Need career advice - Further studies options

#1
Hi All,

Currently I'm at a stage where I really need to take the right step in terms of further studies and I'd like to get some opinions. A little bit about me -

Early 30s, already have a Masters in Financial Engg from a decent but not top school (that was 6 years back). Have been working in the financial services industry from the beginning in different regions in Asia - first 3 years as a trader, and last 4+ years in the middle office. It's getting really boring in the middle office functions and the biggest issue is there are no decent jobs in the region. Most roles are of the back-office kind. I'll have to move to NY or LN for any decent work and pay. And I think the only way is by going back to school since no one's going to sponsor my work visa.

I feel now is the time to move into data analytics roles from the financial industry(I'm good with Python programming and have been learning R on my own). However, I have some real issues with my profile that I'm not sure how to deal with before I apply for further studies.

First, the good parts of my profile -
Test Scores - GRE - 330/340 (Q- 168, V- 162); GMAT - 740 (Q-51, V-39); TOEFL - 110/120. Decent enough work experience.

Troublesome parts - 1) Really bad GPA during Masters (I had some personal issues at the time which couldn't have been avoided). This leads to no profs willing to write recommendations (I had asked 3 profs and only one person agreed).
2) Even recommendations from work are hard to come by. The last place where I worked for 3 years, they reacted very badly when they knew I was planning to go for further studies. Some directly refused and some gave very lukewarm responses.

I did get into a decent school (ANU) where no recommendations were required. However, I want to avoid working in the APAC region after studies. Does anyone have any suggestions of good schools in US or UK where recos won't be an issue? Most Masters in Stats programs in US require 3 academic recommendations.

Or could anyone suggest other ways to make my profile better by taking up courses before applying which can negate the need for academic recos? I also considered one possibility - take a 1 yr Masters program at a lower ranked school (which doesn't cost me too much) and if I can excel at the program, then use recos from that school to go for a PhD in US. However, do you think it's worth it at my age to go for a PhD to work in the area of statistics/data?

In my years of experience, I have seen that getting a job depends upon a lot of other factors beyond our control rather than just being good at your job and how well you answer technical questions in an interview. Or is it just a phenomenon in the banking/financial industry?

It's been a long message. Would really appreciate if someone could help me see things clearly. I really want to study further and don't want to be stopped just because of a few issues in my profile which I can't change now.
 

CarSi

New Member
#2
Need career advice Further studies options

Hi, I am looking for some advice in choosing a forensic career.

I have a chemistry background but I also really interested in computer forensic. I was wondering if there is a career that incorporate these two fields?

Please give me some advice

Thanks
 

hlsmith

Omega Contributor
#4
You need to better define "computer master", otherwise I will feel compelled to make up recommendations that may or may not be applicable to your desired pursuits (e.g., drop kick a computer into a volcano).