Where I am:Early mid-thirties. Wife and two young children. B.S Computer Engineering from a top tier U.S. University. 8 years professional software development experience, 4 of which are in the automated trading system space, the last 2 of which are at a large stable hedge fund that's been in existence for 2 decades.I currently work at the ?stable hedge fund? as a Senior Lead Dev on a research and execution platform team that serves a number of competing portfolio managers. As such, my areas of responsibility are all execution-related issues and maintaining and extending the research tools.This hedge fund is not in a major finance center city and is, in fact, over 1,000 miles away from the nearest such city.Where I want to be:For me, researching trading ideas and coding up trade systems isn't work, it's play. I just love doing it so that's my main motivation for wanting to obtain a Front Office or Desk Quant role. (Research Quant or Quant Dev might be fun too).For reasons I can't divulge on a public forum and that have nothing to do with me, growing in to such a position at my current employer isn't really an option for the foreseeable future.The Plan:Obtain a Master's degree in Computational Finance by late 2013. To maintain a good work/life balance and enable me to focus 100% of my energy on my studies, I'll quit my job and draw off savings to support my family while in school. Then upon graduation I'll move to where the work is (i.e. New York, Chicago etc.).-The program I'm considering is relatively short ( < 18 months)-The program is brand new (or almost...maybe 2nd or 3rd year)-The university is quite renowned but is in the same city as my place of work; far from a finance center cityRationale:-Most job ads I see for desirable positions say they require a master's or phd. And most of these ads don't say they require an ivy league master's. Therefore a master's in a quantitative field from a respected university should suffice.-For most desirable job ads I see, the master's is the only bullet point I lack under the ?Requirements? section. Therefore, this master's should round out my resume and make me very competitive for a large swath of posted ads.-While I'll take what I can get in the direction towards my targeted role, I would prefer to make a clean break from roles like I currently hold (i.e. more of a pure software dev) to my targeted role (i.e. a quant who's really good at coding). That is, one thing I like about my plan is I would quit role A (and never look back) and start role B (albeit 18 months later) and not have to grow over some indeterminate length of time from A to B.-If the targeted job doesn't pan out, my good grades through the master's program could allow me entrance to a university with a more respected phd program. (this would be a backup plan)Questions:1) Obviously I'm not following a normal track here and am pretty old to be going to school etc. How negatively will this impact me in the job search?2) While my main motivation is because I would enjoy the work 10X more than my current role, I do need positive ROI on this master's investment. In tuition, opportunity cost (i.e. lost salary) and risk (i.e. will there really be a job waiting for me when I graduate?), my plan is pretty costly. This year I'll make 125K USD. I work exactly 40 hours / week every week, get a massive amount of PTO and full medical benefits for my entire family. 2-A. Does this plan seem reasonably likely to land me my targeted role for the cost associated? 2-B. Would likely compensation for such a role be enough higher than my current compensation to justify the cost?3) Do you see a better plan/path (balancing likelihood against cost) or a refinement in my plan to hit my target?Thank you so much to any and all who not only take the time to read through this glut of detail but thoughtfully reply!
Last edited by uptime
on March 31st, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.