In academic finance circles, quantitative finance has been discussed for the past sixty years, it has only become popular in real-world applications recently. Scientists started using models such as probability theory and calculus on Wall Street to make accurate trading decisions.
Since then, quantitative analysts are used widely in many different industries, to make good financial decisions for the businesses they work for. So, what is quantitative finance? To put it simply, it is the use of mathematical models and algorithms in different financial fields, such as risk management, trading, and wealth management.
This article will show you where to study quantitative finance, and the specific resources you can use to improve your quant finance skills. There are many different paths into quantitative finance – lots of variety for those with different learning requirements.
One of the most popular methods of studying quantitative finance is through university education. Most employers hiring quants will be looking for people who have AT LEAST a bachelor’s degree in a field related to quant finance (finance, economics, computer science, mathematics etc.)
Most of the time, employers will be looking for someone who is educated to master’s level. This is because it is a high-level job and therefore pays a handsome salary, so employers will be looking for someone educated to at least master’s level – to get their money’s worth.
As well as the related subjects above, some universities in the UK offer specific master’s degrees in Quantitative Finance. Some of these universities include the University of Oxford, University of Manchester, and Lancaster University. With the popularity of quant finance courses reaching an all-time high, it will be difficult to find a university that does not offer some kind of quantitative finance degree.
If you already have an undergraduate degree in a related field, but don’t want to study a master’s, it would be possible to independently study all the necessary topics to be able to apply for a quantitative finance role. However, it requires a lot of self-study, and some initial costs to pay for the literature required.
As with most self-learning, studying to become a quant analyst independently can be a difficult task, even if you streamline the process, it can take up to year – and if you have other commitments, up to three. With quant finance, it is important not to cut corners, and to familiarise yourself with the learning materials as much as possible.
Another option of study for those wanting to learn quantitative finance is through professional certifications such as the CQF (Certificate in Quantitative Finance). The course can be studied part-time and is conducted entirely through online learning and can be completed in just six months.
The program focuses on real-world applications of quantitative finance, such as trading, risk management, and wealth management. On top of this, the CQF also offers ‘optional primers’ on mathematics, finance, and programming, to ensure you know all the core aspects of quantitative finance.