Fundamentals v. Quant? All Perspectives Welcome

Hey everyone ✌🏿

Jumping straight to it--currently at a target school studying Data Analytics + taking an IBM Data Analysis cert this semester. My school's program is focused heavily on R, Excel, SQL, and Tableau, and the IBM cert has 70 hours worth of Excel, Python, IBM Cloud computing, and Cognos. My math requirements are all applied courses built on data analytics and data science, and many examples that my professor uses are drawn from economics and finance. I'm also considering making all of my portfolio projects + capstone projects finance-related.

Given these facts, and based on you all's experiences in finance (specifically HF in this case) - where does it make the most practical sense to focus my skillset for internships and employment? I will have a strong command of Excel and data analysis skills by the time I intern at places (which I hear is big on the fundamentals side), but I also will have learned to code in Python and R, which I've seen as "preferred" on several entry-level/internship level quant researcher positions (a role that is super interesting to me) postings on LinkedIn. I won't, however, have a record of traditional finance courses because the program as I said is very much applied and focused on building the technical skills around succeeding in predictive or quantitative analysis. I also had a few questions.


  1. Do you think it's more important to have taken finance classes to succeed in this realm? Or is it more valuable on the front end to have the skills required to succeed in the position?

  2. What are your thoughts on starting off in a traditional role v. attempting at a quant role? Is one easier than the other? Does one inform and drive success in the other?

  3. Where would my degree be best utilized + be most impactful with regard to being value positive as early as possible?

  4. Would you recommend shooting for a T10 MBA to contextualize my data analysis skills right after or after a few years in a role?

Super new to this forum, so I want to learn as much as I can so I can narrow down where I should target a potential internship opportunity.


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