How to get a Quantitative Finance Job or Internship in 2023
A comprehensive guide on how to prepare and get a quant job in 2023.
Getting a Quantitative Finance Job in 2023
Quantitative finance, today, has become one of the most sought and respected disciplines within finance. The high compensation, opportunity to work on interesting technical problems and challenging work environment have become significant drawing points, inviting individuals from all sorts of backgrounds, such as computer science, physics, statistics, and more.
Given this influx of interest in the field, finding a job or internship as a quant has become quite challenging. Many quants come from prestigious universities, have excelled in math competitions, or are elite at computer science.
This leads us to the question: how does one break into quantitative finance in this competitive climate? Well, in this article we'll show you just how to do that. With the right education, preparation, and motivation anyone can enter this industry and build a long-lasting career for themselves.
- Identifying a Quant Role
- Additional Education Resources
- Studying for the Interview
- Applying for the Job
- Landing the Offer
Identifying a Quant Role
The first step in landing a job as a quant is to figure out what type of quantitative finance career path aligns most with your skillset and interests. In general, there are three main categories of quants: quantitative traders, quantitative analysts/researchers, and quantitative developers.
Quantitative traders work on executing trades using pricing models and algorithms, quantitative analysts/researchers work on developing and researching new models, and quantitative developers work on implementing these models into efficient programs. As a result, traders often have a background in mathematics, analysts have a background in statistics, and developers have a background in computer science.
|Quant Role||Education||Core Skills|
|Quantitative Trader||Mathematics, Statistics||Trading, Mathematics, Finance|
|Quantitative Analyst||Statistics, Physics, Data Science||Machine Learning, Statistics, Python|
|Quantitative Developer||Computer Science||C++, Python, Software Engineering|
Quantitative trader jobs tend to be the most competitive of the three types due to the fact that these positions are less abundant and require fewer technical skills. Quantitative traders and developers can find roles with only a Bachelor's degree, while quantitative researchers typically need a Master's or Ph.D.
Depending on whether you are interested in becoming a quantitative trader, analyst, or developer, the degree/program that you should pursue will differ. Generally, quantitative traders have a degree in mathematics or finance, analysts/researchers have a degree in statistics or data science, and developers have a degree in computer science.
However, there also exist programs that cover the entire remit of these three roles. These programs are often difficult to come across so we've outlined the most notable ones below:
- Carnegie Mellon University - Bachelor of Science in Computational Finance
- Stevens Institute of Technology - Quantitative Finance
- Baruch College - Bachelor of Science in Financial Mathematics
- University of California Berkely - Master of Financial Engineering
- Imperial College London - Master of Science in Mathematics and Finance
- Carnegie Mellon University - Master of Science in Computational Finance
Each of these programs cover a combination of statistics, finance, computer science and mathematics topics. In addition, the three master's programs above have over a 95% placement rate for their students. This essentially means that attending one of these programs is a definite way to land a quant job. The only downside of these programs is that they can have very high tuition and are very competitive to gain admission into.
Additional Education Resources
While formal education in quantitative finance is a prerequisite to landing a job, there's also a plethora of other resources one could leverage to supplement their learning. These often come in the form of online courses, articles, and best of all - books. Here are five books that are very helpful for anyone looking to break into quantitative finance. The books below are organized by the role for which they are most relevant.
- Quantitative Researcher - Probability
- Quantitative Researcher - Stochastic Calculus
- Quantitative Researcher/Trader - Statistics and Machine Learning
- Quantitative Developer - C++ Software Development
- Quantitative Trader - Quantitative Trading
These books should be used as a refresher for any concepts that you may have forgotten from your previous coursework. Skimming through these prior to your quant interview, can help ensure you're ready for any questions that may be asked.
Studying for the Interview
Depending on the quant role you're applying for, your study material may slightly differ. For quantitative developers, the focus should be on algorithmic programming problems. There is a massive collection of these problems on LeetCode and HackerRank that anyone can use to study for free.
For Quantitative Traders, the focus should be on mental math games and probability questions. For the mental math questions you can practice them with this online game, and for brainteaser questions, you can use Brainstellar.
For Quantitative Researchers, the focus should be on statistics, machine learning, and some knowledge of derivatives/pricing models. Much of this information can be found in the books recommended above. One additional great resource is Heard on the Street - a compilation of questions found in previous quantitative finance interviews.
Applying for the Job
When it comes to finding a quantitative finance job, one good preliminary tactic is to leverage any career fairs or recruiting events that take place on your campus. These are the easiest ways to get your resume seen, and you'll have the opportunity to actually speak with a recruiter.
Before starting your job applications, you'll want to ensure that your resume is optimized for passing the automated resume screens. For quantitative trading and quantitative researcher positions, you should tailor your resume to focus on your statistics and math skills. This includes specifying your performance in competitive math competitions, high standardized test scores, data analysis projects, and statistics coursework.
Finally, the time has arrived - you're ready to start applying for quant jobs! Lucky for you, we built OpenQuant to be the home for finding all jobs related to quantitative finance. We have both jobs and internships and have listings for any quant role you may be looking for. Use the links below to start applying:
If you're looking for an internship or entry level role, you can use the relevant filters to find jobs that match your level. New jobs get posted daily, so be sure to return if you don't find what you're looking for today.
Landing the Offer
Most people think landing the quantitative finance job offer is the finale. In reality, it's just the beginning. Now's the time that you'll want to evaluate all your options and ensure you find the position that's best for you. If you have other offers in the pipeline, you can leverage this offer to negotiate a higher salary. If you have upcoming interviews with other firms that you're interested in, sharing this news can expedite the interview process.
Ultimately, you'll want to use this offer to place yourself in the best possible position before accepting any offer. Make sure this firm is right for you, and if it isn't, use your cards to try and land a better offer.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you're interested in more resources on how to prepare for a career in quantitative finance you can check out our other posts on our blog. And if you would like to keep up to date with any updates on OpenQuant, you can follow us on Twitter.