Forums  > Careers  > Pushing 40 and moving to Quant  
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Total Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2019
Posted: 2019-10-26 18:52
I have spent my entire adult life in a university setting in various roles - teaching classes, writing grants, managing lab/students, doing research and getting a PhD in CS, publishing papers etc. I am now realizing that I need to move on, and take up a job in the industry - primarily because my financial situation has been rendered precarious because of a personal emergency (and exacerbated in no small part due to PhD student/postdoc level wages for ~1.5 decades).

I interviewed and landed 2 Scientist roles recently (including one at FAANG). I passed both since the compensation felt rather low (base ~$130-150k), and more so because the subsequent salary bumps did not seem significant either. I am obviously looking to fast track my career, and am after something with significantly higher upside.

Could a career in Quant Research/Trading be the answer? Which companies might be interested in hiring me given my background and age (I will be 40 next summer!), and what kind of compensation and career progression can I expect?


Total Posts: 206
Joined: Nov 2004
Posted: 2019-12-17 18:48
The salary you were offered is quite okay for someone with no industry experience. I can’t imagine that someone on buy or sell side will pay you more unless you can generate p/l from the day one. Unfortunately 95% of things in academia has no relevance in the real world.

Try consulting companies: Charles river comes to my mind.


Total Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2011
Posted: 2019-12-17 19:35
"I passed both since the compensation felt rather low (base ~$130-150k).."

Sure, but with stock you're pushing > 300K no?


Total Posts: 391
Joined: Jan 2015
Posted: 2019-12-17 21:54
I second @gax. Focus more on total comp rather than base. Most high-end jobs load comp in bonuses, stock, deferred, etc. Unless you're a physician, getting a $200k+ salary is pretty unusual. Even CEOs of S&P 500 companies have a median base of something like $250k.

Good questions outrank easy answers. -Paul Samuelson
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