I know of many engineers who regretted not getting the right career advice when they were in school. (What’s “right” is subjective, of course.)
Envious of the high income that an investment banker can fetch, some of these engineers decided to take up courses or certifications that hopefully will give them a chance to enter the lucrative finance sector.
Their options include:
- Getting CFA charter. This can be done through self study, but it takes a fair bit of effort. The catch is that in order to get the charter title, you gotta accumulate a few years of relevant experience. There are people who deliberately became financial consultants (i.e. insurance agents) just to earn the CFA title. The interesting point here is that even working as a financial adviser/consultant counts as relevant.
- Getting a financial engineering degree from NUS or NTU. You need to pay school fees, attend classes, do projects, homework, etc. It can be quite challenging.
BUT, does it help to do all this?
If you’re studying just to gain worldly knowledge of finance, then you’re fine. I salute you.
But more likely, you’re in this game because you want to get a job that pays well, at least reasonably better than your miserable engineer pay. If that’s what you want, then chances are you will be disappointed.
Don’t believe me? The next time you attend a preview session for such a course, ask questions.
Ask important questions, like “will I get a good job that pays well after I graduate?”, “can you show me statistics on the before-and-after salaries of your graduates?” and “how many of your graduates have gone on to be associates with a bulge bracket investment bank?”
You’d be lucky if the presenter advises you not to expect too much. He could’ve said, “you might need to take a pay cut…”