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Dr. Paul Wilmott: Quant Education Still in Demand

Dr. Paul Wilmott designed 7city Learning’s popular Certificate in Quantitative Finance Course (CQF) six years ago when the economy looked very different, but he says today quant education is in even higher demand on Wall Street.

Wilmott sees highly practical education and educators as the key to producing top talent in the quant field, even during these tough economic times.

Wilmott has written several books on the topic including, “Paul Wilmott Introduces Quantitative Finance,” “Paul Wilmott On Quantitative Finance and “Frequently Asked Questions in Quantitative Finance.”

His CQF coursework has not changed since it was first offered and Wilmott says he has been warning that the valuation of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which are high on the blame list for sparking the credit crisis that unraveled last year, since he started the program in 2003.

“We have been saying the model is dangerous for a while now,” says Wilmott.

So as Wall Street continues to spiral downward, Wilmott continues to teach mid-career students the value of quantitative finance. “It teaches students how to think,” he says, adding that the CQF program still covers all of the math that most university programs cover, but focuses more on the practical side.

Wilmott says the CQF program emphasizes data analysis and the robustness of modeling. “There is definitely an emphasis towards the conservative side, especially in the area of risk management,” he says.

The students Wilmott sees come through the CQF program are looking to improve their skills or get into algorithm development, quantitative trading, risk management or derivatives.

Wilmott adds that students are also now signing up for the course to be more marketable in their current positions and ensure they’re qualified for new positions as well. “It all comes back to education and pushing people to think for themselves,” says Wilmott.

With an increased focus on risk management within firms, Wilmott says companies are asking for presentations more now than ever before.

The CQF program offers lectures solely by industry practitioners, with a quarter of them given by Wilmott himself. “The students need to see the big picture and hear from actual practitioners what happens in the real world,” says Wilmott.

According to 7city Learning, the CQF program enrollment has grown 24 percent in the last twelve months. The six-month program features a combination of lectures and workshops.

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