. Think it could help?

eGremlin
eGremlin

@Ignoramus
I may not be back in time, so I'm just gonna type it real quick and leave it here.

Personally, I do think you should go ahead and get the degree. You can't get a significant management position if you don't have a degree (not sure how true this is for Americans). As such, if you don't already have a degree when you first enter the workforce, it could hinder opportunities for promotion.

The hedge fund manager in question worked in Risk Analysis for a local bank. He did quite a bit of moving (horizontal) in the bank throughout his career - I think he was there for almost 20 years. Obviously he stayed in the FO throughout.

With the knowledge he gained from working in the FO, he was able to start his own investment company (and subsequently his own hedge fund).

Now while some may tell you to go right ahead and learn trading and just forfeit school altogether, I'd advise against that. The key to a hedge fund is trust, and you earn trust through skill, experience, and achievements. I don't think it's quite possible to learn how to trade effectively (TRADE. NOT INVEST.) on your own, especially since you have no capital to start off with.

Go to school, while learning everything finance-related you can in the meantime. Work at a financial institution for some years, absorb EVERYTHING - mostly the trading itself, but also some of the operations involved (so you won't start out on a blank slate when you eventually start your own hedge fund). Of course, there are platforms providing the essential services (office space, clearing etc.), but you should at least understand how things work.

Hope I helped you, even if a little. Don't be intimidated - it's scary and is a lot of work, but there's a reason why even the job title so attractive.

FastChef
FastChef

@eGremlin
Oops, ignore the trip.

TechHater
TechHater

@eGremlin
Hey you're the user who works in banking in Asia right? I remember your discussion thread from last week.

Inmate
Inmate

@Garbage Can Lid

Yea OP, watch The Secret and apply the laws of attraction and it will come true

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@TechHater
Oh hello, I hope something I said proved useful. Should I keep the trip? Honestly I think it could help give a little credibility to the things I say (over time), but I'm a bit apprehensive.

I would answer your question, but honestly I don't know too much about finance in the UK, and I don't like giving an opinion on such things (in case I say something misleading).

MPmaster
MPmaster

@eGremlin
forfeit

"forgo", Christ

eGremlin
eGremlin

@DeathDog
https://www.generosity.com/fundraisers/400-dollars-for-college/

Ask for college money.

I personally don't understand why elementary and high school is free, but not college.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@Lord_Tryzalot
If you plan on posting a lot and advising from your own experience then sure, I wouldn't be apprehensive.
I don't come here too often but it seems like Warren Buffet himself could post and he'd still get shit on and told to buy Trump Coin by the half of Veeky Forums who think they're living The Wolf Of Wall Street as written by Charles Dickens.

I'd still appreciate any advice you could give me regarding breaking into finance, especially banking. I'll keep your specific circumstances in mind.

The people I have spoken to give me the impression that my chances of a good IB job or any highly paid Finance position are very bad now, regardless of networking and grades. Due to the fact i'll be nearly 30 when I graduate and that i'm not coming from one of the banking target schools. But they won't actually come out and say it directly, because of my circumstances I think.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@DeathDog
Bump for a reply in the morning

iluvmen
iluvmen

If you can go for free then yes its worth it.
Otherwise its stupid bc online resources are free.
Saws- princeton grad

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@iluvmen
You don't value networking at all then?

hairygrape
hairygrape

@MPmaster
:) I always try to tailor what I have to say to the recipient.

Gotta love that British humor. Anyway, they may not come out and say it, but that's why you're here. It all depends on which part of banking you want to 'break into'. Jobs in the MO and the BO are more easily gotten than ones in the FO - the FO usually picks out students from the most elite schools, but that doesn't mean you don't stand a chance (since you mentioned that you come from a notable school yourself). Once again, I don't know too much about UK finance, but not all FO members come from the most elite schools. They may come from the 'just very good' schools as well, ya dig?

There's a book that sums up IB and banking in general quite well. Its views are more... tailored to those who are looking to break into Wall Street, but there are several lessons in there that apply to banking in general as well. It's 'Young Money' - you should be able to get a free download of this if you look hard enough.

The people you've spoken to are right. It's a bad, bad time for banking. If you've done your homework, then you'd know that banking is a rather... cyclical industry. It's great during the good times, and hell during the bad ones, and we're heading for a REALLY bad one. FO headcounts are continually shrinking - I'm from the Business Management side so I've got a bird eye's view.

