I need help making a tough call on graduate education. I hold a PhD in mathematics and have four years of work experience in academia and three in the non-profit sector. I am in my mid-thirties and I am looking for a career switch. I hold offers for the following three programs:
MBA from INSEAD
MSc Finance and Economics from London School of Economics
MS Mathematics in Finance from NYU
Question: which one of these best complements my background and which will get me "closer to the money"? I am thinking of jobs in finance but I do not exclude consulting if I can somehow leverage my PhD as well as the MBA/MS. Top choice right now would be to work for a hedge fund or a prestigious IB although I do not have any experience of the work environment. The opportunity to interact with clients would be a plus for me.
Of course there is the quant option, and NYU is tailor-made for this, but I hesitate to do a specialized math course where the average age is probably in the mid-20s, given that I already have a math PhD. Also I have the impression these roles come with a glass ceiling. My programming skills are a bit rusty (had a very good aptitude years ago but have never used C++).
I am strongly leaning towards INSEAD since it is much less specialized and MBAs typically go into more senior roles (I think the average age was 29 years). My reservation is that I wouldn't want to nullify my current qualifications; I'd like to build on my PhD but not cancel it out, and I'm not sure if INSEAD can take me to roles which allow this, especially since it is not focused on finance. Can I gain some competitive advantage from my math PhD while targeting roles at the associate level or above (and possibly managerial roles in the long run), or does the MBA necessarily mean I start from scratch?
The MSc at London School of Economics seems to be somewhere in between; it is clearly oriented towards Investment Banking, but still the students are typically in their mid 20s and targeting analyst roles.
In the long run I would want to work in Europe, although I wouldn't mind a stint in NY.
Advice would be immensely appreciated.