QuoteOriginally posted by: lynnwHi all,I am about to graduate from Cambridge with BA and MEng degrees in Information and Computer Engineering soon. Currently there are two options available to me after graduation:1. Stay at Cambridge to do a PhD in Engineering, with a focus on financial time series modelling, funded by a prestigious full-cost scholarship2. Start working in the quantitative equities group, or any other group of my choice (provided I prove myself capable), under an investment fund which manages more than US$100b over a wide range of asset classesPersonally, I am more inclined to have a break from school and gain some real investment experience. However, I am a bit concerned that going for the 'easy' option (i.e. work) would be short-sighted, because I believe that one needs to have a certain level of technical knowledge and intellectual preparation in order to make real contributions, gain credibility and build a successful career in a field as competitive as quantitative portfolio management. I am just not sure which of the two, advanced education or work experience, will help me, in the most efficient way possible, reach that level. May I have your advice please? Thanks a lot.I was in a comparable situation some years back and decided to do the PhD. To be honest I am second-guessing this decision a lot, and in a way I'm thinking that the easy option actually is the PhD, not work, simply because a PhD has no impact and there is no urgency involved. To make a point: If you really mess up once at this fund you probably lose more money than you will earn in your entire life, but if you mess up at your PhD research you simply close your notebook, get a drink and then the next day you look through your code and data and try again. There is pretty much nothing in a PhD that would require immediate action or even attention. It's exclusively a stamina/endure thing. If you are normally intelligent it's literally impossible to fail because you have literally all the time in the world and it's in the very best interest of your supervisor to not accept your thesis until it's good enough to pass and then let you pass the defense as well, because if you don't it's them looking stupid infront of their peers. Of course I am strongly contradicted by empirical evidence here, at my university 60% quit the PhD program and numbers for other schools are ball park comparable. Why that is, is something I cannot comprehend. To me it seems utterly bizarrely stupid to quit a PhD.So what should you do?Here's how it is, and you are probably not gonna like it, but I think you should actually bookmark this thread so that in a few years you can reply things along the lines of "OMG! You were so right, how cld i not see?": Whatever you do you will not like it. If you do the PhD you will have little money (despite the scholarship) and after you spend the next few months slacking you will really hate it and think just how much more cool it would be to work a real job. If you don't do the PhD sooner or later some idiot at your office with a Dr infront of his name will talk BS and your coworkers/clients will believe him and not you. Also if you ever make it really high you will lose out against similarly qualified people with a title, and if you ever get kicked out or things won't work out as planned you will likely think it's because you didn't do the PhD.Solution: There is no panacea to this dilemma, but probably doing an internship now and then quickly completing the PhD is the best real world solution.