Quantitative analyst jobs are found in the finance and technology fields. They are becoming increasingly popular because businesses are concentrating more on data mining and finding important patterns that can lead to critical business insights. A quantitative research analyst is skilled at producing models and algorithms that utilize the large amounts of data that companies track each day. Demand for talented people to fill both senior and junior quantitative analyst jobs has become so great that new graduate level degree programs have sprung up to accommodate the need for trained quantitative analysts.
In the finance field, analysts are referred to as quants. Financial quantitative analyst jobs require a high level of skill and experience in economics, statistics, financial econometrics, and probability theory. Such positions are usually incredibly lucrative, especially in bigger metropolitan areas such as New York, London, and Tokyo. In these large economic hubs, a quantitative analyst can earn anywhere from $80,000 US dollars (USD) to $400,000 USD, depending on his or her degree level and years of experience.
Technology companies also supply a significant portion of quantitative analyst jobs. Both online marketing and social media analytics have exploded in recent years thanks to the growing trend of search engine advertising and social media applications. Analysts in the customer-facing technology companies provide up to date online marketing metrics as well as business intelligence statistics. Being able to interpret the data gathered from online pay-per-click campaigns is an important part of a quantitative web analyst's job and necessitates a high degree of mathematical aptitude.
Oftentimes, quantitative analyst requirements include an advanced level of programming knowledge and application. In the financial industry, the analyst is expected to know C++, Java, and Structured Query Language (SQL). For technology and online advertising positions, a quantitative research analyst should be skilled in the use of web analytics programs, such as Google Analytics® or Omniture®. Of course, all analysts must have a strong background and significant experience in using various spreadsheet software programs, as these are widely used to perform job functions related to analytic positions.
PhD candidates in mathematics are particularly well suited for quantitative analyst jobs. The most high-paying jobs for these candidates are found in finance, where the salary can reach six figures. Those who hold a PhD degree in a mathematical subject can easily learn and manipulate the tools needed to make solid predictions in investment management, risk management, and statistical arbitrage.