All,Thanks so much for the feedback. I've been putting a lot of mental energy in to this and it's been very helpful to have your thoughts to factor in. Also, apologies it's taken so long to respond.CrashedMint:"are you sure a master's is actually necessary? or sensible? might just be employers love work experience more than another degree."No, I'm not sure at all. I just get the sense that it is from the consistency of the desirable ads I see. They pretty much all seem to say at least a master's. Another thing is that while I did a lot of math during my Bachelor's days and excelled at it, that's getting to be almost 15 years ago. So thinking that master's would fulfill that bullet point and knock the rust off and extend my math skills. Here's an example of a near ideal-sounding job:http://www.wilmott.com/messageview.cfm? ... Ironically
, it doesn't specify a graduate level requirement!Shaik:No, my wife does not work. She stays home with the kids. Yeah, I'm not real thrilled about the phd backup plan...that would put me close to my 40's and not excited about putting my family through that.CrashedMint:"i absolutely think you should follow your dreams...Now I have no clue if a Masters would actually increase your chances to get your dream job. From personal experience I doubt it"I appreciate the encouragement. The most important thing to me is enjoying my work. I know I can't get enough of trade system development so that is my driving force. I won't stop working at it till I get there! Would you be willing to expand on your "personal experience"? Being new to Wilmott I'm not aware of your background. Also, have you seen people with a master's struggle to find the type of work I'm aiming at? Thanks!Capafan2:"This is a very high risk plan you have. Do CQF instead."I'm feeling more and more that something like the CQF would be much more appropriate to my situation. I'll be spending some time researching what people say about it on these boards and finding out more about the program. I'd be curious to hear any more specifics you may have about the program itself and its ability to add value in the job hunt.spv205:"particularly since most of the masters and CQF etc are aimed at becoming derivatives quants rather than a quant trader....like what you are after."This is a very helpful comment...thanks. In particular, I have a tough time sorting out exactly which *quant* job title maps to exactly what I'm interested in. Could you elaborate a bit on what you see the difference in work life being between a derivatives quant vs. a quant trader?"I would directly start applying for jobs and talk to head hunters...the other thing I would do is train up at your current employer as much as possible. In particular, offer your (programming) services/free time to the traders there....theres always something to automate with tradingThat's the way a lot of people have moved....you can't do that there but getting to know the traders and helping them out is going to be a lot more use than an MSC."I think this is exactly what I will start doing. I actually have the opportunity to do just what you are talking about with one of the traders here. He's swamped with research/automation needs but doesn't have resources allocated to hire a programmer to help out. So maybe a better plan is to spend my free time working with him while applying for jobs and talking to head hunters. Even after a short period of that I'd have some feedback from the job market which I could factor in to further job hunt refinements. One dilemma though is that my work with this trader would be 'under the radar', out of view of the firm management. So I might not end up being able to put a fancy title on a resume bullet point. I suppose I'd have to find a way to spin it in to my resume in that case. Any suggestions here are welcome!tu160 and capafan2:very interesting dialogue you have going back and forth. In my OP I said:"...to obtain a Front Office or Desk Quant role. (Research Quant or Quant Dev might be fun too)"To be honest, I don't feel that I have a real firm grasp on the exact distinctions in the job titles. I just know that I love researching ideas and coding up the systems to backtest / papertest / trade the resultant trade systems and analyze the results of testing to refine the systems or generate new ideas. What title best fits that?Capafan2 is right...I won't turn down the money but by an extremely wide margin, passion is my driver. I would happily take reduced pay (even substantially reduced) to work in my desired role verses a work role that pays more but that doesn't interest me (as I'm currently in).Thanks again to all who have replied, truly appreciate it!