First of all, I apologise if a similar question has been asked before, I did some research but couldn't find a satisfying answer.
I'm a second-year pure math PhD-student (in EU, if that matters) in a field with relatively few real-world applications (low-dimensional topology). I am already determined that I won't pursue an academic career after the PhD, so I will have to transition into the job market at some point. However, this frightens me because my field has no real-world applications, and I think that it might be a good idea to start expanding my knowledge to a different field (say, computer science or economy). This brings up the following question: How do you do this during a PhD?
To be more precise, let's say I am interested in financial markets and would like to steer towards a job in quantitative finance. What is the best way to prepare for this during my PhD studies? The following options come to my mind:
- Reading books and self-study. However, do employers value knowledge purely gained from self-studying (without any degree behind it)?
- Participating in relevant courses at my university. However, does that make sense if I'm not a registered student and therefore won't get grades?
- Participating in online courses (such as Coursera, for example). However, do employers value the participation in such courses?
- Not doing anything, focus on my PhD and start looking for internships afterwards (to get knowledge).
I am aware that in almost any case mentioned above, I will still lack any sort of actual work experience (which is probably going to be the biggest problem in finding a job). However, I believe that I still might be in a better position if I already have some theoretical knowledge about a job's broader field rather than no knowledge. Of course, if there are any other options that I didn't mention above please let me know.
I would highly appreciate any advice, guidance or personal experience on this topic. Thanks!