SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
User avatar
cquasar
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: February 25th, 2016, 2:03 pm
Location: Mumbai
Contact:

Education advice for a wannabe quant

March 19th, 2019, 6:56 pm

Dear all,

I am new to Wilmott forums and this is my first post. I am a CS undergrad, worked as a software programmer for 6 years and then a brief stint of 2 years as a risk analyst at a bank. My age is 33.

I enjoy studying probability - games and paradoxes and the proving things from first principles in analysis. 

I enrolled myself for a open university BS Mathematics course and I am presently in the second year taking courses on : 
  • Vector calculus
  • ODEs
  • Real Analysis I
  • Numerical methods
  • Mathematical methods for Physics
I recently landed an internal job within my bank as a quantitative analyst in the quant-strats team. The de-facto programming language within my bank for modelling is F#.  

Upon initial discussion, they see me, becoming a modeller in the next 4-5 years, which was encouraging. I would rate myself a novice and an aspiring modeller. 

To that end, I am self-learning math, to get the math fundamentals right off the bat, before studying probability & I am practising C++. 

Would any gents and gals here have tips or advice on how I could further my career in quant finance, what courses/topics I should focus on? Is it possible to become a modeller without doing a PhD in mathematics? 

Thanks all!
 
User avatar
Cuchulainn
Posts: 59386
Joined: July 16th, 2004, 7:38 am
Location: Amsterdam
Contact:

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

March 19th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Welcome to Wilmott.
 
User avatar
bearish
Posts: 4794
Joined: February 3rd, 2011, 2:19 pm

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

March 19th, 2019, 11:53 pm

You certainly don't need a math PhD to become a finance quant, whatever that may mean these days. And, vice versa, most math PhDs are entirely unsuited to be quants. It is helpful to have an engineering mindset, but that is hard to acquire through studying, although studying some engineering topics probably helps. The idea is to solve real problems, preferably in such a way that they stay solved, and that the effort you expended to solve them have some residual value. E.g., you wrote some code that can be reused in another project. It sucks to start with a blank spreadsheet each time somebody requests a solution! As an aside, if the local programming language of choice is F#, why practice C++? Why don't you leverage your CS background to become a master functional programmer? (And yes, I know you can do functional programming in C++, and that you can torture F# to support other paradigms, but we digress). It sounds like you are doing sensible things in terms of courses, although at some point you should probably start doing some work on the finance side of things. I also wouldn't necessarily want to hold off studying probability theory (and statistics) until you have done measure theory. Good grounding in calculus and real analysis goes a long way. And it would be useful to do a class on linear algebra, if you haven't already done so. 
 
User avatar
cquasar
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: February 25th, 2016, 2:03 pm
Location: Mumbai
Contact:

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

March 22nd, 2019, 7:05 am

You certainly don't need a math PhD to become a finance quant, whatever that may mean these days. And, vice versa, most math PhDs are entirely unsuited to be quants. It is helpful to have an engineering mindset, but that is hard to acquire through studying, although studying some engineering topics probably helps. The idea is to solve real problems, preferably in such a way that they stay solved, and that the effort you expended to solve them have some residual value. E.g., you wrote some code that can be reused in another project. It sucks to start with a blank spreadsheet each time somebody requests a solution! As an aside, if the local programming language of choice is F#, why practice C++? Why don't you leverage your CS background to become a master functional programmer? (And yes, I know you can do functional programming in C++, and that you can torture F# to support other paradigms, but we digress). It sounds like you are doing sensible things in terms of courses, although at some point you should probably start doing some work on the finance side of things. I also wouldn't necessarily want to hold off studying probability theory (and statistics) until you have done measure theory. Good grounding in calculus and real analysis goes a long way. And it would be useful to do a class on linear algebra, if you haven't already done so. 
Thanks bearish, this was insightful & certainly helpful!
 
User avatar
rmax
Posts: 6079
Joined: December 8th, 2005, 9:31 am

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

July 29th, 2019, 5:54 pm

Dear all,

I am new to Wilmott forums and this is my first post. I am a CS undergrad, worked as a software programmer for 6 years and then a brief stint of 2 years as a risk analyst at a bank. My age is 33.

I enjoy studying probability - games and paradoxes and the proving things from first principles in analysis. 

I enrolled myself for a open university BS Mathematics course and I am presently in the second year taking courses on : 
  • Vector calculus
  • ODEs
  • Real Analysis I
  • Numerical methods
  • Mathematical methods for Physics
I recently landed an internal job within my bank as a quantitative analyst in the quant-strats team. The de-facto programming language within my bank for modelling is F#.  

Upon initial discussion, they see me, becoming a modeller in the next 4-5 years, which was encouraging. I would rate myself a novice and an aspiring modeller. 

To that end, I am self-learning math, to get the math fundamentals right off the bat, before studying probability & I am practising C++. 

Would any gents and gals here have tips or advice on how I could further my career in quant finance, what courses/topics I should focus on? Is it possible to become a modeller without doing a PhD in mathematics? 

Thanks all!
The world is changing. What was good being in capital markets 20 years ago probably isn't the same now, and I see that be a continued downward trend. By all means try this route if you are interested in the subject. Don't go down this route if you think that your career will follow the same as those who are hiring you. The world is changing.

Note note education but pffff.
 
User avatar
katastrofa
Posts: 7935
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

August 3rd, 2019, 2:07 pm

Re PhD:
Find an interesting problem, solve it, publish your results in a respectable journal (it can take you one year or longer). If you can do this, you're better than most today's PhDs. Doing a PhD just for the sake of getting the degree doesn't make sense, imho.
 
User avatar
ISayMoo
Posts: 1887
Joined: September 30th, 2015, 8:30 pm

Re: Education advice for a wannabe quant

August 8th, 2019, 8:49 am

Find an interesting problem, solve it, publish your results in a respectable journal (it can take you one year or longer). If you can do this, you're better than most today's PhDs. 
He/she can do it AND get a PhD for it :)
ABOUT WILMOTT

PW by JB

Wilmott.com has been "Serving the Quantitative Finance Community" since 2001. Continued...


Twitter LinkedIn Instagram

JOBS BOARD

JOBS BOARD

Looking for a quant job, risk, algo trading,...? Browse jobs here...


GZIP: On