Presumably Phd in Maths (though will a masters do…?). Suggestions please.
Phd will take you directly to trading desk (creating algos etc). MS in FE from top school can give you a chance but it will be very competative.
Thanks dawg. Am I right in thinking that a Phd is only accessible to people with funds & money? 3 years plus the cost of studying IF you get admitted (less the opcost of not working). I ask such a basic question as I come from a relatively humble background (getting a degree was a novelty in my family) and i’ve never considered doing a Phd or masters till now…
you dont need a phd to rate rates or swaps. A masters in financial math though would be required, a school with an internship program is key.
there are a lot of specialized financial engineering and quant-specific degrees out there now that would help. phd’s usually tend to be the most subsidized degree so they aren’t as expensive.
PhD programs are free – In fact, you get a small stipend ($20k-$25K). You are only losing the opp cost. The program will likely be longer than 3 years. I think 4 years is more common but it could be longer if you struggle with your thesis. Good (top 50 – not just the places like Chicago Booth) are extremely difficult to get into. For top schools, you may find yourself competing against guys with PhDs are MSs in fields like comp sci, math and physics. I know some smart guys with good test scores and high gpas in quant majors who got rejected left and right.
Dont waste your life
Unless, of course, you have 3-4 years to waste
If your maths skills aren’t bad, you might try the CQF program. It’s 6 months, rather than 4 years. Not a slam dunk proposal, but you did ask for quick.
bchadwick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If your maths skills aren’t bad, you might try the > CQF program. It’s 6 months, rather than 4 years. > Not a slam dunk proposal, but you did ask for > quick. and also quick (CQF way) comes with a $20k price tag
There’s a bunch of related topics on Wilmott forum, and most of the guys on the forum have science PhD’s. IMO PhD will take minimum of 5 years if you target top 30 schools, and as others mentioned before, competition is really tough for top schools. Sending out applications, writing SOPs and getting recommendations will take time too. Most of Financial engineering programs focus more on the C++ part (Implementation/Methods) of quantitative finance, more suited for a quant developer role. PhD is definitely more suited for your goals, but it requires dedication/time.
I guess it depends on where you are starting. If you have a undergrad degree in economics and a CFA, its a long, long way. Its like asking the fastest path to neurosurgeon.
Muddahudda Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Thanks dawg. Am I right in thinking that a Phd is > only accessible to people with funds & money? 3 > years plus the cost of studying IF you get > admitted (less the opcost of not working). > > I ask such a basic question as I come from a > relatively humble background (getting a degree was > a novelty in my family) and i’ve never considered > doing a Phd or masters till now… Your background can’t be humbler than mine. I had to borrow the price of my plane ticket to get here. I never paid a dime to go to school, you are paid to do your PhD in the US. Honestly, if you didn’t do it right after undergrad ( when you had nothing to lose by staying in school), it’s too late for you to go this route. You’d have to give up a job, you probably have a family, mortgage, bla bla … You have one positive though, if you’re a US citizen they’ll love you in grad school. Tons of research money is earmarked for citizens and require security clearance, but not enough locals are interested in math or science in general.
I find it funny how the math and physics types appear to look down their noses at economists for not being quantitative enough. And then they look around saying “who could have known,” when markets become “irrational.” Social scientists are trained to understand that your assumptions are like sand, and you should expect them to give way every now and then. But you can’t do complex math if your assumptions are always shifting beneath you. On the other hand, there’s just so much data… it would be such a shame not to mine it for every spurious correlation you can get your hand on and use it to show how brilliant you are. (I can hear mo34 chiding me for sounding angry… True, I did have a bad interview experience with a physics Ph.D. a month or so ago. We were clearly talking past each other, but he clearly thought I was just stupid. Later, looking up his data, I discovered he was a fairly prominent mortgages risk manager for… are you ready… Countrywide. Talk about a big chip on his shoulder.)
Great post bchadwick. It’s amazing how the Physics Ph.D. still can’t learn history.
doing a PHD in math just so you can become a quant trader…that is completely irrational.
just tell them you know how to use ‘solver’
Muddahudda what kind of quant trading do you want to do?
I wouldn’t want to paint math and physics Ph.Ds with too broad a brush. I know several who don’t fit the criticism I just made. But there are an awful lot of them that do. I think the quest for “a theory of everything” just leads to a kind of arrogance about other forms of thinking. In my interview, it was pretty clear that this guy felt that the way he thought about his question (which was about some problem he was working on, and which is not a problem that I said my background gave me any deep insight) was the only proper way to think about it. The irony is that diversity of thinking is important even in something like physics. Understanding that you have to think of matter as both particles and waves requires that kind of flexibility. Understanding that there is the Newtonian principle of forces causing motion, but there is also a Lagrangian principle of “least action” that predicts motion are different ways of approaching similar situations. Coordinate changes are changes in conceptual frameworks. It’s not just “liberal artsy wishy washy thinking” the way some of them like to describe it, as if liberal arts were actually a bad thing.
Agreed. Diversity of thought is important in quant finance as well.