CQF vs CFA?

ArpitP

Hey Guys,
I'm a 2021 Computer Science graduate and currently working as a data engineer. I want to transition into the Quant finance domain and have planned to go for a MFE after 3-4 years of work experience. But before that, I need to get into a relevant job in the Quant finance domain. Can anyone define me a path to take in-order to get a job in this domain? Should I go for any certification? If yes, which cert should I go for? CQF, CFA or anything else?

Quasar Chunawala

My 2c. I would spend time honing my math/programming skills e.g. doing the C++ basic and advanced courses on QuantNet, building toy projects.

I wouldn't recommend spending time on certifications. CFA provides some general finance knowledge in a digestible format; only useful if you are into equity research or investment banking. This is orthogonal to the day-to-day work of a quant.

I think your time is better spent self-learning, sharpening your coding skills, refreshing some linear algebra, multivariable calculus and differential equations, reading introductory quant finance books, making impactful contributions at work, and upskilling, presenting yourself as a technically strong candidate.

There is also a Quant Finance reading master list on QuantNet.

ArpitP

My 2c. I would spend time honing my math/programming skills e.g. doing the C++ basic and advanced courses on QuantNet, building toy projects.

I wouldn't recommend spending time on certifications. CFA provides some general finance knowledge in a digestible format; only useful if you are into equity research or investment banking. This is orthogonal to the day-to-day work of a quant.

I think your time is better spent self-learning, sharpening your coding skills, refreshing some linear algebra, multivariable calculus and differential equations, reading introductory quant finance books, making impactful contributions at work, and upskilling, presenting yourself as a technically strong candidate.

There is also a Quant Finance reading master list on QuantNet.
Yeah. Understood mate. Thanks a lot for the insights. I'll work on these skills mostly. Any suggestions on how much Finance knowledge should a Quant have? And how should I strengthen it?

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I second Quasar.
Forking out 15K is a lot.
set up a plan and a timespan and execute it.

BlackMamba

Depending on where you end up, the CFA charter can help bridge "gaps" between quant and traditional finance folks in a way that can make you (the aspiring quant) a better collaborator -- which I feel can be important for LT career success. From what I've observed the CFA Program's Level 1 exam is a satisficatory introduction that should build up your foundation/intuition about "traditional" finance.

Something you can knock out in 5-6 months for ~$1-2K depending on study materials you choose. Some MFE programs like to see applicants having completed Level 1 -- so should help (or can't hurt) when application time comes around. I agree with others above though: technical skills >>> CFA. ArpitP I second Quasar. Forking out 15K is a lot. set up a plan and a timespan and execute it. Roger that sir. Thank you for the answer. Will follow it. ArpitP Depending on where you end up, the CFA charter can help bridge "gaps" between quant and traditional finance folks in a way that can make you (the aspiring quant) a better collaborator -- which I feel can be important for LT career success. From what I've observed the CFA Program's Level 1 exam is a satisficatory introduction that should build up your foundation/intuition about "traditional" finance. Something you can knock out in 5-6 months for ~$1-2K depending on study materials you choose.

Some MFE programs like to see applicants having completed Level 1 -- so should help (or can't hurt) when application time comes around.

I agree with others above though: technical skills >>> CFA.
Yes sir. I had a thought for going for CFA L1. As you said about MFE programs like to see applicants having CFA L1, going for it won't hurt. Will focus on tech skills and then try for CFA for the finance knowledge. Thank you so much for the answer.

jarryds

Hey Guys,
I'm a 2021 Computer Science graduate and currently working as a data engineer. I want to transition into the Quant finance domain and have planned to go for a MFE after 3-4 years of work experience. But before that, I need to get into a relevant job in the Quant finance domain. Can anyone define me a path to take in-order to get a job in this domain? Should I go for any certification? If yes, which cert should I go for? CQF, CFA or anything else?
Can't shed much light on the CQF, which maybe says all it needs to on a CQF cert. But if you are interested in actual quant, a CFA charter may be close to useless. It would set you apart from the competition, but not necessarily in the right direction. In my mind, a CFA makes a candidate look more finance/IB/PM bound. Probably a waste of time for quant.

Quasar Chunawala

Hey Guys,
I'm a 2021 Computer Science graduate and currently working as a data engineer. I want to transition into the Quant finance domain and have planned to go for a MFE after 3-4 years of work experience. But before that, I need to get into a relevant job in the Quant finance domain. Can anyone define me a path to take in-order to get a job in this domain? Should I go for any certification? If yes, which cert should I go for? CQF, CFA or anything else?
By the way, you probably know this, but worth mentioning anyway, should you want to read any of the CQF stuff, a lot of the content is freely available on the Internet, if you know where to look!

ArpitP

Can't shed much light on the CQF, which maybe says all it needs to on a CQF cert. But if you are interested in actual quant, a CFA charter may be close to useless. It would set you apart from the competition, but not necessarily in the right direction. In my mind, a CFA makes a candidate look more finance/IB/PM bound. Probably a waste of time for quant.
Yeah, noted sir. CFA is more preferred towards the IB domain. I'd more focus on skill building and self learning. Thanks a lot for your advice.

ArpitP

By the way, you probably know this, but worth mentioning anyway, should you want to read any of the CQF stuff, a lot of the content is freely available on the Internet, if you know where to look!
Yes sir. Sure will do. A little research can find much worthy material. Thankful for your guidance.

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