New to WSO. Sorry, but here goes another "change careers" question. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My background is in government consulting. Specifically, I do econometric analysis for policy impacts (a lot of Stata work, but not just a Stata monkey). I have a top 10 undergrad degree in polisci/econ, and a top 10 MPP. High gpa/honors/etc in both. My most marketable skill is probably statistical programming, and I'm fairly proficient in Stata and R. I'm relatively new to the job market, with about 2 years of total work experience. My only finance experience is the Business Honors internship at the Securities and Exchanges Commission. I worked in DERA (economic and risk analysis), but I don't really think i was there long enough for it to be a substantially beneficial experience. And of course, I have the public finance/international finance/etc coursework from grad school.
I started off really passionate about my line of work, but throughout grad school, my interests changed. It was only after working for a while that I realized I don't want to stay in the public sector. Rather, I drifted more towards finance and private sector work. I think I'm very strong in general analytical and research skills, so buy-side finance seems like the best fit (yes, I know these are hard to get into). It'd also be nice if I could continue utilizing my skills in econometrics and statistical programming.
My exit plan is to hopefully leave my current job in government consulting by the start of 2020. Do you guys have any advice? I'd really REALLY like to avoid going to B-School, since I just got an MPP. Also, the curriculum between an MPP and MBA are fairly similar, so the only marginal benefit of an MBA would be the networking rather than the education. I have some solid connections to finance from undergrad, but I'm not sure how to leverage them yet. I'm also not sure how to brand my skills/background. My first sense is that the best route would be to transition from government consulting -> economics consulting -> finance.
Any thoughts? I know what I'm asking is a long-shot, but I think it's better I try now early in my career, rather than when I'm in my mid-30s. Thanks guys.