Quantitative analysts use numbers in their fields of study, be it computers, finance, or engineering. For instance, these problems may involve risk management, investment analysis, or developing algorithms for trading strategies.
They help businesses with financial reports and other important data that show the performance of a business. It’s no surprise, then, that so many people want to become quantitative analysts.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about becoming a quantitative analyst. This step-by-step guide will give you all the information you need to start your journey.
Why Become a Quantitative Analyst
There are many reasons to pursue a career in quantitative analysis. First, you may find math and statistics fascinating, or you enjoy working with large amounts of data and helping businesses become more efficient. Possibly, you know you’re a born leader who can help organizations solve their problems.
Quantitative analysts can find many reasons to love the field, and the choice is often a personal one. Regardless of why you want to become a quantitative analyst, you’ll find plenty of opportunities and job security in this field.
Finding a Job as a Quantitative Analyst
There are many paths to becoming a quantitative analyst. Depending on your goals, you may explore a more general path, or specialize in one field of data. All quantitative analysts need a strong foundation in math and statistics. In addition, you’ll need to have an advanced understanding of how data is collected and transformed.
One of the best ways to find your first job as a quantitative analyst is to build your professional network. If you can find a mentor or other person in the industry, this can certainly give you a leg up on finding a job.
You may also look into online job boards, or post listings on sites like LinkedIn. Make sure to describe your skills and interests thoroughly and include links to any relevant experience. You can also reach out to hiring managers at conferences or meetups.
Entry-level Jobs in the Quantitative Analyst Field
As you build your professional network, you may come across entry-level positions in quantitative analysis. Many of these jobs will focus on data visualization and software development.
Entry-level job opportunities may also be available at consulting firms or work with financial analysts. Many quantitative analysts will have opportunities to move into more advanced roles over time, or pursue research and consulting opportunities.
Financial services could include hedge funds, equity research, and investment banks. Consulting firms may offer quantitative analyst positions, or offer data science opportunities.
Advance to the Next Level: Data Scientist
If you’ve been in the field for a while, you may want to pursue a career transition and become a data scientist. This transition is common in the field, and many quantitative analysts will move into this role over time.
Becoming a data scientist involves learning advanced programming, statistics, and machine learning. Because this is such a critical role in business, you can expect great wages and career advancement. Companies are always looking for new ways to use data, and data scientists are in high demand.
Data scientists often work in teams and may have the chance to work independently as well. At the same time, however, there are several organizations that require a more standard workplace setting. If you’re interested in transitioning to a standard position, be sure to look at job listings that require a standard work environment.
Courses for Becoming a Quantitative Analyst
As you advance to the career level of data scientist, you may want to consider a more formal education path. While online courses can help you advance in the field, it’s best to pursue a degree program that offers real-world experience.
Some of the most popular courses for those interested in becoming a quantitative analyst are statistics, data analysis, and machine learning. Most quantitative analyst programs will require students to have some understanding of computer programming, especially if they intend to pursue a career in financial services.