I am in my first year of a finance PhD at a top 25 program. I could get through the program and get an okay job, but my goal isn't just to be another professor, I want to be absolutely outstanding, which I think I am capable of, but I feel like right now I don't have the math and stats background to be the best, and I can't take enough electives during my coursework years to get that foundation I'm looking for. Really, I feel like my quantitative background is very lacking in comparison to the best students I know - my undergrad was unrelated to finance, math, or stats. I have a double MS in finance and economics, but not having the quant background during undergrad really puts me behind where I feel like I need to be.

Honestly I'd also like to get my PhD at a better school. Part of it is looking for better placement opportunities, part of it is looking for a better education/mentor, and part of it simply vanity I guess - if I'm going to get a PhD I want it to be the way is prefer, and I'd prefer a degree from a school I can really feel proud of.

So... what I'd LIKE to do is get an MS in statistics, an MS in math, then reapply to top 10 finance PhD programs (not only am I looking for more background, yes, I actually WANT to do this). And no, I'm not interested in just "learning after I'm an assistant professor". I don't see myself having time to get top publications while learning a bunch of background information, and I want to hit the ground running with my first job.

I've had some people tell me getting an MS in math before beginning my PhD was pointless and a waste of time, but I've discovered that a lot of the PhD advice I've been given was bad advice and I should have simply done what I thought was a good idea.

My question is whether this is a feasible plan or not, and whether quitting my current PhD to pursue one or both MS degrees would hurt my chances of being admitted to another PhD program.

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    You're also making several assumptions: (1) You're going to transition directly from a PhD to a professorship. (2) Courses are the only way to acquire new knowledge as a graduate student. (3) You're going to be doing the same things as a professor that you're doing as a graduate student. – aeismail Dec 14 '17 at 3:47
  • 1) Yes 2) No, but extra knowledge takes extra time, which I don't really have while taking a full courseload 3) I'm unclear what you mean – HairyPotatoCat Dec 14 '17 at 7:26
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    How many "absolutely outstanding" professors do you know, in your field, that obtained two Master degrees before pursuing a PhD? If the answer is "none" or "few", why do you think you must have two Master's to be "absolutely outstanding"? Or, more sharply, what makes you think you will be "absolutely outstanding" if you require two Master's degrees to learn everything that you need to succeed? – FBolst Dec 14 '17 at 15:57
  • Yes it is feasible, but you might want to ask other questions. – user2768 Dec 14 '17 at 16:04
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    By "quitting [your] current PhD to pursue one or [two] MS degrees" you're showing that you did not complete your PhD. That might cause concerns for anyone hiring you for another PhD. Those concerns might be eased if you can justify the relevance of the MS degrees you hope to have. – user2768 Dec 14 '17 at 17:28

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