Breaking into Finance after Your Physics Degree by Peter Salzman
From Lloyd Knox
Finance is an extremely rewarding, profitable, and fun career path for anyone who finishes a degree in physics and asks themselves "what next?" Finance has the reputation for being stodgy, conservative, overly formal, and dull. This stereotype may have been true at some point in the far past, but it's certainly not the case today. It's especially not true for the applied mathematicians of Wall Street, known as "quantitative analysts", or "quants", for short (the new term for us is "financial engineer", or "FE"). The atmospheres that I've been exposed to have largely been academic, congenial, progressive, and forward thinking, I was very pleasantly surprised. I plan to relate my own path from newly-minted PhD to senior financial engineer who helps create and maintain models that process over 32 trillion dollars a day. Additionally, we'll go over how the FE career space is structured, some of the types of things we do (like physics, it's a very, very broad field), and how people generally get jobs. We'll discuss peripheral things as well, such as fine-tuning quality of life versus compensation, the types of people you'll meet, etc.