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Your Guide to a Successful Career in Quantitative Finance from the CQF Institute

According to recruiters, demand for candidates with the right quantitative finance skillset has remained high this year. So, what is this skillset and what is the earning potential for the right candidate? The CQF Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance, produced annually by the CQF Institute, provides all the information you need to pursue a career in the field – with the 2023 version now available.

Quantitative finance professionals (or ‘quants’) work in many areas across the financial markets, from investment banks to asset management companies, hedge funds, prop trading firms, insurance companies, technology firms, and consultancies. Strong demand for the right candidates means those thinking of starting or progressing within quantitative finance can explore a wide range of career opportunities and command high salaries.

The new CQF Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance 2023 highlights the six main career paths a quant could follow: data science and machine learning, portfolio management, risk management, quant strategies and research, technology, and quant trading. It offers a detailed breakdown of each career path, describing the skills needed, typical roles and responsibilities, and average salary you can earn in the US, Europe, and Asia.

The Guide also offers an insight into a typical day in the life of a professional employed in each of these fields, giving new candidates a real-time, hands-on feel for what it is actually like to do the job on a daily basis. In addition, the 2023 Guide looks closely at two emerging areas of interest in the industry - machine learning and quantum computing - and offers a perspective on how quants can prepare for the job opportunities and changes that lie ahead.

Dr. Randeep Gug, Managing Director of the CQF and CQF Institute said, "As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CQF program, we are delighted to present The CQF Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance 2023 to support your journey through the world of quant finance, with real-world alumni stories to showcase the various roles within the field and guidance on how you can gain the skills you need for a successful future career.”

Making the grade

The foundational skills needed for those working in quantitative finance are maths, programming, and finance. Most quants hold degrees in areas such as Finance, Mathematics, Economics, Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering. Many have also completed a professional qualification, such as the Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) in order to gain the competitive, specialized and practical skills needed for a successful career in the field.

“Most of the people that we see usually have a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative subject and may have continued for a master’s degree as well. Some have gone all the way through to a PhD. They may be good at programming in Python, C++, or R, depending on their role and what type of business they are in. They are often enrolled in or alumni of the CQF, which we actively promote to our candidates since they can continue working full-time while completing the program,” according to one recruitment firm quoted in the CQF Careers Guide 2023.

Evolving skills for quants

As new career opportunities emerge in response to technological change, it is important that quants have the skills needed to meet these changes. The CQF Careers Guide 2023 explores the growing interest in machine learning and quantum computing and shares insights on the new opportunities developing beyond the traditional roles in these fields and the enhanced skills required in the essential domains of maths, finance, and programming.

As these fields develop, the impact on quantitative finance will be substantial. For example, in a recent CQF Institute poll, 62% of respondents indicated that machine learning would offer the greatest increase in career opportunities in quantitative finance, with a further 64% of respondents stating that artificial intelligence applications based on machine learning will change the nature of areas such as quant portfolio management.

The Guide concludes by looking at this issue and other factors that may dictate the future of quant finance and the skills that may be required as a result.

Investing in your career

As the industry continues to adapt to new technologies and techniques, further education is a vital investment to attain professional goals and to keep up with the changing skills required for career success in quantitative finance.

The CQF is the world’s most widely recognised professional qualification in quant finance and is awarded by the CQF Institute, a global membership organization. The program is delivered online, part-time, over six months and teaches the essential quantitative finance and machine learning techniques used by practitioners. The syllabus is updated quarterly to meet industry demand and alumni have permanent access to the Lifelong Learning library to keep their skills competitive throughout their careers.

Explore the Careers Guide

Produced by the CQF Institute for people seeking insights into careers in quantitative finance, The CQF Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance 2023 is designed to help professionals navigate and understand the different roles available and the skills needed across the industry. The Guide examines the quant finance landscape through the lens of recruiters, CQF Institute members, and CQF alumni, who offer their stories and survey responses to develop a comprehensive picture of quant career opportunities today.

To gain the insights you need to take the next step in your quantitative finance career, download The Careers Guide to Quantitative Finance 2023 today.



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