If you were to move around asking random people who a quant is, many wouldn’t have the slightest idea. A quant or quantitative analyst is a specialist who has mastered the art of quantitative analysis, that is, applying mathematical and statistical methods in the field of finance. They simply use computers to help them in buying and selling entities and are relatively paid well. To be a quant means that math skills must be at your fingertips because everything you do rotates around Mathematics.
The quantitative trading industry incorporates trading strategies that rely on quantitative analysis to identify trading opportunities. This industry has two sides namely the buy-side and sell-side. The former refers to firms that purchase securities like investments and hedge funds whereas the latter refers to firms that issue, trade and sell these securities.
Computer Science is merely the study of computers, how they work and its different types of systems. Quants have actively mastered the art of combining computer science with mathematics, but what are these computer skills that they must have?
If you love solving mathematical problems, then Quantitative Analysis is the job for you. Applying math skills such as calculus, statistics, probability and algebra, just to mention a few will allow you to come up with mathematical models to predict the future of trading markets. Quants must also apply Artificial Intelligence and predictive analysis to adequately analyze data to predict future market trends and patterns. They must have the proper knowledge and skills to work with AI and Machine Learning.
Software engineering is a major component of computer science. Quants must apply this field to correctly analyze user needs and requirements to develop exceptional trading software that is user-friendly to every person especially traders and brokers. This calls for quants to regularly update the software to be on par with the newest released technological components to maximize user experience.
Data modelling and Evaluation are skills that require pure precision and attention to detail. They require the engineer to accurately draw up models such as pie charts and graphs to analyze data. It takes a great deal of mental effort to identify patterns and instances from the data presented. Evaluation rather incorporates the estimation of errors and identifying whether data models are working effectively.
Furthermore, computer skills also comprise of soft skills because they go hand in hand with technical skills. These soft skills can be comprised of the following:
Quants must be critical thinkers primarily due to the vastness of problems that they must solve every single day. They must apply the knowledge they have acquired over the years to come up with solutions that can come up with better algorithms and models.
Quant professionals must have proper and clear communication channels with their team members as Quantitative Analysis is a profession that requires teamwork regularly. It is quite obvious that computer science is an extensive field that one person cannot undertake it upon themselves.
Paying close attention to detail is something that quants must be on par with. There is no room for mistakes because assuming a wrong pattern or trend for prediction, trading markets will lose tons of money in a very short period. Frequently double-check your work to prevent the occurrence of such mistakes in the future.
As a quant, set up goals that you can manage and never forget to savour in the little wins that you achieve. Motivating yourself each day will not only keep your positivity alive but will also allow you to look forward to the future. Moreover, follow instructions from your mentors and be logical and clear whenever you program because having organized work is very vital in finding errors in programs.