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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.

ESRC Quota 1+3 award


ESRC Quota 1+3 award

Hi guys,

I have a question with regard to the ESRC 1+3 quota award and would like to ask you for some advice. Last year I was awarded such an award for an MSc and a PhD in a UK university. I'm almost at the end of my MSc now but I'm very disappointed with the place and with what I'm going to be doing for my PhD. The problem is that it turned out that the actual topic of the PhD does not really correspond to my interests, requires just mechanical work with no thought on my part and will do nothing for my future career (at least in my view).

So, my question is, if I decide to abandon this and go to another university for my PhD, will I lose the award? My guess is that I would lose it. Furthermore, will there be any penalties for me? For instance will I be required to pay for my MSc ex-post.

So, what do you think?