Is this a possible career path?

I have a friend who went to a reputable school for a Master's degree in financial engineering, and he's now working for a reputable prop shop as an assistant trader. He thought prop shop was the fastest way to become rich, but he's realizing that there are tons of people who are smarter than him (he is a pretty smart guy imo). As a result, instead of aiming for early retirement, he wants to develop some sort trading strategies and work for a hedge fund later. FYI, the my friend had an engineering major as an undergrad and he does not care much about how the market operates; he just wants to somehow find a way to make money out of the market.

Since I am not working in the financial industry, I wasn't sure how HF worked. I could not tell him if what he was thinking was a great idea or not. Is this a possible career path or is he just dreaming? I would appreciate your insight. Thanks in advance.

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