take quant or trading offer?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by s0ggyfish, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. s0ggyfish


    I am currently in the physics phd program at a pretty good school but have been lucky to receive a couple of offers to leave and become a junior quant/financial engineer or a clerk/trading assistant and I am really torn between the two.

    The quant role is appealing because it doesn't seem like a traditional quant role, I wouldn't be sitting in front of a computer coding all day. Instead I would be working on a couple of different projects that would involve coding but the focus would be more on quantitative finance (jump diffusion, levy processes, optimization using genetic algorithms, cool stuff like that). In addition this role seems closer to the money than the traditional backoffice quant.

    On the other hand I have the clerk/trading assistant offer which seems to be on a completely different track in that it is way less quantitative than the first offer (and about half the pay). From the limited research I have done it seem like this is a great chance to get started in trading, the firm is a prop trading firm but it is not an arcade and pays what seems to be a substantial amount relative to other firms for entry level positions.

    Does it basically come down to how much risk I want to take? Yeah the trading job pays less but upside is greater (as is the downside) and it seems like the pay for the quant job would increase but probably not as drastically. Ultimately I want to become a quant trader so if it is blatantly obvious which road I should take to get to this please let me know, any input would be appreciated.