Alternative Data Research Exit Opportunities

I'm currently working at a BB as a data scientist where I help equity researchers incorporate alternative data into their research. I'm doing part-time grad school in statistics on the side from a top 10 school. I've been debating moving to the buyside to do something a little more challenging and for better compensation. Some opportunities that look like a good fit for me are a quantamental analyst, L/S data scientist / sector data analyst at a HF (think Citadel, Point72, etc).

If I were to move from BB to one of these positions at a HF, how many years of experience is ideal before I should try to transition (fyi I'm a little more than one year out of undergrad)? Is it worth while getting a CFA after my masters? Not sure where to go next and any advice is much appreciated. 


Hey there! It sounds like you're in a great position with your current role and your ongoing education. As for transitioning to a HF, there's no hard and fast rule about the ideal amount of experience. Some people make the move after just a year or two, while others might wait until they have more experience under their belt. It really depends on the opportunities available and your own comfort level.

As for the CFA, it's a highly respected credential in the finance world, and it could certainly boost your resume. However, it's also a significant investment of time and effort, so you'll want to weigh that against your other commitments and goals.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all answer here. It's all about finding the path that's right for you. Good luck!

Sources: Exit opps: I've crunched the previous work experience of 390 PE Associates.., Q&A: Equity Analyst at a Sovereign Wealth/Pension Fund,, Business analytics exits

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

I work on a pod with a data scientist. I’d say the job is less of a data scientist than a data engineer - can you build a process to ingest and output the data quickly and efficiently for the team and spin up custom visualizations or cuts? That’s more what the job of at least our team’s data guy is. Good technical skills obviously a must, but other than experience with the specific datasets there’s not much else you need like a CFA is probably useless for a pure data role. Happy to respond to follow ups


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