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Want a career involving investments, which Graduate Degree?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I'm not really sure what career I want to pursue at this point, but I would really like to do something involving investments as the title says. I am currently a Finance undergrad, set to graduate this coming May.

I want to get a graduate degree but I cannot decide which one will suit me best. The three main ones I am looking at are a masters in Economics or Finance, or an MBA.

Any thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
post #2 of 51
+1 to this question, except as someone starting a finance undergrad, not completing one
post #3 of 51
"Investments" is a pretty broad career choice, so I'll say you should go for the most broad grad degree: MBA.

Grad degree in Econ is basically worthless for finance; masters in finance makes people wonder why you didn't do an MBA instead.

If you were really serious about working in "investments" the best graduate degrees are probably:

1. MBA
2. Math
3. Computer Science
4. An engineering discipline
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwright11 View Post

I'm not really sure what career I want to pursue at this point, but I would really like to do something involving investments as the title says. I am currently a Finance undergrad, set to graduate this coming May.

I want to get a graduate degree but I cannot decide which one will suit me best. The three main ones I am looking at are a masters in Economics or Finance, or an MBA.

Any thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Uh dude your gonna have to be a bit more specific. "Investments" could mean a lot of things. My Master's of Financial Economics starts in 13 months so my knowledge about this is quite current.

Getting an MBA is retarded straight out of undergrad and you have absolutely zero chance of getting into a respectable program without some work experience. If I were you I would take all the math you can stomach, get high grades, study (a lot) for the GRE/GMAT, and try to get into a school with a name that has clout where you want to work. Get a degree in either econ or finance that has a heavy quant application. Basically, I disagree completely with the advice from tj100. A MBA is good to have, but not for what it sounds like you want
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NameBack View Post

+1 to this question, except as someone starting a finance undergrad, not completing one

Take as much math as possible, consider a double major. And keep your GPA above 3.5 if you want to get into a really good grad program. Get into honors classes and do everything you can to secure LoR from tenured profs
post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
If I were to decide on an MBA then I wouldn't apply until ive had at least a couple of years of work experience. Now, if I were to try to find a good Finance/Economics program out of college, What kind of math would you suggest me take?
Please keep in mind that I only have two semesters left. Many courses that I'm sure would be beneficial require prerequisites that would be difficult to acquire while keeping up with my normal major courses.
post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
And i also realize that "investments" is a very broad category. So why not set the bar high and say an analyst at an IB or working for a Hedge Fund.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwright11 View Post

And i also realize that "investments" is a very broad category. So why not set the bar high and say an analyst at an IB or working for a Hedge Fund.

If you want to be an IB analyst, you're better off not doing the masters degree. That's generally a pre-mba role. If you're talking buyside research analyst, I don't think it really matters what your degree is in. Could be English, for all they care. If that's your goal, do the CFA program and avoid the costs of grad school.

Hedge fund, I'd argue you're going to be way better off with a Math degree than anything else.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwright11 View Post

And i also realize that "investments" is a very broad category. So why not set the bar high and say an analyst at an IB or working for a Hedge Fund.

Quit beating around the bush and tell us background info about yourself. What school did you go to (top10, topX), what was your ballpark gpa, how many maths have you taken? I could go on..

If your coming from a top25 school and have a competitive gpa then you honestly don't need to worry about grad school. But you would need to start prepping your network asap.

If you are at a decent state school that's not a target school then an advanced degree is a good idea. It does NOT have to be from a top15 school to get an IB offer. Schools with regional name recognition should provide you with sufficient networking opportities. If you are in this situation, see my above advice
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
I will be coming from a state school that is not a target. I have above a 3.8 GPA and very good extracurriculars. Since I am not graduating from a highly ranked target school I always figured that earning a graduate degree from a more highly ranked school would set me off on a better path.
post #11 of 51
And you're right. Dominate your GRE/GMAT, get great LoR, and make an awesome application. Funding is kinda hard to come by with these programs so maybe your best bet is to have an employer foot the bill.

Again, you're not looking at getting an MBA right out of undergrad; get that out of your head now. If you want to go the way of my recommendations, you should have at least a year of Calculus, a year of Statistics, some want Differential Equations, and probably some linear algebra depending on specific program requirements. I'm personally partial to the Master's of Financial Economics but I would group any heavy quant, applied finance or econ program with that in terms of highly sought after graduates; while still staying business-ey

When selecting schools, do not under-estimate regional reputation. I mean, if you end up at Harvard that obviously has excellent brand recognition worldwide so you would impress basically anywhere. But if you wanted to work in Texas, for example, an advanced degree from Rice[kinda Houston specific honestly]/UT/A&M/SMU would give you a very good value relative to a similar school not in the area. If I were to live in Texas, I would personally choose A&M over Duke, all things considered. After the top 10, the weight of rankings seems to diminish drastically.
post #12 of 51
I'm not in the field but I was under the impression that IB analysts are hired out of undergrad. If you can't get those internships/jobs, and want to work in IB, then you should plan to get an MBA after 2-5 years of working and come in at that level. (I believe most of the analysts will end up going the MBA route themselves.)

From a financial perspective I think straight-out-of-school master's degrees are only going to be useful for a health profession or engineering (and in the latter case it's mostly just "more interesting" work that breaks even money-wise.)

I'd consider the masters route if you have a specific academic interest that you want to fulfill, but if you are just looking for career prospects than pick the job that has the best combination of salary/prestige/experience/passion that you are offered and see where it goes from there.
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Great advice, I appreciate it. And coincidentally I am from Texas at was considering TAMU's Financial Economics masters degree. I guess my next question would be, timeframe aside, what careers would a financial economics degree lean toward that an MBA would not, and vice versa?
I guess what i'm saying is are there industries, take IB for example, that would look favorably at an MBA while laughing (exaggeration) at a financial economics degree?
post #14 of 51
a job in investments is too stressful when the market is unpredictable and or crashing.
post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Duly noted.
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