The Nobel Prize. Once an everlasting testament to human intellectual innovation.
A beacon of hope, a searchlight though the clouds over our mind's eye.
Today, more akin to an online diploma from a for-profit university . A lifetime achievement Oscar for the likable fellow who never quite shone brightly enough on his own merit. A ferris wheel with a jammed lever. A comically, self indulgent world of the theoretician guffawing over his own perceived brilliance.
Why not get your piece of the action? $500,000, a lifetime of juicy consulting gigs, because you quantified that "buyers and sellers have a hard time meeting in the marketplace"? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
In the past, PhDs were reserved for only the most rigorously inquisitive of academic minds. Salaries were far inferior to the private sector and options beyond academia were minute.
In times of crisis, the human fear of the unknown leads to reflexive mean reversion. Or to put it in non-eggheadese: we crawl back into our holes. Looking for answers to current questions in the cave wall scribbles of our ancestors. This is a great time to be a researcher, so many topics to dissect and blame on someone, place or thing.
About a decade ago a guy I knew went for his PhD at a top school. Everyone laughed at his choice, as he was making mid-six figures only a few years out of undergrad. A topinternship and a graduation day gig at an infamous hedge fund were his first steps towards definite BSD-dom. One day,however, he simply packed his bags and wormed into a book for half-a-decade.
Today, he works about 150 days per year pulls, down $150,000 and does about a month on the speech circuit, on someone else's dime. He's written a couple of books, published a bunch of papers and bills out his consulting expertise at ridiculous rates.
His all-in-comp at the end of the year is not MD status but you couldn't get him to budge from his perch with any sort of parachute bonus. His stress level is nil, he's always at his son's baseball games and confesses that the biggest struggle he has is warding of cute hedgette hopefuls looking to perform a grade boosting service.
The PhD is wide open these days for those with excellent undergraduate academic records. Certainly it is a career path worthy of more attention than it receives.
With the proliferation of math and engineering advanced degrees, there are less and less Finance PhD candidates throughout the country's doctoral programs.
With our changing regulatory environment, doctoral level expertise on a multitude of subjects will blend well with the expanding compliance, transparency and informational demands of the finance industry at large.
Though a PhD curriculum is by no means light and the compensation for your 5 years (or more) of effort will be quite paltry, the freedom and luxury of living it can afford down the road should not be ignored.