Aug 27, 2012
Demand for Quantitive Analysts Looks to Best Quantitative Financial Programs Even As Wall Street and the Economy Remain Stuck In the Mud, Top Quant Graduates Bring Home the Bacon
Whether Wall Street is up or down, quants are the Street's hottest commodity, with starting salaries easily surpassing $100,000 a year. Advanced Trading unveils "The Top 10 Quant Schools of 2012," a list of the best quantitative finance programs.
The editors of Advanced Trading, part of the InformationWeek Business Technology Network, have announced the release of the magazine's special report, "The Top 10 Quant Schools of 2012," a ranking of the top quant schools across the United States — in time for the start of the new school year.
Advanced Trading first published its ranking of quant schools in 2008. In the four years that have passed since the time of the first report, the industry has undergone drastic changes. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers imploded, Merrill Lynch is now the wealth management arm of Bank of America, and a raft of new regulations, including Dodd-Frank, has changed the way businesses operate.
Despite all of the changes within the industry, one thing remains steady: the need for quantitative analysts. In fact, if anything, the demand for quants has intensified. While Wall Street has seen wave after wave of layoffs since the financial crisis — some counts point to more than 200,000 lost jobs — quants have remained a hot commodity.
And buy-side firms are willing to pay top dollar for students with these skills — for example, the average first-year salary for the graduates of the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business M.F.E. program (profiled in this feature) was $158,273 in 2011.
"Quants are the rock stars on the Street," said Phil Albinus, Editor-in-Chief of Advanced Trading. "And the more volatile the markets, the more valuable quantitative analysts become to almost every firm on Wall Street."
Since Advanced Trading first created this ranking four years ago, only one new addition has forced its way onto the list, but it has done so convincingly — MIT was the only favorite among all five of the Wall Street professionals who served as judges.
The Advanced Trading Top 10 Quant Schools of 2012 are, in alphabetical order: Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago.
The new Advanced Trading report includes current information about each school's quantitative finance program. The report can be accessed here.
To compile its 2012 rankings, Advanced Trading assembled a group of five top Wall Street professionals with extensive experience on the trading desk, in senior management or in hiring quants to help identify the top quant programs in the U.S. The magazine's panel consisted of Scott R. Burrill, partner and managing director at Rosenblatt Securities; David Leinweber, algorithmic trading pioneer and author of "Nerds on Wall Street"; Michael Levas, principal of Olympian Capital Management; Unson Allen, global head of recruiting at Knight Capital; and Lou Ricci, a quant headhunter for the Hagan-Ricci Group.
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