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Education advice for algo trading careers

Hi everyone!

I am seeking advices for a proper education program to advance a career in algorithmic trading.

Right now I am working financial IT for a commercial bank in China. But the kind of job i really want is developing trading algorithms and/or automated execution tactics for hedge funds or large sell side investment banks. Although I am confident with my software dev skills and knowledge of finance necessary to progress to this field, I think i still need something to "back up" them when i really get the chance to be interviewed with people doing it right now.

I considered moving to some 3rd party software vendor that specializes trading technologies. After doing some research, however, i found that most of these software providers focused on either the IT infrastructure or the presentation of their trading systems, which doesn't involve quite much of auto order execution, price monitoring sort of thing.

I also tangled with MFE applications for two years but didn't get any good result yet. So right now I am wondering maybe doing a master in Computer Science around something that is the new trend in pushing the trading market (such as Complex Event Processing etc.) However I am not quite sure if one more degree in CS (i got Bachelors in CS) will make a fundamental difference in the job market. On the other hand, i didn't even find as much CS programs that open courses in CEP as regular MFE programs, which makes the few good programs none the less difficult to get in.

Above all, any advice on how I could get a better chance to enter the field will be appreciated.
 
It is my understanding that algo trading firms like to hire cs backgrounds especially PhDs.

Maybe look at programs in computational finance or computational mathematics?

Thanks for the input.

I am sure i will consider CS PhD if i can get through a CS masters first, although computational mathematics is probably too Quant-oriented to me.

Interestingly, I just discovered another topic on this issue:

http://www.quantnet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4845

someone mentioned that a possible route to become an algo trader:

Here is one path that I see play out every once in a while
BEng-> Financial Programmer -> Specialized/Quant Programmer -> Algorithmic Trader

makes me wonder if i am actually on the second step of the process? or am i just dreaming..
 

Joy Pathak

Swaptionz
Another good way I think is to focus on Masters programs that offer Algorithmic trading courses. Usually it is an advanced elective, and you have to take C++ and .NET and OOP related first.

Algorithmic trading is turning out to be a big thing within the prop firms nowadays, and not just the BBs.

In my concentration of Financial Programming the courses are structured in this way:

•.NET and Database Management

• C++ with Financial Applications

• 576 OOP and Algorithmic Trading Systems.


I think NYU and U Chicago teach specific algo trading courses if I am not wrong.

All three are taught by practitioners of Algo Trading.

I think a strong Financial Programming curriculum couple with Stochastic Calculus, Derivative Models courses would set anyone on the right path towards algo trading.

That is something I want to do, so I am setting up my curriculum accordingly.

I am going to be taking :

Models for Derivatives

Equity and Equity Derivatives Trading

Fixed Income Trading Strategies

In addition also to the above to make myself all rounded in the algo trading field.
 
Another good way I think is to focus on Masters programs that offer Algorithmic trading courses. Usually it is an advanced elective, and you have to take C++ and .NET and OOP related first.

Algorithmic trading is turning out to be a big thing within the prop firms nowadays, and not just the BBs...

Many thanks for your sharing!

Regarding programs giving algo trading courses, NYU is clearly ahead of the others in this field, given they are also one of the top in quant analysis, and I think CMU should be mentioned too; Chicago U i'm not quite sure though.

I am cool with .NET and other OOP programming, database mgmt etc., currently my job involves building new services on existing infrastructure within the bank. I see your point is that we should still get some more training in the quant analysis/financial product development aspect of the business cycle.

Right now my main concern is what else I can do if the MFE programs are presently unavailable. Would you like to share a little bit more about your background, and exactly which programs you applied/got admitted to?
 
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