To sum it up mate, it only gets harder from here, especially since banks are adopting a lean approach (to better weather the downturns - it's only right, and IMO should have been done long ago). I would tell you not to go into banking, it's cut-throat. However, if you do it right (bust your ass, make all the right connections) you may still turn out alright.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@DeathDog

Only if you're 200% sure you want a profession (white collar job). It's better to go to a trade school.

If you do go to college, don't fall for the University meme and just go to a community college while applying for every scholarship you're even slightly qualified for.

College is about the connections, not the education (sadly) as you can learn 95% of the shit they teach from the comfort of your own home

MPmaster
MPmaster

@DeathDog
mfw american and going to college for free because of socialism

i'm so sorry

TreeEater
TreeEater

@eGremlin
Only paying for books personally. Thanks, Obama.

tfw some people are paying 30% tax rate and have to actually pay for college

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Garbage Can Lid
Yeah but its not worth anywhere near the cost of college

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@hairygrape
The school i'm holding an offer for is good, but definitely not one of the elite. It hovers between the top 10%-15% area in the league tables each year.

My main concern is tailoring my education too heavily towards breaking into banking and then hitting a brick wall at graduation.
The irony of being risk-averse when pursuing a finance career is not lost on me.

One of the jobs I've been looking into is quantitative analysis, do you know much about the different routes into that?
The roles they can take on in risk management sound particularly interesting and i'd really like the opportunity to develop top-shelf technical and computer skills.
I've been told a PhD is considered a necessity, but would you also be expected to have previous work experience in a more general role?

It's a longer path but i'm wondering if it might have more opportunity to set myself apart through performance.
It's possible to move to one the elite schools for postgraduate study if I perform well at the current school where I have my undergrad offer. Quite a few of the previous alumni managed it.

You said banking is heading into an even worse period. If you don't mind me asking, why is that?
When times do get bad are there any roles at all that are disaster-proof so to speak?

Either way, thanks for your time, I appreciate it. I'll grab that book you recommended.

Snarelure
Snarelure

@PackManBrainlure
The irony of being risk-averse when pursuing a finance career is not lost on me.

No, it's only right to weigh the risks and consider your options carefully. Just don't let the fear of the risks unduly influence your decisions

quantitative analysis

I'm not too sure about this, but I'd imagine it's something similar to actuarial science? If so it could be good, but I'm bothered by you saying 'PhD is a necessity', Wtf? I'm not the best guy there is out there to ask about risk management, but that doesn't sound right. Most organizations will not require this - in fact, some may view it as a detriment (e.g. view you as too specialized).

It's possible to move to one the elite schools for postgraduate study if I perform well at the current school where I have my undergrad offer. Quite a few of the previous alumni managed it.

... Not sure about the British system, but generally you would only move on to graduate school (Master's) once you have a few years of experience under your belt. It's not advisable to spring towards an MBA (or whatever you're considering). Exceptions to this are very rare (e.g. your family owns a business, and needs you to take over it quickly). Or perhaps if you're looking at a career in academia.

As for the reasons why, I googled around a little and found this.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140706143722-49494474-avoid-studing-mba-before-you-turn-25

This guy sums it up quite nicely (although his views are most applicable to MBAs, not other specializations).

I do feel like the answer is too long, so I'll go halfsies

JunkTop
JunkTop

@PackManBrainlure
You said banking is heading into an even worse period. If you don't mind me asking, why is that?

Banking is a cyclical industry. On top of that, it is also very, very sensitive to changes in the global economy (or business cycle, for the textbook business folks). As I'm sure you know, we're about to experience a downtown. The markets are lulling, can't you feel it? Maybe other bizfags will know what I'm talking about. I'm not too sure how to explain this, but it's a combination of factors. You know, unemployment rates, stock market activity on the decline, etc etc.

Maybe someone else can explain this better than I can

When times do get bad are there any roles at all that are disaster-proof so to speak?

Do you mean in banking? Hahaha. Maybe the janitor.

Kidding aside,not at all. Obviously those who are paid less ($800 intern vs $10,000 VP) and those farthest removed from trading (BO customer/tech support vs the obvious FO traders, or maybe MO trade support staff) are safer than those on the front lines.

