Friday, January 09, 2009

How is the job market for quants these days?

Felix Salmon claimed in this post (hat tip: J. Rigg) that the quant job market is alive and well. However, I haven't heard much from the usually diligent headhunters in the last few months, which doesn't bode well. Maybe some of our readers can comment on the current state of the quant job market?

In that same post, Felix wondered whether to incorporate the extraordinary period of 2008 as part of backtesting data. Actually, I don't see much of a problem here -- of course one should include 2008. The only reason a trading model would have performed poorly in 2008, as opposed to 2006, 2007 or 2009, would be that its parameters are fitted too tightly to historical data. If you try out some parameterless trading models like I advocated, 2008 is not that unusual except for its higher volatility.


N N said...

I have seen a number of postings which seem like 'phishing' for resumes on for example BBG ; I noticed that various headhunters are posting similar jobs.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure, I agree with EC. Quants jobs are put on the backburner

TF said...

I think the market is alive and well if you are at the top in terms of qualifications. I have a PhD from a top university and was recently laid off. I haven't found a new job yet, but I have received ample responses from recruiters, job boards, and connections. Don't let the economy-wide pessimism fool you. There will always be demand for top talent. But, if you don't have a top-notch education or ample experience with well known firms, then it may be tougher finding a job in this economy.

Anonymous said...

Re your comment implying that a properly constructed trading model should have done well in 2008 even if originally tested on 2006 and 2007 data, I wholeheartedly agree, but with the following observation:

For significant periods during 2008 almost all the markets became tightly correlated, which meant that even if you were trading different markets you really had only one trade going, and all your money was one that one trade. That's the time to reduce exposure, either by reducing the number of markets, or by reducing the amount in each market. I preferred the former, because they were, in a sense, all the same anyway. Yes, the betas varied but the correlation was close to unity or negative unity.

Anonymous said...

My name is peter pagiatakis EVP OSI and I am on a high level search for a HF to MF Natural Gas algo modelers.I am looking for strong C# to C++ model dev exp.Not excell & MATLAB.Nice to have won't make the cuts.PhD MUST If you are interested email me at

NYC opportunity