What is the job market like for developers/quants?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by directionless, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. I get the usual calls from recruiters and such trying to sell me on dead-end jobs, but what I hear lately is that the job market is really terrible even in this field. Any thoughts?

    I got forced back into the job market because my wife took a job in another city. I'm not having problems finding _a_ job, but I am having problems finding _a good_ job. And by good job, I mean a job where my performance is tied directly to PnL, and not some vague, management-decided bonus.

    Are people just more risk-averse, avoiding starting up speculative groups with more favorable payouts, or what? What is going on? Just a few years ago, people were beating down my door with deals like "13-15% cut of strategy" with health benefits. Now, it's all these low-tier roles at around 100k-150k with tiny bonuses and no future, maybe doing like front-end stuff. Should I settle, or keep looking? I am not thrilled with some of these job descriptions.
  2. trade more for yourself and less OPM
  3. Logic


    It does look really irritating. Everyone's hiring, it looks like, but the deals aren't so great.
  4. I'm getting ready to throw in the towel and just accept something, but my gut tells me I am making a huge mistake. Just figured I'd post and get an opinion before I sell my soul.
  5. pkang


    I work as a recruiter for big financial institutions in NYC and can give you some insight. Anybody smart who has a Masters in Financial Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Quantitative Finance and such will have an extremely difficult time finding work. Most big banks/trading firms/quant shops like Goldman want PHDs. Masters level candidates are generally paid crap. I've got an MFE candidate(3.7gpa) who's been working as a Quantitative Analyst roughly 1 year out of a quant/software house in Boston earning 45k.

    For PHD level candidates, you basically need to come out of a top 10 school with solid internships/research background and exceptional grades(3.7gpa & above). All the resumes with PHDs I see have C/C++, Matlab, r2, SAS, Monte Carlo simulations, derivatives/fixed income pricing, var, etc. I swear PHD Quants are carbon copies of each other except out of different schools.

    The market has dried up tremendously and if I were a Masters level quant candidate, I'd jump over anything I can. The market is FLOODED with these people. Keep in mind Masters level candidates are competing for the same jobs as rocket scientists(literally).
  6. pkang


    How many years of experience do you have and how good are your programming skills? Many quantitative traders start as developers working on the floor.
  7. rosy2


    13-15% to do what exactly? do you come up with the strategy? have you ever some up with a profitable strategy yourself?

    100k-150k for programming seems about right in the city I am in; bonus depends on the firm.
  8. Since you posted in Automated Trading section, I assume we are only talking about Automated related jobs. If you are looking at NYC (and surrounding area), then yes the job market there is quite poor, mostly due to just the mass of candidates floating around. And even for markets outside of US, the situation is only somewhat better. One of my close friends is head of equities for an asian regional ibank, and she gets resumes from ppl offering to "demote" themselves (aka ppl who were MDs at a US ibank, offering to become ED at her firm), it is simply stunning.

    However, since this recent HFT "bubble", there are some searches I have seen for ppl with a min of 3+ experience in HFT. And those searches at least offer to pay some staggering numbers. Take example, I know of one HFT junior-ish trader (3 years out of a top MFE program), signed with a new launched HFT operation for some fairly high numbers (we are not talking about 2-300k here). But these type of opportunities are the exception, not the rule.
  9. there is no "towel." For your situation, you pick something that appears the best for your current situation and limits. Then once in, you continue looking for something that is an obvious improvement towards where you want to be.

    No one says just accepting something means you are locked in for life.
  10. This might be a dumb question, but why not go into business for yourself?
    #10     Jun 10, 2010