Is nowadays a PhD compulsory to break into HFs?

BrianHunter's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,745

Everyday I see tons of people at HFs or large prop shops that have PhDs.

Even at my desk (t3 bank think SocGen UniCredit Commerzbank ING) 2 out of 3 quant trader/strat have PhDs

Given my dream is to break into HFs I was wondering if is worth it to concentrate in this path instead of continuining with banks

About me:
I did a bachelor in finance in a non target Uni (still strong in the region), master in London at a semi and few finance experience (S&T and CF)
Might a PhD in a top uni in a field like financial econometric/financial math/finance give me an edge to break into HF?
Unis like Cambridge /Oxford have HFs like Cantab or MAN behind them.. same I think in the US

I am specialised in volatility and EQD as well as crude trading. I am implementing my algo strategy with Python on crude markets and could prove a decent track record

thoughts?

Comments (4)

Sep 13, 2019

I think a PhD is less useful than it used to be. Many firms used to require PhDs but now hire strong undergraduates as well. It will help in getting an interview but they care only about leetcode/probability and not your research or expertise. The work is all standard and commoditized now, unless you are bringing in a live strategy from another firm (not one you ran on your own account). Some managers like the degree since they have it themselves and got in at a time when it was valued, but it's not necessary or sufficient to get a job today, much like the MBA or CFA.

Sep 13, 2019

You don't need a PhD, but you do need to be the best of the best among other undergrad peers. Having a PhD is one indicator for that.

Sep 13, 2019

I do have a BSc and a MSc, other than IB experience in a quant role

Though, no fancy names.. bsc uni is a top 10 but in my country only, MSc uni in London is a good semi but still...

Sep 13, 2019
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