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Chances of becoming a quant?

theoretical or applied maths masters?

  • Applied maths

    Votes: 12 92.3%
  • Theoretical

    Votes: 1 7.7%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
Hi Guys me again :) hope your all well,

I asked a simulator question a while back and have done a lot more research. I Pm several members and some of them suggested that I post my question here. I really want to get some input from physicists that have made the leap from a physics PhD to Quant recently or Quant head hunters/management and whether times have changed drastically since "My life as a Quant" was written (obviously we are also in a rescission which does not help, but before that was the golden age dying?).

In summery I guess the question comes down to this: If I go with my passion and get a PhD in theoretical quantum physics and can't get into academia - what are the chances of becoming a Quant?, because failing that there are few careers available and I would be quite screwed :/ i.e I'd be over qualified for most jobs and not having the right skill set for any industry or finance careers. And are there any PhD areas/topics (quantum field theory, general relativity ect) or placements that would help me (while still following my passion) maximise my chances of becoming a qunat? Basically I want a plan B if theoretical quantum physics does not work out. I'm currently on a theoretical quantum physics Msc (It's one of the top Msc theoretical course in the UK if not Europe) and will hopefully get a PhD at a top 5 institution.

I have raised my career concerns with a tutor and the university has offered me a Msc in applied mathematics. I want to stress that I'm interested in becoming a Qunat as a plan B if a theoretical quantum physics career goes sour - but its not worth going into theoretical quantum physics if I make my self unemployable, I rather go into applied maths and work for a aerospace company or something or a Quant :). Also would doing a summer placement in an IB help the transistion?

I've read a lot of information on other sites about how a lot of physicists broke into Wall street but it seems a bit out dated (pre 1995) so I hoping that someone can set the record straight once and for all.

Thanks for the advice :) really appreciate it.
 
I've a mate who recently completed a PhD in math, with good knowledge of assymptotics, stochastic, pdes, etc etc. He started looking around at finance work, and was told that while in the past, good maths could get you by, its now the case that with lots more specialised course appearing on the scene, he would be up against tough competition.

Like everyone who asks these questions on this forum, think of it this way. Ask yourself, if you needed surgery, would you rather go to a vet, who "had in interest in biology and medicine, but animals were their main passion, working on people was just a fallback plan", or a doctor, who had always trained with the intent to operate on people (all other considerations being equal?)
 
What do you mean? like he had a Phd in maths with stochastic's. pde's,... but was told there where other candidates better equipped with more suitable courses? What, like an MFE?
 
so these days one needs a PhD in quant finance and a MFE?
What if you can't get a job with a PhD in Quant Finance and an MFE? What then?
This is asking the wrong question and a wrong approach. Chasing after letters and degree is never the solution. Understanding the need and providing the solution is what you need to do.
I know employers complain on Quantnet that many people look down on risk management jobs while day dreaming about some exotic quant jobs without knowing the definition of "quant".
Maybe that's the problem.

I can tell you that the world of finance is big enough for people with technical skills and open minded. When people come in this industry with a stereotype or ill-conceived perception of what a "quant" is, they really cut down on their career options.
 
What if you can't get a job with a PhD in Quant Finance and an MFE? What then?
This is asking the wrong question and a wrong approach. Chasing after letters and degree is never the solution. Understanding the need and providing the solution is what you need to do.
I know employers complain on Quantnet that many people look down on risk management jobs while day dreaming about some exotic quant jobs without knowing the definition of "quant".
Maybe that's the problem.

I can tell you that the world of finance is big enough for people with technical skills and open minded. When people come in this industry with a stereotype or ill-conceived perception of what a "quant" is, they really cut down on their career options.

preach
 
Thanks for you input so far guys. I want to do a PhD for the love of physics/maths but in the Uk that's not going to lead to many career options. Quantitative finance seemed to be one of the few area's that physics PhD's were taken on. So this is quite concerning:

"I've a mate who recently completed a PhD in math, with good knowledge of assymptotics, stochastic, pdes, etc etc. He started looking around at finance work, and was told that while in the past, good maths could get you by, its now the case that with lots more specialised course appearing on the scene, he would be up against tough competition."

So is trying to become a quant as hard as breaking into academia? And what areas of physics could I study that will still lead to the quantitative world. One thing that does interest me is condensed matter physics are they any good fields related to this? Thanks again guys.
 
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