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As a Physics Phd student, what are the skill required for Quant?

  1. Sep 9, 2014 #1
    First of all I read a lot info from post by twofish-quant but I am not sure if its outdated already.

    So I am currently in the second year of my grad school (PhD program) in physics, specialized in observation cosmology (galaxy survey aiming at Dark Energy/inflation/BAO/...). As much as I like studying physics and learn things about the universe, I start to think that the path of research didn't really fit me, as I am not dedicated enough to stay sharp in academia, and the field is extremely saturated already. Then I learned that people having physics PhD go to wall st and become quant, and many of them were either in theoretical physics or have skills in simulations/computing/machine learning/datamining...etc.

    My research on the other hand, mainly involves image reduction, possibly some simulations but not much and further data reductions for scientific results. We also build detectors and telescopes (an observation project completely by ourselves). I feel like I will be using some pythons and a bit c++ and that's pretty much it, but I may be wrong. If that's the case though, would I be able to learn basic required skills to apply for quant when I graduate? Or is it possible to learn by myself through the years and then apply for one? I am not sure to what extent my research will lead me in terms of coding and modeling but I am a bit worried that this might not be the field I am specialized in.

    I guess the primary reason for me to be interested in quantitative analysist is that I read that (from physics forum) the working environment is very similar to academia, and its centered in NYC. I really, really hope I can get a job in NYC for at least a few years. (I know, this reason sounds silly). I kind of like the current project I am working on with and the advisor is fantastic. I am not sure if the skills can't be obtained, is it worth it to go to other projects. So just to ask my question again, would I be able to learn basic required skills to apply for quant when I graduate in my research field? Or should I learned it by myself in these few years?
    Thanks for this ignorant questions!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Here's the wikipedia article on quantitative analysts and the type of math they use:


    So one part of your question is:

    Do you have the background and/or/ project experience in these math areas?

    Do you have an interest in the following types of work?

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