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tu160
Posts: 363
Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 1:14 pm

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 12:40 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: capafan2While it is the easiest thing to do, his chances of getting a quant/trader job after that are close to nil unless he is hugely talented as a trader. One reason is that he is already quite old. He would be touching 40 by the time he finishes his masters. And IT role in NYC are so bad that they make me cringe. He would be better off where he is.IT role in a small hedge is a dead end anyway.-Desk Quant : Nothing is worse than at the moment. Nothing. Period! Technically he could get into algo/execution group but not probable.-Research Quant : not a chance to get in.-Quant Dev: easily could apply at early-mid 40s.There is also an option to go back in IT "architects" or whatever they call it...And in comparison with valley NYC IT people live very relaxed lavish life style
Last edited by tu160 on April 2nd, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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capafan2
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Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 1:36 am

QuoteAnd in comparison with valley NYC IT people live very relaxed lavish life style I think the OP is not worried about relaxed life-style. He wants more out of his work life than what his job offers. Granted, an IT job in Hedge fund is a dead end. But from what I have heard IT roles in hedge funds are a lot more involved. IT roles in IB in NYC are a lottery. Even if you get a good role to begin with you can be dragged into crappy work in 3 months. In the end I just wish the OP good luck. There is uncertainty in his goals but given that he is pursuing it out of genuine passion instead of just for money I think he will discover something he finds fulfilling. Money is just not a great motivator. Passion though is another beast. I have friend who lives in the neighborhood who desperately craves to be a money manager. He has been doing this for the past 7 years with varying levels of success. Finally he says he learning to be successful consistently, with respect to stock pickings, risk management, etc. He is quite a level-headed and realistic person. So I trust him when he says he is becoming successful.
Last edited by capafan2 on April 2nd, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Anomanderis
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Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 2:06 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: capafan2QuoteOriginally posted by: tu160QuoteOriginally posted by: uptimeThe Plan:Obtain a Master's degree in Computational Finance by late 2013. To maintain a good work/life balance and enable me to focus 100% of my energy on my studies, I'll quit my job and draw off savings to support my family while in school. Then upon graduation I'll move to where the work is (i.e. New York, Chicago etc.).Why don't you find an IT job and move to NYC first, enroll in part-time NYC program (there are plenty, they are among the best and you plugged into job search during your studies).If your programming skills are not good enough to get IT job at NYC now I doubt extra non-top MS degree will improve your chances a lot.PhD is a very different story, not to mention it's unlikely top PhD-program will count your CompFin MS hours for "real" degree like Statistics or Computer Science.While it is the easiest thing to do, his chances of getting a quant/trader job after that are close to nil unless he is hugely talented as a trader. One reason is that he is already quite old. He would be touching 40 by the time he finishes his masters. And IT role in NYC are so bad that they make me cringe. He would be better off where he is.A good number of the execution quants where I work are normal C++ chaps who moved to the desk. They have no grad degrees, but have decent business knowledge as well as excellent tool skills (KDB, C++, etc). Perhaps you would refer to them as data miners - I know they "own" the data in our KDB plant (which I have killed a number of times).I think there's an argument, based on where you work, that you can "elbow" your way into a quant-ish role, depending on the company you work for.Also - if you do have a financial background and decent C++ knowledge, I sincerely don't see how you can go wrong getting an IT role in NY, it's almost impossible IMO.
 
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uptime
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Joined: February 4th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 2:15 pm

