Am I too old?


Hi everybody,

I'm currently in the final year of my PhD in Finance. I'm currently 26. I don't want to work in academia but after a few unsuccessful attempts to secure a job in finance (I'm interested in investment banking, portfolio management, quantitative analysis etc.) I started contemplating what else I could do supplement my credentials and increase my chances of getting a job.

I've been contemplating two possibilities. Since I have good (essentially self-taught) programming background one possibility is to go for a Master's in (Financial) Software Engineering. From what I can see this kind of IT/math skills seem to be in demand.

The second option I'm considering is a JD since I think that if I specialize corporate and securities law that might open the door for me for jobs in corporate restructuring and investment management. The downside to this (apart from cost if I fail at getting a scholarship) is that a JD takes three more years and by the time I graduate I'll be 29-30.

So my question is am I too old to start a JD? How will employers regard a nearly 30 year-old applicant who hasn't had any significant work experience apart from the odd job here and there to help pay the bills and teaching finance and econometrics courses?

I'm really wondering what to do - after so much effort I put in school I'm still unsuccessful. Any opinions will be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance.


======= Date Modified 04 Apr 2009 19:06:09 =======

This is mostly a UK forum and UK students do not study for the JD (but the LLB). I won't go into details about JDs here, as I'm sure you'll get better advice on a law forum. 30 isn't old to start a law career as a JD is a postgraduate degree, and students will be around 24/25 when graduating (if not older), so you'll be a bit older but with a PhD too. I know lots of people who started law careers in their 30s and 40s (however, not in the UK which is quite ageist).

But bear in mind, given that you are 26 now, I'd say it would be a tall order to have your PhD submitted, and law and bar exams etc, all under your belt by 'nearly 30'. Also, take into consideration that the law industry is bombing at the moment (like financial services).


If you're studying to further your professional development, I don't think you could ever be "too old". I hope to be starting a PhD this year and I am 25, so I wil be nearly 30 by the time I'm finished. I've always been told not to worry about my age with reference to such things. As for your "odd jobs here and there", surely if you are ever asked about these, you must have gained some transferable skills: especially from the teaching courses! Personally, I wouldn't worry: if further study is what you want to do and you have the motivation to do it, I don't see why you shouldn't go for it! (up)