Debating going back to school for a graduate degree, but I don’t know if I would want to go back for my MBA, MBA/JD, or any other related or obtainable graduate degree. I also wonder if I really need a graduate degree at this point. Plus I’m also honestly debating whether or not to stay on the same career track. Any advice?

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I can't tell you what to do, but I’ll give some advice (nearly) all lawyers gave me when I considered law school: only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer above all else. And I mean ALL else. It has to be the only option for you. They've described the hard path, the huge negatives, and many other things. They also said that if you can envision something else making you happy, do that. If nothing comes to mind, then continue to consider law school.

I took the advice with a grain of salt. There are plenty of happy lawyers and plenty of happy lawyers that could have been happy doing something else. But the underlying message stuck: it’s a path of two tales. The income distribution is bimodal. There are as many lawyers making $200k+ as those making <$70k. It's a long, hard path with a significant opportunity cost. It's a great path for many, but not most.

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I opted to go legal route and sometimes wish that I had done joint degree program, but that’s also because I’ve never practiced in law firm and have been in finance the entire time (moving between first and second line roles). There are somethings that I want to pursue goal wise that I think that I will only be able to achieve with the support of an MBA in my back pocket.

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Top 10 MBA here and on a trading desk. No.

Most people get MBAs to land where you are as a starting point. You’re already there. The CFA is more valued in our world anyway.

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Second this. For sure.

The WSJ also did an article about how anybody outside of the top 30 or so law schools are pretty much screwed. Those flashy top paying corporate law firms are essentially impossible to break into unless you’re in a top program, and the data seems to back this up. So keep this in mind. Maybe even T20

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Generally agree with this statement unless you’re a local school with good connections. Hard to find that, and in that case you better be top 10% - and be a great networker.

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As someone with a law degree, I’d really only recommend going to law school if you want to practice law.

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I’m 60s and have Wharton mba and cfa. I got accepted to Boston college law etc . I worked in law then business. Don’t do law unless you want to write and draft etc. if you like corp finance, investments, capital markets doing it then it’s a waste of time and money. The cost plus OPPTY cost not worth it. It may be good in structured finance I’ve seen. It’s prestigious and only consider Harvard Penn chicago Columbia northwestern mba: jd. M and a it’s good. While I always wanted it I realize my utility is derived from finance not law.

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Great advice boomer!

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What do you want to be after?

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I have thought about this often. I did an MBA, without a second masters or JD. I have kicked myself ever since. Even if you don’t think you’d need it directly, having both becomes a differentiator in the hiring process. The skill sets an MBA and a JD bring are complimentary. The opportunities broaden and allow you a rare flexibility.

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What are your career goals? For most jobs in finance, experience is more valued than a degree. If you want to continue in finance I would try to network and gain as much as experience as possible. It's cheaper and will take you farther than another degree in the end.

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I’m debating on sticking with finance, mostly because I gotten so far already, I don’t know if it would make since to pivot. At first I just wanted to move up as high as I could in my current track, if anything I’m a lot higher than I thought I would be at this point, but now I’m having doubts on staying the course.

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Have you considered an MD? Hear thats a good graduate degree to add to the list

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That would have been something to think about when I first got to college. I’m no doctor.

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A full time MBA is really only valuable if you want to switch careers and want that advanced degree. As people have already mentioned I would talk to recruiters in consulting if you even need to do that. A JD/MBA is even more of a commitment both in time and money so only do that if that’s what you REALLY want to do. Unless you meet those criteria I wouldn’t do it. If you really want an advance degree there are some good part time programs that you can even get some businesses to pay for part of. I loved my MBA time and it was the right choice for me but it isn’t for everyone.

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Glad to help. If consulting has intrigued you I would reach out to consultants in your network to chat first. I think it’s important for you to know generally what you want before engaging with recruiters. Set up some time with those consultants to talk and learn more about what they do. These discussions should help you narrow what you want to do in consulting or if you even want to do it at all. They will also tell you the best way to make the switch if you do want to do it and if you are lucky might give you a chance to skip the whole process altogether.

After working in wealth management for 10 years, I’ve realized that I should have gone into economics rather than finance and maybe went for CFA to round out my knowledge. Most of the information is provided to you. Your only job is to really make sense of macroeconomics, how it would effect my clients’ portfolios, and how to explain it to them.

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I don't think more schooling is worth it. Yes, a top 10 MBA would help for more lucrative roles but you can always apply without it and see. A CFA does help but ultimately try to gain experience that matches what others are requiring

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What did you major in undergrad

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Finance

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