All,Thanks so much for the feedback. I've been putting a lot of mental energy in to this and it's been very helpful to have your thoughts to factor in. Also, apologies it's taken so long to respond.CrashedMint:"are you sure a master's is actually necessary? or sensible? might just be employers love work experience more than another degree."No, I'm not sure at all. I just get the sense that it is from the consistency of the desirable ads I see. They pretty much all seem to say at least a master's. Another thing is that while I did a lot of math during my Bachelor's days and excelled at it, that's getting to be almost 15 years ago. So thinking that master's would fulfill that bullet point and knock the rust off and extend my math skills. Here's an example of a near ideal-sounding job:http://www.wilmott.com/messageview.cfm? ... Ironically, it doesn't specify a graduate level requirement!Shaik:No, my wife does not work. She stays home with the kids. Yeah, I'm not real thrilled about the phd backup plan...that would put me close to my 40's and not excited about putting my family through that.CrashedMint:"i absolutely think you should follow your dreams...Now I have no clue if a Masters would actually increase your chances to get your dream job. From personal experience I doubt it"I appreciate the encouragement. The most important thing to me is enjoying my work. I know I can't get enough of trade system development so that is my driving force. I won't stop working at it till I get there! Would you be willing to expand on your "personal experience"? Being new to Wilmott I'm not aware of your background. Also, have you seen people with a master's struggle to find the type of work I'm aiming at? Thanks!Capafan2:"This is a very high risk plan you have. Do CQF instead."I'm feeling more and more that something like the CQF would be much more appropriate to my situation. I'll be spending some time researching what people say about it on these boards and finding out more about the program. I'd be curious to hear any more specifics you may have about the program itself and its ability to add value in the job hunt.spv205:"particularly since most of the masters and CQF etc are aimed at becoming derivatives quants rather than a quant trader....like what you are after."This is a very helpful comment...thanks. In particular, I have a tough time sorting out exactly which *quant* job title maps to exactly what I'm interested in. Could you elaborate a bit on what you see the difference in work life being between a derivatives quant vs. a quant trader?"I would directly start applying for jobs and talk to head hunters...the other thing I would do is train up at your current employer as much as possible. In particular, offer your (programming) services/free time to the traders there....theres always something to automate with tradingThat's the way a lot of people have moved....you can't do that there but getting to know the traders and helping them out is going to be a lot more use than an MSC."I think this is exactly what I will start doing. I actually have the opportunity to do just what you are talking about with one of the traders here. He's swamped with research/automation needs but doesn't have resources allocated to hire a programmer to help out. So maybe a better plan is to spend my free time working with him while applying for jobs and talking to head hunters. Even after a short period of that I'd have some feedback from the job market which I could factor in to further job hunt refinements. One dilemma though is that my work with this trader would be 'under the radar', out of view of the firm management. So I might not end up being able to put a fancy title on a resume bullet point. I suppose I'd have to find a way to spin it in to my resume in that case. Any suggestions here are welcome!tu160 and capafan2:very interesting dialogue you have going back and forth. In my OP I said:"...to obtain a Front Office or Desk Quant role. (Research Quant or Quant Dev might be fun too)"To be honest, I don't feel that I have a real firm grasp on the exact distinctions in the job titles. I just know that I love researching ideas and coding up the systems to backtest / papertest / trade the resultant trade systems and analyze the results of testing to refine the systems or generate new ideas. What title best fits that?Capafan2 is right...I won't turn down the money but by an extremely wide margin, passion is my driver. I would happily take reduced pay (even substantially reduced) to work in my desired role verses a work role that pays more but that doesn't interest me (as I'm currently in).Thanks again to all who have replied, truly appreciate it!
 
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spv205
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Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 6:47 pm

to go in the opposite direction - this is mark joshi's guide - its basically about being a derivatives quant [in his categories -i believe you want to be something like stat arb quant]so do not follow any of his advice/book suggestions!mark joshi - becoming a quantand this is a quant trader descriptionhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/joris- ... inancehave a look at nuclearphynance forum - which has more quant traders
 
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tu160
Posts: 363
Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 1:14 pm

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 3rd, 2012, 9:56 pm

>>"...to obtain a Front Office or Desk Quant role. (Research Quant or Quant Dev might be fun too)"To be honest, I don't feel that I have a real firm grasp on the exact distinctions in the job titles. I just know that I love researching ideas and coding up the systems to backtest / papertest / trade the resultant trade systems and analyze the results of testing to refine the systems or generate new ideas. What title best fits that?-Real-time pnl exposure - desk -end of year pnl exposure - research -combination of these - in between
Last edited by tu160 on April 2nd, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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uptime
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Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 13th, 2012, 2:34 am

