SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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Cuchulainn
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 10th, 2013, 6:37 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: bluetrinWhat was he doing in machine code that was inefficient in assembly ?He was up to no good.
 
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bluetrin
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 11th, 2013, 7:23 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: rmaxQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnOne guy in our Mathematics group could read and write machine code because assembler and FORTRAN were too inefficient.Was that Chuck Norris?When Chuck Norris throws exceptions, it's across the room.
Last edited by bluetrin on June 10th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 2:11 am

Why is machine learning / big data more important than quant finance classes? And is stochastic calculus still used or has the industry moved away from that?I was planning to take these courses from the math dept to fulfill the elective requirements of the MS in computer science at NYU:1. Derivative Securities2. Risk & Potfolio Mgmt with Econometrics3. Stochastic Calculus 4. Computing in Finance5. PDE for Finance6. Continuous Time FinanceWhat kind of a job would I be able to get once I finish up these courses and the MS in comp sci? If these classes aren't useful what do you recommend?
Last edited by xploring on June 18th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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ArthurDent
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 4:25 am

Yes you can take those MFE classes at NYU and apply to banks for derivatives library maintenance roles. But as a CS major, you will be stereotyped as the code maintainer.Go to a hedge fund, if you can do millisecond-latency programming and statistics, not stochastic calculus.You want to study not what the physics refugees at the end of the cold war found useful 20 years back but something where you have an edge over your competitors in today's markets. So what are you better at than others? How will your program sharpen that edge? That is the question you need to ask.ML / big data will get you non finance jobs. That's why it is important.This is what I like about applying to MBA programs. Every single one of them makes you write essays about what you want to do with life which makes you introspect about your skills and define/calibrate your ambitions. Importantly they make you do this before they let you in. Yes the typical MBA program itself is a lot of BS and mostly navel gazing, but the application process is not that bad.
Last edited by ArthurDent on June 18th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 4:39 am

I think I forgot to state my ultimate goal, which is to work as a trader / portfolio manager. In this case should I still go with ML/big data?I am doing the MSCS instead of an MFE just in case the financial industry suffers another setback and jobs are scarce. In that case I'd head to IT until things rebound.
 
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neuroguy
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 5:01 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringI think I forgot to state my ultimate goal, which is to work as a trader / portfolio manager. In this case should I still go with ML/big data?I am doing the MSCS instead of an MFE just in case the financial industry suffers another setback and jobs are scarce. In that case I'd head to IT until things rebound.Its really good that you are narrowing it down. But go further.What kind of trader?prop, flow, market makerWhat kind of institution?Asset manager, hedge fund, bank.They might all be called 'trader' but they are very different things. You probably have in mind being a prop trader (executing discretionary strategies). This kind of trading is become restricted to hedge funds and prop. firms (it has been outlawed in banks as you probably know). Portfolio manager is quite a different role to trader (and a more realistic target probably). But again its a very broad description. Some PMs work at sleepy pension funds, while some people in high stakes hedge funds would also be called PMs. Typically, to do this you need to follow a path that starts out as being an analyst in a bank or a fund. PMs construct portfolios, they dont normally 'trade'. They pass their target portfolios to trading desks who try to get the best execution (which is becoming increasingly dominated by computers, which is 'algo. trading').ML/Big data is a good way into finance at the moment, no one can say where it will place you in the end, that will depend on you and where you end up working.
Last edited by neuroguy on June 18th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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capafan2
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 10:37 am

QuoteI am doing the MSCS instead of an MFE just in case the financial industry suffers another setback and jobs are scarce. In that case I'd head to IT until things rebound.It is hard enough trying to get into Finance with full commitment. With this sort of attitude it is nearly impossible. Not trying to discourage you but I think you are thinking of finance just because you think if you become a trader or PM you will be walking in lush green. I know traders and PM's who don't in many years. It is a hard job, competitive job and also one with lots of financial uncertainty (bonus uncertainty). And AD is right. No matter which way you spin this yarn, you will be seen as an IT person. You chance of becoming a Trader or Portfolio Manager is "almost surely" zero.
 
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capafan2
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 10:47 am

QuoteGo to a hedge fund, if you can do millisecond-latency programming and statisticsAnd if he cannot do low-latency programming already, he will not be able to do. This sort of job chooses you rather than the other way around. You do not "become" a low-latency programmer after 10 years of "Web-Programming", you already are a "low-latency programmer". And I am a 10 year+ "(Web)Programmer" who can do pretty good "Cuda-Programming" which can be spun as low-latency programming but is actually not low-latency programming as is expected in most such hedge funds.
 
