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bennylo


Total Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2018
 
Posted: 2018-01-24 18:42
Hi I am NP newbie. Following the thread about "life after trading", I thought I may post this thread which will probably interest other NP members working as quants.

Basically I have worked as a front office quant (EQD and IR derivatives) for more than 10 years and now feel disappointed by the lack of career progression. I'd really appreciate if you could share your colleagues or your own experiences. What do senior quants after such a long time in finance? Any example of an exciting career move (eg. PM/Trading roles) or example of a new career start outside of finance ?

I would of course like to leverage on my skills and I would not mind starting something completely new and learn new skills.

Many thanks




etuka2


Total Posts: 156
Joined: Jun 2004
 
Posted: 2018-02-20 15:04
I am currently working in West Africa on exchange and transportation problems. I know a bunch of folk have flipped to work as data scientists and machine learning types, at Deep Mind, Facebook and the like - they were fairly actively targeting quants a couple of years back. I have worked with food delivery startups and seen a couple of ex-quants there. As long as you are catholic in your problem solving, applicable math taste, there are a lot of planning-style problems that folk seem to be working on.

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-03 23:25
Some people may find it hard to re-adjust to world outside finance and trading. I know a quant who joined one of the top AI research groups and after a few months quit and got back to his old hedge fund.

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5059
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2018-05-04 02:32
I think the best thing someone with our backgrounds could do when they look to move on is to take a good, hard look at his / her skillsets and try and embark on an endeavor that absolutely minimizes the amount of rent seeking involved. Chicken soup for the soul my friends.


Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

Maggette


Total Posts: 1047
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-05-04 09:57
I worked in the industry (commodities). But only for one shop. Now I work on ML, operations research, engineering and statistical modelling in broad range of industries.

Hard to say what is better. I really really enjoy both. Still interested in quantitative finance.

Writing industry standard code and wade through data are part of both worlds and make up a huge chunk of it. Using data, math, a computer and (probably most important) domain knowledge to solve problems obiously is not unique to finance.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

Jurassic


Total Posts: 113
Joined: Mar 2018
 
Posted: 2018-05-10 13:27
> Basically I have worked as a front office quant (EQD and IR derivatives) for more than 10 years and now feel disappointed by the lack of career progression.

Is the demand for (derivatives) quants slowing?

sasquatch
Certified Headhunter

Total Posts: 329
Joined: Aug 2006
 
Posted: 2018-05-15 18:53
From what I have seen, the demand is about as low as I can recall in 20+ years of executive search. That said, I believe that the need for derivative quants will start to increase as USD rates and inflation picks up.We shall see...

Jurassic


Total Posts: 113
Joined: Mar 2018
 
Posted: 2018-05-15 22:01
....

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-19 21:58
Using data, math, a computer and (probably most important) domain knowledge to solve problems obiously is not unique to finance.

They high pay's unique [1], and that's what most people entering this field are after. If you just want to "solve problems using data, math and computer" you can do this for an e.g. medical device startup. But they'll pay you £50k, not £150k.

[1] If you ignore places like FAIR, Google Brain or DeepMind.

Maggette


Total Posts: 1047
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-05-19 23:04
You can easily earn 100-150K before taxes as a freelancer in this field.

Write "Hadoop","Spark", and "Kafka", "big data" in your LinkedIn profile, and then add ""Machine "Learning", "Deep Learnin","AI","Tensor Flow", "Python"...and then get rich:)

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 322
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2018-05-21 18:54
> But they'll pay you £50k, not £150k.

The pay discrepancy between tech workers in the US and Europe never ceases to astound me. $67k USD (50k GBP) would be comp for entry level engineers working a 9-5 lifestyle-oriented job in a dirt-cheap market like Boise or San Antonio. A quant exile, who'd be slotted into something like "senior data scientist", would probably make at least $200k total comp in a major coastal metro.

Like, I just don't understand how it continues to persist. Why doesn't every single new startup, satellite campus and corporate IT office open in the EU? I understand there's more labor regulations, a culture of fewer hours, and non-salary costs. But still, these are huge discrepancies. Why wouldn't Amazon just build HQ2 in London or Berlin?

Good questions outrank easy answers. -Paul Samuelson

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-21 22:08
- snobbery
- regulations (both for companies and employment law)
- UK workers don't need to pay $1000 / month for health insurance

Like, have you ever tried to lay off an employee in Germany or France?

Kitno


Total Posts: 350
Joined: Mar 2005
 
Posted: 2018-05-21 23:55
Bring a Brit I am axed to say this, and it is a little tangential, but I find UK employment law a very good medium (pun intended).

In the US you can be fired 'at will' and gone immediately. In the rest of the EU you can't get workers to work >35 hours and in some cases like Germany you need to pay x10 annual salary to fire sometime.

