Can you afford an education that yields you a trading job? Studying in a private university can cost you north of 50K per year. But don’t worry, there are fantastic alternatives for next to nothing. Let’s talk about how to obtain a free university degree for commodity trading.
What To Study?
Degree vs No Degree
Becoming a commodity trader does not require having a degree, but admittedly, your odds are better if you do have one.
Many of the best traditional commodity traders had no former trading and started from the bottom.
In my own experience, the first trader I worked with was a physics graduate from a top 3 British university, but the second trader I worked with (who was the regional trading head) had only finished high school and made his way up from the bottom.
Business vs STEM
Business degrees are usually just about marketing and accounting and not much about the “real world”.
On the other side, STEM degrees (Science, Technology, and Engineering Majors) are very analytical and harsh to complete.
One of the traders in my team was programming satellites before joining our commodity trading firm as a trainee. He admittedly went on to become one of the industry’s best.
Science & Engineering educational backgrounds are great for selecting hard-working smart and capable analytical thinkers.
Business degrees are usually better at selecting people with high EQ and fair amount of sales aptitude.
In reality, as a traditional commodity trader you need to be good with people, and be good with numbers, so one could say that either STEM or business may be good.
Recommended Business Degrees
Business degrees are not as valuable as they used to be, but what’s truly valuable is to cultivate a “commercial mindset”.
A “commercial mindset” is harder to train for than just passing courses on your MBA program. In fact your local corner shop owner might have an edge there.
However, some good programs to get started in commodities as a trainee:
MBA Graduate Commodity Jobs
MBAs are typically meant to train corporate rats and managers.
Let me explain, I mean that MBA courses train to navigate the corporate jungle, from the point of view of a massive corporation with lots of structure. To execute within a framework.
Think of landing a job at say Shell, or Amazon and pushing through a project as manager or commercial advisor.
Commodity firms are usually very different in nature. Much flatter structure (if you’re a trader, there’s usually a few levels – or traders- in-between you and the CEO).
Responsibility in the commodity markets is fundamentally different.
As an anecdote, in my firm, one year the HR decided to hire 25+ MBAs from top 25 global universities. By the end of the year, only 3 people were still working at the trading firm.
A trading environment is not for everyone, thus an MBA might not be the right path if you want to become a trader.
Recommended Science Degrees
- Computer Science
Recommended Science Degrees
- Petroleum Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Mine Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Naval Engineering
Where To Study?
Have you got USD 50K per year to attend a private university? No need.
Germany’s university system is one of the best in the world.
And it’s free!
Check out the Study in Germany site for all details and programs.
But in a nutshell, you’ll be fine and even sponsored for a visa if you’ve got good grades and hopefully German language skills (although there are plenty of English programs too).
Check out the Study in Sweden site.
Just like Germany, you can expect similar story, but more English programs at masters level.
Check out the Study in Norway site, most of the programs are master level.
What do you think it’s a better call: STEM or Business?