PhD in Economics for Quantitative Researcher jobs


New Member
Hello guys,
If I learn how to code in C++ (I already know how to code in Python and will learn R) and get a PhD in Economics from CUNY concentration of financial economics + econometrics, do you know how hard it would be to break in the industry for a quantitative researcher role?
Thanks in advance

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I will answer the first part of your question: C++ is a great skill to learn and it helps you become a good programmer (in this context Python and R are just (albeit useful) scripting tools. The best course around IMHO (I am the originator) is Quantnet/Baruch C++ courses.

I am not sure what quantitative researchers (a big area?) do precisely but I reckon it would be very computational, in which case C++ is probably going be very useful.


New Member
Yes Prof. Daniel, I happened to look at the slides of your course and they are really amazing. I am currently doing my masters and maybe when I have more time and money, I can take your C++ course. Also maybe to modify my question a little bit, since being a quantitative researcher requires extensive amount of statistics, mathematics and programming, I was curious whether the maths part of Economics PhD will give me similar exposure of those maths areas.

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I have noticed that people with an Econometrics background focus on certain applications of (discrete) mathematics and not on others that are somewhat more quantitative/numeric/applied in nature. Some possible attention points off-hand:

Continuous models (ODE, SDE, PDE) and their numerical approximation
'Thinking' in algorithms, i.e. take problem-> algorithm -> code

It's a kind of different approach to solving problems.

For prototypes, Python libraries are probably useful.

The point about C++ is that it is almost maths.

my 2 cents.
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Active Member
C++ Student
Not likely. Econ PhDs might land in a quantitative research role at a mid-tier shop on the buyside, but more likely a strategist role. Which isn't a terrible thing. Check out the websites of CMU, UCB, Baruch to get an idea of what topics are covered. "Quant", to Prof Duffy's point, is a fairly broad description of an area with several seemingly non-overlapping skill sets. Though some are converging. . .