Career Paths in Quantitative Finance

Professionals in this area use statistical and quantitative methods to analyze and predict the markets, and apply programming tools to produce robust investment strategies. Their work revolves around creating mathematical models that are used to assess and manage financial systems, potential risk, and timing of trades. 

Necessary Skills: a strong command of programming languages, such as Python, C#, and SQL, as well as statistical analysis tools, such as R, Matlab, and SAS. Some roles will also require knowledge of machine learning and natural language processing techniques.  Good understanding of a variety of mathematical and statistical models used in finance. 

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

Barclays Bank logo    Bank of America logo   citibank logo      CME Group logo    JPMorganChase logo

Portfolio managers engage in portfolio construction, monitoring asset exposures and allocations, managing client requests, tax management, monitoring pre-trade client guideline compliance and exception resolution. They initiate trades, and monitor the portfolios on an ongoing basis.  They also develop a deep understanding of investment products and operational policies and procedures. With career progression, they can manage a team of analysts and researchers.

Necessary Skills: in addition to effective communication skills and knowledge of asset classes, professionals in this area also require strong quantitative and mathematical modeling, coding, and analytical thinking skills. This role often prefer a financial analyst certification, like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and previous experience.  Most portfolio managers will start their careers as portfolio analysts.

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

CIBC logo      JPMorgan Chase & Co logo      PIMCO logo      Wells Fargo logo      William Blair logo

Quantitative engineers or quantitative developers work in the FinTech space. They are responsible for designing, developing, testing and deploying sophisticated software solutions to facilitate the work of various financial institutions.

Necessary Skills: excellent coding skills in Python, C++, and Java, and knowledge in probability, linear regression and time series data analysis.  In addition, interest in financial markets and knowledge of various financial products give quant developers a distinct advantage, since they work on a variety of projects with teams across an organization.

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

BlackRock logo      enfusion logo           Serrala logo

Professionals in this area empower the decision making process for investments and trades by providing risk analysis, and developing/enhancing risk model frameworks across various markets and assets. They use various techniques, including "value at risk" (VaR), Monte Carlo simulation, and linear regression-based statistical models, to measure the potential of loss on an investment profile. They also run stress tests to gauge the effectiveness of their models. 

Necessary Skills: strong skills in communication and detail orientation, quantitative and financial modeling skills, programming abilities using tools like VBA, Python, R, and SAS, as well as knowledge of various statistical and volatility models.

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

HSBC logo     Northern Trust logo     Northwestern Mutual     OCC logo      UBS logo

Traders analyze market data, such as price and volume, and use mathematical and statistical models to identify and execute trading decisions that may involve hundreds of thousands of shares and securities.

A trader develops a strategy and applies the model to historical market data so that it can be back-tested and optimized. If the strategy yields profit, it is then applied onto real-time markets to implement an automated trading process. Quantitative trading techniques also include high-frequency trading, algorithmic trading and statistical arbitrage.

Necessary Skills: a strong background in programming skills in Python, C++, SQL, R, and/ or Java. Ability to navigate price indexes, such as SPX and VIX. It also requires the knowledge of statistical analysis, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning processes. In addition, traders must possess the ability to thrive under pressure, maintain focus despite long hours, withstand an often competitive/intense environment, and respond well to failure.

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

Belvedere Trading logo     CTC logo     IMC logo     Morgan Stanley logo     Sunrise Futures

As financial institutions further integrate the practice of collecting and analyzing data to gauge profit, loss, and client satisfaction, data science continues to be the fastest growing area of quantitative finance.

Professionals in this area work on data mining, gathering data sets, and deriving insights from these data sets. Data Scientists work in many data driven companies, such as investment banks, asset management firms, and technology companies. Their roles typically focus on risk management and predictive analytics.  Data Scientists are increasingly using machine learning, clustering algorithms, and artificial intelligence to identify unusual data patterns.

Necessary Skills: command of programming languages used in statistical modeling, such as Python and R, ability to work with large sets of financial data, and strong quantitative analysis skills. Time Series Analysis is also key to analyzing financial data. Machine learning and AI re also areas of growing importance in this field. 

Sample of Employer Partners in this area:

Bloomberg logo     BMO Harris Bank logo       EY Logo      McKinsey & Company logo     pwc logo

  • Investment Banking, where responsibilities may include: analyzing financial statements and related data, building detailed, fully-integrated financial models, and researching current and prospective client companies and conduct due diligence assessment at bulge bracket banks like:
    Goldman Sachs logo     Morgan Stanley logo    UBS logo  
  • Consulting, where responsibilities may include: performing asset and derivative valuations, running Monte Carlo simulations to predict risk in different assets, and deploying statistical modeling and optimization techniques to improve risk management decision making at consulting firms like:
    EY Logo    McKinsey & Company logo
  • Equity Research, where responsibilities may include: performing valuations on a wide range of illiquid investments, constructing possible outcomes for both short and medium term equity moving events, and maintaining a database of option pricing inputs at companies like:
    Fidelity logo    IHS Markit logo