But really, nobody is entirely safe. Even a few MDs are let go, depending on how severe the downturn is.

Here's the part you really want to know.

Good roles:
Roles in non-monetary risk management (e.g. Ops Risk)
Compliance roles

Ok roles:
HR

Bad roles:
Frontline grunts
MO trade support
Clearing dept.

Quite simply, just think of how essential the department role is to the day-to-day operations of the bank. Can the bank go without it in a period of low trade? If the answer is yes, chances are that dept. will get downsized.

Methshot
Methshot

@Garbage Can Lid
Surely the fact that it's an essential part of the route into some very lucrative careers is in it's own way a demonstration of considerable worth?

MPmaster
MPmaster

You also have to consider the queues to get into any 2-year healthcare programs at community colleges. In my area, all of the nursing ones are backed up about 3 years, and the other "not as lucrative but still decent stable money" 2-year healthcare associates are typically looking at 1-2 year queues.

People know that those jobs aren't threatened by automation probably in their lifetime. Even in 20 years, when there are self-driving vehicles wiping out all of the UPS drivers, Uber/Lyft-to-automated cabs (that whole transition is the next decade probably), bye bye pizza boys, bye bye trucking industry eventually, there will still be humans in hospitals wiping peoples asses, administering IV's, restoring basic muscle functionality via in-bed exercises and then group exercises.

The massive wealth transfer that occurs in the health care industry is bulletproof, simply because the godless modern western masses will give every last thing they have to live one more day, even if it's just watching youtube on a cell phone, it's more than being dead. Their descendants can fuck off, they aren't getting shit.

Healthcare fags like me live a decent life as a result, with endless job demands.

farquit
farquit

@Snarelure

Admittedly I've not yet had the opportunity to speak to anyone who has worked as a quant but most of what I've read seems to suggest that a PhD is standard with a masters being minimally acceptable.

The third paragraph here mentions it:
https://www.quantstart.com/articles/Understanding-How-to-Become-a-Quantitative-Analyst

And about halfway down the page here under 'education and certifications':
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/08/quants-quantitative-analyst.asp

Maybe the academic requirements differ from place to place?

@JunkTop

Ah. I thought you meant something even beyond an unusually severe downturn. My mind went straight to a repeat of the 2008 crisis.

That's interesting regarding the comparable vulnerability of certain roles.
In your experience when a company goes through a turbulent period and many people are made redundant do those employees have a good chance of finding similar work elsewhere or do they face long-term damage to their career prospects?

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

@Lunatick
STEM is doing a good job of making much of itself, redundant.

I see you don't understand what engineers or scientists do, but act like you do.

That's odd.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@farquit
Are you the British guy, or are you someone else?

That is surprising - I must say I never knew that. Funny, considering that I was an analyst myself. Thanks for bringing that up.

Maybe the academic requirements differ from place to place?

Possibly... but probably not. I really don't think there would be too much of a difference here. I dare not speak for every country obviously, but I live in one of the global financial centers in Asia.

That's interesting regarding the comparable vulnerability of certain roles.

I thought that was what you were asking for? Sorry if there was a misunderstanding

good chance of finding similar work elsewhere or do they face long-term damage to their career prospects?

When the banking industry is shaken, no bank is left unaffected. So if you meant whether or not they can find job at another bank, chances are they cannot (granted, there are always banks less affected than others - if I had to guess one example, I would say Citi. It's made some very good chances to its organization and business structure).

Finding jobs outside will be dependent on the global economy. Most businesses will put a freeze on their hiring - bla bla, I'm sure you know where this is going. Obviously a financier cannot hope to move to more stable industries (e.g. healthcare) to weather out the storm.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

Okay, if you are smart and can get into a great, ivy league tier college, then go for it. Even if you are smart, you might want to go to a good state school for $0 cost after all those scholarships. However, you are probably not smart enough to make college worth it. Just go to a trade school or something like that and you'll be making mad bank. Hell, at my high school you could go get training in masonry for free and graduate high school making $40k with a lot of potential for growth. It's all about realizing your aptitudes. The reality is that you probably do not possess the abilities that are required to become a hedge fund manager. Just do what you want, I don't give a fuck. Generally business degrees at good colleges will be worth it in the long run though.

