Need Help! Optiver Execution Research Role (Quant) vs FAANG

Hi all,
I'm a final year CSE integrated Bachelors + Masters from one of the premier engineering institutes in India. I currently have a Quant Researcher offer for the Execution Research team in Optiver Amsterdam. I also have an SWE offer from a FAANG in India. While the Optiver role is significantly higher paying at the moment, I have no idea about future prospects, and so need help deciding between the two.
For some background about myself, I've done internships in SWE and Deep Learning research. Have no finance experience. Very little data science work (was more into competitive programming). Stats/math background limited to basic engineering courses. Have done some ML
Pointers along any of these lines would be helpful.
1) What kind of skills and experience can I expect to learn from the execution research role? Given that it seems to be a specific domain even within trading, will these skills be transferable if and when I move to other firms? Might this role possibly be a dead end?
2) What kind of different career paths could both of these roles take me through? - responsibilities, compensation, maybe higher education (maybe an MBA), location (assuming I want to return back to India)
3) For a person from a primarily CS background, is it a good idea to get into a quant role straight from uni? Does it restrict my options compared to a SWE role? Can I go back to a SWE role (or tech in general) after a quant role?
Thank you

Comments (6)

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 23, 2021 - 9:52pm

Most of the time, it will be harder to go from SWE to quant research than the other way around. This is because there are already so many SWEs trying to switch into quant research for the higher pay potential, but the number of quant research positions is very limited.

If you want to transition to SWE/tech, they won't really care what type of quant you are, as long as you used relevant programming skills. You can easily transition to a SWE role in the future if you want. Of course, if your end goal is to become a SWE in a FAANG/tech company, then it makes more sense to just choose that path initially.

I think if you are considering going back to India, this should be your plan:

  1. Join Optiver Amsterdam as a QR.
  2. When you are thinking of moving back, start looking for quant research/analyst roles at banks and trading firms in India (e.g. Jump Trading, Tower Research, etc.), or researcher roles at tech firms.
  3. If you can't find/get anything, internally switch to SWE at Optiver and gain relevant SWE experience for a year or two. They will most likely let you switch as you will have the CSE background and also the domain knowledge). Then, after working as a SWE there for a while, look for SWE roles in India (should be easy to find something good with SWE experience at a top international trading firm).
Apr 20, 2021 - 9:34am
HuskySized, what's your opinion? Comment below:

jesus if someone like you had grown up middle-class in the states you could be making $300k post-grad and graduated from HYPSM. You will go far either way. 

Exceptio is if your parents in India were super rich and they helped enable you to do all these things

  • Junior Trader in PropTrad
Apr 28, 2021 - 1:05am

Et aut impedit quia atque soluta molestias ratione qui. Impedit dicta et nesciunt tempore accusamus aut. Inventore sunt eum amet optio.

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