In the UK the statutory is 1 week notice for the first 2y (although almost everyone gives 1-3m contractual notice period). At worst case it's two verbal warnings and one written before you can tin. You have no separate health insurance costs*.

Still, 1-3 months notice and easy tinning after warnings seems quite fair. Again, talking my book...

* About 15% of UK pop have private health insurance and I have always had it.

Salut toi, je vais au Social Club avec des amis ce soir, c'est au 142 rue Montmartre. J'ai mis ta robe préférée. Viens me trouver.

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-22 08:49
Yes, agreed. Some people may be put off from the UK because of other things:

1. it's basically London and nothing else, so if you don't like London (too big, too crowded), your options are quite limited
2. the weather

deeds


Total Posts: 394
Joined: Dec 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-22 12:59
Was in UK at a global telecoms vendor hq'd in Canada during the tech implosion of 99-2001.

In the large redundancy/layoff category (> 90 folks at a time, of which there were > 15 cycles at our site while i was there, very grim)

- US - 2 weeks notice, marched off the site that day
- UK - 90 day consultation period, leave site after statutory and contractual notice period kicks in after the 90 days
- France - 2 years continued attendance at site before separation

EDIT: at the time, found the lack of mobility informative about the quality of workforce and workproduct.

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 322
Joined: Jan 2015
 
Posted: 2018-05-22 18:23
Those reasons make sense. But the puzzle is why those things disproportionately affect tech workers? Other high-skilled professionals- physicians, corporate lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, management consultants, business executives, (non-software) engineers- don't have the very large discrepancy. They do make more in the US than the EU, but generally not 100-200% more.

I'll admit I have no direct experience in the European labor market. But in general, labor regs and culture can't be that much of a drag. Depending on the Northern European country, nominal GDP per capita averages 65-110% American levels. Maybe tech requires a uniquely high level of labor dynamism. But if that's so, why's the industry so heavily concentrated in high-regulation California?

Good questions outrank easy answers. -Paul Samuelson

jslade


Total Posts: 1132
Joined: Feb 2007
 
Posted: 2018-05-23 03:16
Stanford is the proximate reason for tech concentration. California also has an at-will employment law. About half the population are also temporary visa immigrants; aka cheaper than natives and less likely to complain when you abuse them. Finally, non-competes are not legal in California (unless you're google suing Uber or something -they're still not really legal). That's really how Silicon Valley got started; the traitorous 8 quit working for Shockley and went off to found Fairchild and Intel.
I think it's way past its sell-by date, personally; the talent pool of non smurfs is ageing, and the tax rates are absurd.

I looked at Berlin jobs for a while; they all looked like they paid 40-60k euro. Machine learning, auto mechanic, lawyer, accountant; all seemed to be in that ballpark. Maybe I wasn't doing it right.

"Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."

Maggette


Total Posts: 1047
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-05-23 07:06
About the Berlin part:
I am from Germany. Berlin is a very "hip" town with a lot of companies, that pretend to be very "hip" Start-Ups. You got a table soccer and "club mate" for free.....but they pay shitty!!! Of course there are exceptions to the rule: well funded start-ups that pay well or classical german companies that are located in Berlin. But IMHO not many.

Senior developers, engineers and data scientist/quantitative analysts with phd or good master degrees and (more important) experience should get 70K to 100K (before taxes) in other towns.

If you go on your own and become a freelancer I guess your life becomes more like an US developer. You have the same risks as any worker in the US. They can kick you out within two weeks. But you make more money (as a freelancer, jslade should make about 120K at least..more probably >150K ).

Sometimes you have to settle for less. But at present, these are the my estimates.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-23 23:52
Yeah. I knew a guy who worked for my bank as a contractor in Germany. They tried for years to pull him into full-time employment, but he dug his heels in and never agreed to that. He was costing them a lot of $$$ as a contractor.

Maggette


Total Posts: 1047
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2018-05-24 06:53
It is interesting how highly companies in Germany value the optionality to fire you on short notice with no trouble.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-05-24 08:34
Germany has a different business culture than the US, or even the UK. They're more about organic growth and building long-lasting relationships than about making a quick buck. That includes labour relationships. That's why the system and the employment law work differently.

Jurassic


Total Posts: 113
Joined: Mar 2018
 
Posted: 2018-05-24 21:05
How do you guys see the quant job market right now (in general not just for derivatives pricing quants)?????

katastrofa


Total Posts: 453
Joined: Jul 2008
 
Posted: 2018-08-16 00:46
I don't know. I left the field and don't really want to go back.

I's amazing how doing a bit of real research makes all this exciting quant stuff look bland and boring.
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