There are four steps required to become a quantitative analyst: post-secondary training, related work experience, apply for a job, and complete the job interview process. A quantitative analyst spends the majority of her day working with specially designed software programs. Using the data from financial transactions, the analyst applies numerical and quantitative statistical techniques to calculate risk, pricing, and other values for senior management. This role is unique to the finance or investment industry.
People who have an analytical thought process, enjoy working independently, and are comfortable exploring multiple scenarios find the greatest satisfaction in this type of work. Although quantitative analysts are expected to have presentation skills for meetings, the more important skill to have is an affinity for numbers. Attention to detail, discipline, and focus are all essential for anyone who wants to become a quantitative analyst.
The first requirement to become a quantitative analyst is to complete a post-secondary education program. University degrees in math, statistics, data management, or a related field are all suitable for this role. College programs typically do not provide the level of theoretical knowledge required to be an effective analyst. The vast majority to candidates have a master's degree in a quantitative field.
Related work experience is often obtained through a job placement or cooperative education program. The research projects assigned to students provide a great opportunity to practice applying the concepts to actual data and attempting to provide an answer to others. Roles in the financial industry as a financial analyst or business analyst can provide helpful context when looking at the transactional data.
When applying for a job to become a quantitative analyst, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Research the company and determine if you are interested in pursuing this type of analysis. There is a wide range of options available within this field. As the volume and complexity of investment vehicles increase, new methods are required to track activity, minimize risk, and identify new opportunities.
During the job interview process, most banks have at least two rounds of interviews. The first round is with the human resources staff and is a preliminary interview. They have a standard list of questions and are looking for complete, concise responses.
The second round is with the department head and direct supervisor. Keep in mind that everything you say will be written down and reviewed. Think about your answers, stay calm, and focus on the skills you bring.