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AbhiJ
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 19th, 2013, 12:29 pm

You have already been told that you cannot become a Quant/Trader/PM. Take courses in something you are genuinely interested in. Don't do it for the money do it for the love. Interest keeps you going when things are tough.
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 20th, 2013, 12:16 am

Neuroguy, I think the role I was looking at is prop trader. Is a PhD necessary for this role? I'm just speculating at this point but what would be a good degree to take to go into prop trading? Would a PhD in applied math be ideal?I'm actually very interested in finance and had been since taking an intro to finance course back in college. I manage my IRA portfolios right now and invest in stocks and mutual funds. My returns over the past decade has been about 20% (2008 notwithstanding). I got interested in this after seeing Warren Buffet's interviews and hearing him talk about Benjamin Graham, though I don't think his method of value investing is my style. I'm not interested in being a quant only because potential for money but because it's interesting. Were it only for money I would have gone to med school instead--at least doctors are not as subject to the vicissitudes of the economy.
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neuroguy
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 20th, 2013, 4:28 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringNeuroguy, I think the role I was looking at is prop trader. Is a PhD necessary for this role? I'm just speculating at this point but what would be a good degree to take to go into prop trading? Would a PhD in applied math be ideal?I'm actually very interested in finance and had been since taking an intro to finance course back in college. I manage my IRA portfolios right now and invest in stocks and mutual funds. My returns over the past decade has been about 20% (2008 notwithstanding). I got interested in this after seeing Warren Buffet's interviews and hearing him talk about Benjamin Graham, though I don't think his method of value investing is my style. I'm not interested in being a quant only because potential for money but because it's interesting. Were it only for money I would have gone to med school instead--at least doctors are not as subject to the vicissitudes of the economy.If you have a good track record then that is the main thing for prop. trading (but 'investing' is a different kettle-of-fish from 'trading'). PhD is not essential at all.If you are talking about being a prop trader at a partnership (prop. shop) then tread with caution, since the quality of these places is highly variable ASFAIK.To be honest though you could find out as much from googling as talking to me, since this is not my area.If you are interested in trading specifically then you might find it helpful to ask some questions on the Trade2Win forums (but be more specific than here or they will just flame you!).You are right about doctors. I think that doctors and lawyers have the best risk adjusted income by far!
 
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xploring
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 20th, 2013, 6:12 am

Hi Neuro, are quant traders and prop traders the same thing? I had the impression that most titles beginning with "quant" requires a phd to get hired. Looking through my college classmates who are quants on linkedin it seems like everyone who works at a well-known firm (eg, Citadel) has a phd in something...I'll go lurk around Trade2win forums for a while, thanks for the tip!
Last edited by xploring on June 19th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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neuroguy
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 20th, 2013, 9:05 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringHi Neuro, are quant traders and prop traders the same thing? I had the impression that most titles beginning with "quant" requires a phd to get hired. Looking through my college classmates who are quants on linkedin it seems like everyone who works at a well-known firm (eg, Citadel) has a phd in something...I'll go lurk around Trade2win forums for a while, thanks for the tip!I really dislike the term 'quant' for exactly this reason. Forget about 'quant', think about THE JOB.There are no solid, exact definitions. And in the end nearly all finance is quantitative anyway.Sometimes I guess when people say 'quant', what they mean is 'some PhD who does specialised stuff', but that is about it. 'Quant' can be used to obscure much and also as bait because of the perceived glamour of being a 'quant' (amongst geeks at least!). Hence the thinking is that by putting 'quant' in front of a title you make sound a bit sexier than 'VBA/Excel, library maintaining, numbers drone'. To be fair 'quant' did used to mean 'stoch. calculus expert who prices derivatives' but this is no longer exclusively the case. Now, prop. trader means anyone who is following a discretionary strategy of their choosing to earn a return on a pot of capital (either their own, that of a firm, or of a group of investors).Of course this can include 'quant' strategies. I guess quant strategies would imply that the points at which a position should be modified is determined by a mathematical/statistical model.Where strategies are completely automated however, such that the traders are only overseeing the strategy, these would not be prop. traders because they are not making strategic decisions. There is a whole spectrum between completely discretionary (i.e. gut feeling) trading and completely automated trading styles. Anyone who runs money can be placed on this spectrum.It is true that in many firms, to do 'quantitive analysis' (i.e. somewhat sophisticated mathematical analysis) of market data people will invariably have a PhD. So if you want to do that, then this helps. But these people are normally doing research on behalf of the traders or the trading system rather than actually trading themselves (at least in large firms). Its is not necessarily true that a PhD is needed, but it is a filter. They have enough people applying that they can choose the highest achievers, even if the knowledge of those people is not fully deployed.
 
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DominicConnor
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 21st, 2013, 8:36 am

neuroguy speaks a lot of truth.MSCS is not the path to become a modeller or a risk manager, or one of the many job functions we lump together and call "Quant".It is always worth money to know your business, you will write better code if you know what it is for.As for your choice of elective course units...The path you are going down looks like some sort of quant/developer, not a bad option but we cannot answer your question properly without knowing what your other options are.You need to be a "whole" developer, rather than an incomplete developer and an even more incomplete quant.Thus doing C++ and numerical methods will be of more value to you than a superficial introduction to futures and options.Please be clear about this, in an ideal world you'd do both, but you have a finite set to include.
 
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ashkar
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Getting a job with a MS in CS

June 21st, 2013, 9:40 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: xploringHi, I just got accepted to the MS in Computer Science program at NYU and have a few questions.1. Are top financial companies willing to hire developers if they have not finished the MSCS yet?2. We are allowed 6 elective courses and I was thinking of taking the first 6 courses in the MS in Financial Math program at NYU. Would a top financial company be willing to consider me for a quant job if I did this? Or is a MS in Fin Math degree required?Thank you.Sounds perverse. Instead of taking 6 financial math courses in a CS masters program, I would try and get admitted into a financial engineering program where you should get bits of both in a much more marketable way.
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