SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
User avatar
IronLeo
Topic Author
Posts: 1
Joined: January 9th, 2012, 8:57 am

Suggestions for a career shift

January 9th, 2012, 7:43 pm

Hi everyone,I am a first-year PhD student in Theoretical/Mathematical Physics and I am very interested in financial markets too. I would like to change my career after the PhD and pass to the quantitative finance world. I have a good background in pure mathematics like functional analysis and differential geometry but I know nothing about stochastic calculus and very little about numerical analysis. I like informatics and programming but I have very little experience in that: just two months of full-time programming in C++ during my internship at Cern and some basic Php for a website (plus an academic knowledge of Fortran for the computational physics course). My research work now is purely theoretical with no numerical computations. I am seeking for advices for planning my shift to the finance world in two or three years. What do you think is the best to do for me? I was thinking to pursue a Msc in Mathematics & Finance or Financial Engineering after completing the PhD, but what should I do to be sure I will be accepted in those programs in a top university? Do you suggest me to study on my own financial markets and stochastic calculus together with a preparation in C++ programming? I was also wondering if there exists the possibility for a non-paid part-time collaboration with a quantitative research group in finance (like the linear quantitative group of JP Morgan) in order to learn some financial instruments, get experience in programming and enrich my curriculum to find a job in finance maybe even without taking an expensive master after the PhD. I will appreciate very much any suggestion! Thank you Leonardo
 
User avatar
croot
Posts: 104
Joined: July 23rd, 2006, 8:30 pm

Suggestions for a career shift

January 9th, 2012, 9:12 pm

Is physics really boring?
 
User avatar
DevonFangs
Posts: 3004
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 1:49 pm

Suggestions for a career shift

January 10th, 2012, 3:28 pm

Hit the basic books (hull, wilmott etc) and learn C++. You will be fine w/o a masters.
 
User avatar
DevonFangs
Posts: 3004
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 1:49 pm

Suggestions for a career shift

January 10th, 2012, 3:30 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: crootIs physics really boring?No, but I understand that if you end up in the wrong group doing only what they tell you to do in a niche field nobody really cares of, it can be at least frustrating.EDIT: And you have 3 or 4 years to slowly realize this.
Last edited by DevonFangs on January 9th, 2012, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
EscapeArtist999
Posts: 1620
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 2:49 pm

Suggestions for a career shift

January 10th, 2012, 4:13 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: crootIs physics really boring?No, physicists are!
 
User avatar
TitanPartners
Posts: 152
Joined: May 1st, 2009, 9:22 am

Suggestions for a career shift

January 10th, 2012, 4:23 pm

You can teach yourself without the need to do any MSc, and you have time because you're only in your first year of PhD. Learning to program (especially C++) will help you in most of the possible good industry jobs you could get once you finish your PhD - so I'd suggest teaching yourself C++ as a high priority. I cheekily did this during my PhD by lab assisting on the MSc C++ module which meant I got paid to learn it. Then just read Hull or one of the other books during your PhD and see whether you like it. Before you make the switch to finance from science engineering, be aware of one thing - most finance is basically sales, all of the stochastic maths is simply to aid the sales of derivatives, be careful what you wish for!
 
User avatar
DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Suggestions for a career shift

January 11th, 2012, 11:16 am

So IronLeo, your work is mostly maths ??It's quite rare these days for such PhDs to have no programming, but if that is the way it will be, then you need to find some...If you've got >= 3 years then the best option is to find a project that requires some C++ to be written, largely it doesn't matter what it does, certainly not for your first real world programs.Programming is like maths in that it is not a spectator sport, you can learn from lectures but you aren't a mathematician until you've done a lot of maths yourself, ditto coding.I have to declare an interest here since I teach C++ on the CQF www.cqf.com, but you should be aware that the price for full time students may well be within your reach and does not require you to give up your PhD.It's not just a matter of learning and as above the optimum is a mix of being taught and self education.You need to work out early and cheaply whether this work is for you, I guess you have the basic skills because you're on a Physics PhD, but it is competitive and something that will occupy most of therest of your career, so undertaking some self education or CQF before committing yourself is really a good idea.
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