So, you want to be a Quantitative Analyst?
Careers in Quantitive Analytics are competitive and demanding with long hours and heavy workloads common. However, it is a job surprisingly untouched by bureaucracy, internal politics or personal networks. With dedication, work ethic and knowledge the main drivers for success, those with an analytics passion are being drawn more and more to a career in Quantitative Analytics. Below outlines what working as a Quantitative Analyst actually entails and why it is a financially and intellectually rewarding career path.
What does a Quantitative Analyst do?
Working as a Quantitative Analyst, or as they are sometimes referred to a “quant”, is a specialised analytics pathway which leans heavily on statistics and mathematics. A quant’s goal is to use these technical skills to guide business decision making, whether this decision making looks at the businesses’ risk landscape, investment decisions, complex financial choices or beyond. Essentially, Quant Analysts develop and implement statistical models to help solve business problems.
Whilst the nature of a quant’s day to day workload varies significantly depending on the job, the foundation of their work centres around this mathematical model development. It is a highly stimulating job that requires a varied skillset, from a board financial awareness to data analysis capabilities and mathematical expertise, particularly in creating and implementing models.
What skillset does a Quantitative Analyst need?
Top performing Quantitative Analysts share advanced financial, mathematical and statistical knowledge along with a strong foundation in data mining and data analysis tools. Of the programming languages needed, C++ is regarded as the most important Quantitative Analytics tool, however, if you have knowledge and experience in additional programming languages such as Python, Java, SQL, .NET and C#, these are all highly valuable to employers as well. Beyond programming languages, advanced expertise in Excel is vital along with Matlab, R, S-Plus or experience using any other statistical analysis software.
Looking beyond tools and technical skills, Quantitative Analytics is an intellectually challenging career pathway given their business-wide value. They are continually thrown complex challenges and tight deadlines. Being able to cope under pressure is extremely important for success in dealing with these challenges and timelines. Well-developed interpersonal skills are also needed along with the ability to document and communicate findings in a digestible and meaningful language to various individuals.
What is the career path of a Quantitative Analyst?
To become a Quantitative Analyst a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Mathematics, Finance or Statistics is needed. Many go further to complete a master’s degree in either Quantitative Finance, Financial Engineering, Computer Science or another related field (statistics, mathematics or physics). Some employers are beginning to require further education, listing a PhD as another requirement for employment.
How much does a Quantitative Analyst earn?
As a Quantitative Analytics career has certain skills and experience hurdles required for success, the role sits at a senior level and is compensated accordingly. Whilst all sectors offer generous pay packages, hedge fund businesses are known to be the highest paying sector on average. In the United Kingdom a Quantitative Analyst can expect to be earning £67,889 annually, $137,570 annually in the United States and $88,393 annually in Australia.
If the idea of an intellectually and financially rewarding career sounds appealing, than working in Quantitative Analytics may be worth further research. After all, it is a job that continues to grow in demand and is seen by more and more as an invaluable business asset.