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Quant job for physics student

  1. Jun 1, 2008 #1
    I am doing my phd in physics. I am working on experimental physics. My work involves some numerical analysis using Matlab, and finite element analysis also. I know c/c++ pretty well. I am planning to get knowledge on finance by self study and look for finance jobs after graduation. is it possible to get a quant job without finance degree?
    any discussion is appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2008 #2


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    Your best bet would be to contact the people in the profession. Ask if they'd be willing to meet with you for lunch or let you job shadow them for a day. My guess (which isn't worth much) is that it is possible - although the more experience you have with financial models the better.
  4. Jun 1, 2008 #3
    This might be a stretch. And, I don't know much about it. But actuaries have been used in a quant capacity. If you are rock solid in probability and financial math you might take a shot at the first couple of actuarial exams. It would be proof to employers that you are capable. Not that your qualifications are not good enough already. But the exams may build a bridge for you.
  5. Jun 1, 2008 #4

    George Jones

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  6. Jun 1, 2008 #5
    I think, before the proliferation of professional masters programs in mathematical finance / financial engineering, it was fairly common to hire technical PhDs (in math, physics, engineering, etc.) with no background in finance as quants. Even with that said, it sounds like your background is a pretty good match (programming experience in C++, and it sounds like you have experience in numerical methods for solving PDEs), so with some self study of mathematical finance (from standard books like Hull) and of probability and random processes, I think you could present yourself as an extremely qualified candidate for some quant positions.
  7. Jun 2, 2008 #6


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    It's relatively normal for entry level quants to not have a formal financial background. Although you'll be expected to have a decent self-taught understanding. Assuming to fit all their other requirements (personality, etc) I see no reason you wouldn't be a suitable quant candidate. It'll still ultimately be down to perseverance and luck though, like any job.

    From what I've seen, they like to grab you before the end of the PhD though (it's easier to get a job offer whilst you're in the last year of your PhD than afterwards). Round these parts, I've seen them try to get people to give up the PhD and join them straight away, but I've never heard of anyone's quant-type job offer being withdrawn because they said they couldn't start for a few months. And you rise through the ranks quicker with one too.

    The key take home point: You need to apply for the jobs now.
  8. Jun 2, 2008 #7
    This is not true anymore. Since so many ppl trying to get into the field, they expects knowledge from john hull
  9. Jun 5, 2008 #8
    Hi George,
    Hoping you'll say hello (I sent you a private message).
    Dave Kosokowsky
  10. Jun 6, 2008 #9
    Ask this question on the wilmott or quantnet forums
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