1.01.2005

Q&A: Do firms take people without PhDs as Quants?

As you probably know, most Quants are PhDs, but some firms are known to hire non-PhDs when the 'glove' fits (ie. Experience do count.)

The good news is that you can run into decision makers who respect your experience in a field more than the degree you have. (ie. Experience first, A diploma is a plus). A MD I work with used to say that a diploma is only a ticket for you to ride on the bus. But if you have never driven a bus, are you sure you want to get behind that wheel?

The bad news is that you will be competing against thousands of PhDs from around the world. Some would even tell you that in this competitive field, it is PhDs who are doing the hiring. Think of it as a members-only club. Why would they admit somebody who doesn't fit the model, when there are plenty of PhDs out there?

So, should you try to get a PhD degree first? Well, ask yourself this question instead: which team did I root for when I was watching "Apprentice 3": book smarts or street smarts? (for those of you don't watch the show, "street smarts" have only high-school diplomas but have made three times the income of their competitors. "book smart" all have impressive university educations.)

Category: C++ Quant

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