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quant job for physics phd

I am a physics grad student in UNC chapel hill. I am working on experimental side, but I use some computation for my data analysis. I have pretty good knowledge on c/c++ , Matlab. I am seriously thinking of looking for Quant jobs after graduation. I have tarted reading the book Options, Futures, and other derivatives by John C. Hull. I am not planning to take any finance course. Is it possible to get a Quant job without any finance course/degree ? Any discussion is cool.

Thank you
You want to work in computational finance without understanding finance? Hit the books a little bit more. If you can pull a physics phD and have C++ skills, you've more or less shown that you have the talent. And you can look around on LinkedIn: Relationships Matter

I've seen a quant job that required a physics phD.
I didn't mean I want to work without finance background. I am planning to build the background by reading books myself. I am worried a little bit because I won't have any finance degree. does that matter much?

Yes, and so would a number of other places. They don't want Finance degrees, they want Physics and Math ubernerds.

Are you kidding me? Renaissance technologies will turn you *down* if you have a finance degree.
phD in physics

Hi Googleveena,

I am in a similar situation you have. I believe that PhD in physics valuable than Master in FE.

Here's my situation:
I've just graduated with a Phd in physics from Princeton University and I'm interested in becoming a quant. My area was experimental particle physics which required data analysis with MATLAB. My c++ is rather weak as I haven't used it since my undergraduate days. Would I need to relearn c++ before my interviews? Also, I have no knowledge of finance.

Nowadays, a Physics PhD no longer automatically qualifies you for a Wall Street job. The blue sky research work being done is far and few between if any. You need to get yourself something technical and practical aka coding skills, be it C++, C#, SQL, VBA/Excel, anything that you can hit the ground running.
As for finance part, I suggest you start with this list, starting from the top
Master reading list for Quants, MFE - QuantNetwork - Financial Engineering Forum
Before the crisis, you could have easily get a job. Nowadays, things are much more complicated.

Use the reading list from Andy, it will really help you.

In which field do you want to work as a quant ? (statistical arbitrage, pricing, ... )
Should you know the field you want to work in as a quant if you are a PhD.
How do you determine without working which field you like.
I have a background in signal processing and computer vision. In computer vision I use PDE based methods and statistics for pattern recognition.
What kind of job will be good for me then?
Any suggestions?
a lost of PhD in physics go in statistical arbitrage. Especially, your skills in signal processing could help you, I think.
I recruit for quantitative hedge funds and have a fair amount of empirical data on background and skills one needs to be able to get that first interview.

To answer the OP's question, no you absolutely don't need a background in finance to interview at a quantitative shop. Your Physics PhD would be looked upon very favorably. Note that a hard sciences PhD is highly regarded: Physics, Math, Stats, OR, EE, etc. We recently even had a Mechanical Engineering PhD secure a few interviews.

The second thing that's really important is a background in C++ programming. It has almost become a baseline requirement. Most interviewers will quiz you on your knowledge of math and your knowledge of C++.

The third thing that matters, and most people don't think about this, is strong communication. And not just being able to speak well. But also the ability to listen well and respond accordingly. It's also very important that you be able to effectively convey what you know. In other words, it's not enough to have the knowledge, you need to be able to convey that to someone else as well.

And finally, contrary to popular opinion, there are jobs for recent PhDs at quant shops right now. There's been more activity in terms of hiring in Q2 of this year than there was in the last three quarters or so.
Hey all ! I am really lucky that I came across this useful forum. I am Chaitanya a Physics grad student in U.K. with specialization in theoretical physics ( had done in under graduation and post graduation in physics from India) . Not very different from many of my friends me too dont want to continue with research anymore and a career in finance looks lucrative. To be honest I have almost no idea about most of the jargons in finance but I believe if this is an empirical science that I should be able to learn it. I came across the career opportunities for physics Phds in quant very recently and throught I might fit in somewhere. I should be finishing my degree by mid 2012. During my degree I am studying analytical techniques like diagonalizing matrices, solving partial diff equations, matrix differential eqns, Langevin eqns (similar to stochastic diff eqns) and I do a bit of programming in Mathematica and matlab . But what is most worrying is I do not enjoy programming and this is perhaps why I left a software job to start a PhD. Can anyone help in figuring out If I can look into some finance jobs that rely more on analytical skills rather than on programming. (Pardon me if this is a stupid question since I have absolutely no idea which way to head for :( ) Are there any useful websites ? Also I shall highly appreciate if someone can suggest some very basic reading stuff.
You come to the right place for some reading list

The gist of a quant finance career is either you have ideas to make money or you have the technical skills to help others make money. And technical skills means programming one way or another. You can do anything from VBA/Matlab to C++/python.
Just go to www.quantfinancejobs.com take a look around and see how many jobs require programming.

Read the guides and imagine where you fit in. See the interview books and see if you can answer them.