Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Students of today in the job market of tomorrow.

The world of financial services is boundless. Each day that passes brings so much innovation and demand for new and specialized skill sets. I wonder when a young undergraduate like me enters the workforce; what would be the ideal path to ensure your skills are in demand in the future?

I am a student of Rutgers University, not of the business school. This brings me to one of my pivotal beliefs I have regarding undergraduate education. I believe students with an interest in the world of business should stick to a broad subject with extensive tradition. (Mathematics, Philosophy, and somewhat Economics although Econ as we know it is slightly more of a modern study) I didn't have an interest in the business school with the majors of (Accounting, Finance, and Management). In my personal opinion, and let me just say this may be controversial, I feel these majors are more vocational and less the kind of solid fundamental skills undergrad should offer you. I believe anyone who was a master of mathematics could quickly learn finance in a very sort time BUT not vice versa.

What about after you finish undergrad; what path would most expand your human capital and best prepare you for the realm of Financial Services in the 21st Century? For a lot of business focused undergrads Investment Banking has long been the route of choice, perceived to be the most prestigious, rewarding, and lucrative path. Without a doubt entering an Investment Banking group as an analyst is intense, demanding, and challenging. It has the possibly of giving the analysts the opportunity to develop a very useful and broad skill set. Although, that of course depends on what each particular person makes of the experience and the type of projects you are assigned. Many analysts I've spoken to as of late are thinking about getting in 2-3 years in banking, perhaps a quick stint on the buy-side with a private equity firm and then leveraging their experience and past academics to be accepted into an Ivy business school. This sounds like a great route particularly with all the talk of private equity in the marketplace in the past year. I would imagine this route would give a professional a true understanding of the markets and what makes a company really tick. Should this be the most desired route for young business undergrads?

What about the other crazed phenomenon of the 1990s, hedge funds. Would starting your years out of undergraduate in research, S&T, or on a security desk at a buldge be your path of choice if your goal was working for a big money making hedge fund? Is this even a path you should pursue if you want more opportunities to work at a hedge fund or even START one? Hopefully a successful one.

The arena changes so much, even by day. It is a big choice for some students to decide upon an initial direction. Sometimes your first step can leave you trapped in a certain flavor of financial services. I would be interested to hear from professionals in the industry; in what areas of financial services do you see the job growth in the next 10-20 years? Hedge Funds seem HOT now but I've read in the economist magizine, many hedge fund managers saying things like, "If my son were to be entering the world of business today, I would steer them away from getting involved with Hedge Funds". It seems as though some folks today may know some directions the job demand is heading.

Hopefully someone can leave some good feedback, I would appreciate it.

8 Comments:

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10:32 PM  
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2:49 AM  

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