Engineer to Quant, how?

I work as engineer in MM HF.

On day to day, I work with quants from different PM teams to set up their infrastructure. Quant will then deploy code (python, R, C++) into the environment created by me.

I come from EE, skilled in infra, coding (python) and all sort of DevOps tooling.

HOW DO I TRANSFORM INTO QUANT???

I am thinking of 1) master of statistics 2) leetcode. The former help me learn math in a systematic way while the latter sharpen my coding/algorithm skills.

What do you think? Thanks!

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Comments (19)

Apr 23, 2021 - 9:49pm

do you have any exposure into the models used by your firm?

if you want to be a quant, you need to research and find signals that create alpha....returns...spend your time researching looking for such patterns.

just google it...you're welcome
Apr 24, 2021 - 6:12am

Thanks for the reply!

Unfortunately I have no visibility to their work. What I do usually is: install package, configure environment, build server and networking etc.

What these quant will use my machine for? I have no clue!

Apr 24, 2021 - 11:42am

i would suggest getting a job as a software developer working on implementing the models that quants build...maybe at an investment bank...this will get your foot in the door...then you can lateral closer to the quants and get into signal research

just google it...you're welcome
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Apr 24, 2021 - 9:06pm

Give u an example

A quant approach is saying they need python and MySQL set up.

Then I will install the python and MySQL (yum install)

Then I will handover to quant which they will do their development and I have no clue to their code nor their data

Just an infra engineer

  • Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge
Apr 24, 2021 - 11:43pm

As others have said, your job is IT, not engineering. My advice is to pick up a software engineering skillset and not worry about the statistics or applied math side of the world right now. This could be through a coding bootcamp, self-pedagogy, or a university degree (there are master's degrees in computer science for students with limited coding experience). With a software engineering skillset, you will have a reasonable path to becoming a quant dev, where you productionize and maintain the research code that alpha researchers write. From there, you would have the ability to move into an alpha research role.

faceslappingcompilation gave a similar recommendation. I don't think you will be able to pivot directly into quant research. It's too large of a gap to traverse. I interview and hire quant researchers and devs, and I wouldn't hire someone with your background for the quant research role. Even if you did Leetcode or pursued a financial engineering degree, I would have too much uncertainty around coding skills, research capabilities, and economic/finance knowledge.

It may seem indirect, but it will be easier to land as a researcher if you beef up your coding background and prove that you can work well as a software engineer in a quant dev environment. Then, there's no doubt about coding abilities, and there's less risk around finance knowledge.

  • Managing Director in S&T - Other
Apr 25, 2021 - 12:05am

This is a good direct advice. My sense OP may have the coding/software skills, some EE degrees are very heavy comp eng classes. But is not currently using or doing direct "development ". Therefore as mentioned probably need another degree work to get into development and go from there. Long way from quant for now. 

Apr 25, 2021 - 12:28am

Managing Director in S&T - Other

This is a good direct advice. My sense OP may have the coding/software skills, some EE degrees are very heavy comp eng classes. But is not currently using or doing direct "development ". Therefore as mentioned probably need another degree work to get into development and go from there. Long way from quant for now. 

You are right.

I learnt Java, python and web development in university. But I never developed a real life app or software for a company.

I usually write some small script of 10 or 20 lines for infra automation.

Apr 25, 2021 - 12:13am

Investment Analyst in HF - EquityHedge

As others have said, your job is IT, not engineering. My advice is to pick up a software engineering skillset and not worry about the statistics or applied math side of the world right now. This could be through a coding bootcamp, self-pedagogy, or a university degree (there are master's degrees in computer science for students with limited coding experience). With a software engineering skillset, you will have a reasonable path to becoming a quant dev, where you productionize and maintain the research code that alpha researchers write. From there, you would have the ability to move into an alpha research role.

faceslappingcompilation gave a similar recommendation. I don't think you will be able to pivot directly into quant research. It's too large of a gap to traverse. I interview and hire quant researchers and devs, and I wouldn't hire someone with your background for the quant research role. Even if you did Leetcode or pursued a financial engineering degree, I would have too much uncertainty around coding skills, research capabilities, and economic/finance knowledge.

It may seem indirect, but it will be easier to land as a researcher if you beef up your coding background and prove that you can work well as a software engineer in a quant dev environment. Then, there's no doubt about coding abilities, and there's less risk around finance knowledge.

IT->Coding->Maintain Quant Code->Become a quant

Seems a LONG way to go but this is a clear path!

Apr 25, 2021 - 12:27am

This is my first post in this forum and am thrilled by the response!

To summaries:

  1. I am an IT guy in HF, with some scripting skills.
  1. To become a quant, coding is the bottom line, math/stat is what make you standout while finance concept can be learnt on the job
  1. (2 years) Prove my coding ability should be the primary focus. Getting a part time master in CS or FE is a good start.
  1. (4 years)After graduation (master), I should try to become a front office developer in IB
  1. (2 years) Then I should consider improving my math/stat skills. Getting a part time master of stat is the good option.
  1. (2 years) I should focus on "research" at this point where using my coding and stat skills to try to find out the alpha.
  1. If all things work out, I should now be able to pursue a career as quant in HF

That sums up to be at least 10 years before I approach step 7.

am 29 years old now. But it's never too late to start

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