So tell me, from a software engineer's perspective, why are there so few jobs related to equities and equities alone? People look at me like I'm nuts when I say I'm interested in equities instead of equity derivatives. It kills me when they tell me I'm implementing an ITCH or ARCAbook feed interface only so they can just manage strategies for hedges in their equity derivatives game. I'd really like to get on the inside of a stock-market specific group that shows profitability. Is anyone out there hiring for a stock market related software engineering position out there? I've interviewed quite a bit, and I keep finding these derivatives jobs. I don't need to be a trader, but I'd like to work on software that's related to the underlying products instead of their derivatives. I just enjoy the stock market so much more, even if it seems like a silly, arbitrary thing when all markets function more or less the same way. I'm getting a little bit frustrated with the job path to being a trader also. I can trade independently, of course, and I do. But to see how the big shots do it, I have to be a quant. But the path to being a quant requires I go back to school, and I haven't really figured out what the pay-off of these MFE degrees are, or what PhD I really ought to be aiming for. Any software engineers out there with advice for me?