Just wanted to post some follow up as I work though this fork in the road. Prior to my OP I had done a lot of scouring of web for job ads and various other reading/researching of the job market I'm trying to work into. From that research I devised my plan outlined in the OP. I was a bit surprised to find near unanimous opposition to my plan. I expected some opposition (maybe even a lot), but the unanimity wasn't expected. Anyway, so I thought I'd try to get a sense from the HR people at my firm what they thought of the program I'm considering. Of course, I couldn't reveal anything more about my plan to HR. Also, keep in mind that the HR person is well familiar with the university in question since it's local to both of us. HR folks in NYC or Chicago would have little if any familiarity with this university. So FWIW, here's the brief email thread:From: [HR Manager]Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012To: [uptime]Subject: RE: [local universy]'s Master's programHi [uptime],I think it is a good program. Seems you can?t go wrong with the [local university]. They have a good reputation with all of their grad and undergrad programs to date. We often look at programs and experience outside of ivy league schools. I hope this helps.[HR Manager]From: [uptime] Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012To: [HR Manager]Subject: [Local University's] Master's program[HR Manager],As a follow up question to yesterday?s chat I was wondering what your thoughts were about the [Local University's] Computational Finance Master?s program. Here?s a link:[link]Specifically, do you think having this Master?s would be valued here at [our hedge fund] given that it?s not an ivy league institution and the fact that the program is nearly brand new (I believe 2011 was their first offering)? Thanks![uptime]
Last edited by uptime on April 12th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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spv205
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Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 13th, 2012, 10:16 am

if that's what you want to hear fine...but this is completely clueless! HR provide administrative support they do not actually choose the candidates!!??QuoteHR folks in NYC or Chicago would have little if any familiarity with this university. nor would the NYC /Chicago traders who ultimately could hire you
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

April 13th, 2012, 12:23 pm

uptimeI believe there is a >25% chance that one of your basic assumptions is wrong....If you quit, then I suspect that barriers in the way of your desired path may well get "clarified" in an attempt to make you stay.Getting your replacement to that island would be difficult especially since some of your skills are pretty rare and tailored to their environment.This leads to a suggestion in the sequence of actions, when you get the offer, make sure there is enough time between it arriving and quitting to let them sort their position out.You need to explicitly say that you want to move in this direction and that your default option is to either go work somewhere else or study.That's not just a demand to be issued, but a case to be made...You say you already come up with ideas, so polish them up and show them as evidence that you're ready.But if that doesn't fly...It looks to me that you'd be a Quant developer, which covers a very wide range of options, seems to me that you'd be going for the HFT/AT market ?Either sort of job would pay rather more, but I'm not sure you'd enjoy most QD roles even before the increase in hours (50%) is taken into account.A big variable is the probability of you getting the trading/coding job you want and if you want decent advice I'd have to know the program you're considering...You're new here so you might not know of me, but there is a private messaging system for this sort of info.1) It will impact, but not critically for the better roles where there actually seems to be less ageism than in less good ones.2) I would expect +ive ROI, but it's not risk free at all.2a) I can't honestly give a probability without knowing some more of your skills and the program you're thinking of, it's neither mad nor certain.2b) Expectation is higher, variance is high and includes 0 at a non trivial probability.3) I'd consider a masters in statistics and/or econometrics and since I teach part of the CQF I ought to point out that this can be done over the web without quitting your job.I think a bug in your analysis may be the hassle in going to interviews for roles where you don't hit all the bullets, as a headhunter I will counsel you that that job ads are shopping lists not formal specifications, some are written without the hiring manager ever seeing them.You should at least consider going for some jobs where you have everything but the masters.One part of your due dilligence in this is to get a copy of Stefanica's Primer of financial maths.It's billed as a primer, but I often recommend it as a good self test for whether you are ready to do an MFE, since if any substantial part of it is mysterious to you then you're not ready.
 
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ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

May 4th, 2012, 4:59 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: tu160>>"...to obtain a Front Office or Desk Quant role. (Research Quant or Quant Dev might be fun too)"To be honest, I don't feel that I have a real firm grasp on the exact distinctions in the job titles. I just know that I love researching ideas and coding up the systems to backtest / papertest / trade the resultant trade systems and analyze the results of testing to refine the systems or generate new ideas. What title best fits that?Hedge fund founder and portfolio manager.Quote-Real-time pnl exposure - desk -end of year pnl exposure - research -combination of these - in betweenDon't be a fool.Quants don't have pnl exposure except on the downside.If the desk blows up you are fired.If the desk does well, the trader throws you a bone. Nice doggie. Now go write the next piece of code...
 
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tu160
Posts: 363
Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 1:14 pm

Career Advancement Plan Critique Request

May 5th, 2012, 1:24 am

Quote Quants don't have pnl exposure except on the downside.If the desk blows up you are fired.If the desk does well, the trader throws you a bone. Nice doggie. Now go write the next piece of code...It sounds like exposure for me. May be you don't like the way how you exposed but this is another story.Also you could be fired even if desk didn't blow up... Trader just has a mood swing (usually correlates with daily pnl).
Last edited by tu160 on May 4th, 2012, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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