However, if you're smart enough, go for ivy league. And I am sure, that behind whatever response you have to this, you will know whether or not you are smart enough to make it.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

@Lunatick
This guy is an idiot.

Go to a state school and attend for very cheap. My only regret about college is the time I lost. I attended for ~$20K in total over 4 years.

Tell me of some billionaires that didn't attend college.

likme
likme

@haveahappyday
Not everyone values money

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@likme
not everyone values money

thats the poorfag's way of sour-graping

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@Poker_Star
By this same logic, anyone who doesn't own many books, but has at least five must clearly be spiteful.

Not everyone values money, the rich and poor alike.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@Nude_Bikergirl
I'm the same guy. I'm just posting on the move. Didn't get home until extremely late and didn't want the thread to expire.

I think quants are probably the exception as far as the high academic requirements go. For every other role I've looked into it does seem that going beyond a bachelors degree is to your detriment as you said.

That is what I was asking with the job security question but I didn't expect you to go into detail. Thank you.

I wonder if any data was collected on the resulting career moves of the people who lost their banking jobs as a direct result of 2008. It'd be interesting to see what percentage of them eventually recovered and what they had to do to get back into work.

If downturns are an unavoidable part of the cycle which seems to be the case. Do employees in the exposed roles usually have a plan for when everything goes arse over tit?
Or is it more a case of hoping the downturn isn't that bad and that you're more valuable than everyone else facing the axe? Surely they can't all have a mop and some forged custodial credentials hidden in their desk.

Emberfire
Emberfire

@likme
... Man, I didn't want to get involved, but really? I'm not gonna preach the importance of money vs spiritual well-being or whatever it is you endorse, but idk man, it seems that you are on the wrong board.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@Raving_Cute
going beyond a bachelors degree is to your detriment as you said.

I said beyond a Master's :) PhDs are generally a detriment (exceptions being academia, or quants, as you've allowed me to discover).

Master's degrees are okay for the workforce. They can also be essential if you're looking to go into senior management (senior MDs and above we're talking about banking, senior management for more 'conventional' hierarchies).

I wonder if any data was collected on the resulting career moves of the people who lost their banking jobs as a direct result of 2008. It'd be interesting to see what percentage of them eventually recovered and what they had to do to get back into work.

Wouldn't it? Unfortunately I think the extent of any evidence we might have would be anecdotal. I know someone (friend of a friend, you know how it is) who lost his job at Goldman because of it - he's in accounting now, I believe. But that's the extent of the knowledge I have on the matter, and as mentioned, it's all anecdotal and may not be true.

Do employees in the exposed roles usually have a plan for when everything goes arse over tit?

Wouldn't this pertain more to the individual in question? If you asked me... I would say that more would belong to the latter.

Can't speak too much for the FO, but when it comes to the BO I can tell you what I've seen

aggro cost-cutting measures have everyone on edge
have monthly meetings where lower-tier employees meet big bosses to ask questions, suggest ideas, etc etc.
every attendant asks questions about downsizing
MD (usually in charge) talks about how banking is being changed by tech
basically admitting that even he had no choice in the matter, and could only watch

People don't have very much say in the matter at all. Obviously they'll be dusting off resumes on the side, but otherwise they'll just be waiting for their severance check.

4chan's saying that I'm too chatty so...

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Raving_Cute
@VisualMaster

Here's something interesting I noted. Sometimes it's worse to be cut off last. You see, it's not as if the entire department gets axed at once.

The workload sometimes doesn't decrease (for the MO and BO side of things). Obviously the FO's workload goes down the worse the economy gets, but this is not always true for the other departments (e.g. non-FO analysts, tech staff).

Since the main revenue of a bank comes from the FO, other functions (across all offices) will have to be cut down when this revenue is compromised.

So I'm sure you can guess what happens

workload distributed among 12 people
4 axed, workload doesn't decrease
another 4 axed, workload remains the same

The remaining 4 will have to share the burden. But sometimes it's tough, yknow? The hours are already bad in banking, as I'm sure you've heard. The poor bastards will be praying for their contracts to be terminated ASAP, so they can get their cheque and leave.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Emberfire
It doesn't mean money has no use. Well of course it does, it can be exchanged many ways. But some people can't bother to get rid of it. The irony is that a sufficient amount of wealth becomes worthless for a while.

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