Google Brain SWE vs. Quant Research at hedge fund

New vnWx24
Nov 30, 2018 18 Comments

Given similar TC (~250k) what would you choose in the early stage of career (new grad, BS)?

Hedge fund say one of Two Sigma, Citadel, DEShaw

Both involve applied machine learning, in a different context

Both problem domains are academically interesting and challenging

Am curious to know which direction it would be easier to transition to/from, TC progression, etc.

Would love to hear some first-hand experience


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TOP 18 Comments
  • Microsoft / Eng twiddling
    G Brain, because I have zero interest in working at a hedge fund.
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Roku Netflx
    If it is DE Shaw, then choose google. DE Shaw doesn’t pay that well even to QRs and you make better $ at google or FANG. TS and Citadel can pay you better. Citadel has toxic culture and you will not be working on core ML/algo until at least 4+ years( you will be doing SWE even if your title is QR). TS Is the most decent out of the 3, but even that is not very attractive since it is not as picky as it used to be. They doubled the size in the last few years, hired tons of people and diluted talent.
    I would choose google Brain because it’s very easy to go to Hedge funds later. The reverse is possible but not as straight forward.
    Source: Interviewed at all these 3 hedge funds (and a few more), turned down a great QR offer(considerably more than the one in the post) to be in tech that paid slightly less.
    Nov 30, 2018 5
    • Citadel WhoCares10
      This and Citadel fires bottom 10% each year. So you need to be at the top of your game everyday.
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Facebook Dirichlet
      Whether you go to finance or tech is a personal decision.

      Citadel is an awesome place to work as a QR. If you're QR, you'll be doing QR work from day 1. Why would someone hire you to be a QR and make you work as an SWE?

      Also, there's no stack ranking at Citadel. WhoCares10, dunno which part of Citadel you're in (AM or Securities), I assure you the bottom 10% aren't getting fired. If you're not performing, you'll get fired eventually. But there's no stack ranking.

      I was a Citadel QR for many years.
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Roku Netflx
      My interviewer explicitly told me Citadel doesn’t trust new hires with core algos for trading. The interviewer( who was from tech, and has been QR in Citadel for ~2 years) told me that he and his peers are only tasked with SWE work surrounding their trading systems until they have been there long enough to be trusted with proprietary algorithms. I was also told this is an elite team within Citadel (I believe it since this particular set of interviews are much more difficult than other top hedge funds). So, I tend to believe that new QRs would not be tasked with core ML work for at least a few years at Citadel.
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Roku Netflx
      @facebook Maybe it depends on the team. Which team were you in? Did you actively come up with and evaluate new algorithms independently?
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Cruise Automation OEai63
      Can you share the QR TC offers for de Shaw, TS and Citadel you received?
      Jan 7
  • Salesforce jTrW12
    At Brain you will learn a ton and I think you might have more leverage to go back to DE Shaw with after a year or two. Finance is volatile and you need to be ok with that. If you want to maximize earnings short term go finance, learning go to Brain
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Mesosphere / Eng Onesie
    It depends on what you want in your life. Being a quant researcher is a highly rewarding job (much more than an engineer at Google on average) but comes with risk. You might be able to add more value to the society by working at Google Brain.
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Capital One $$??
    OP would you mind sharing your background ? How were you able to land such good offers out of just undergrad?
    Nov 30, 2018 4
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng cheeger
      Probably some IMO medalist, they eat that shit up
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Capital One Djejejcjeb
      Must be nice to land a tier 1 as opposed to crap tier
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng (Ω,A,μ)
      Try coming down to tier 8 with me...
      Nov 30, 2018
    • Bloomberg / Eng iVX372
      I'm curious about this as well. OP - please share
      Nov 30, 2018
  • Oracle pdke8
    Finance so you won't be in boring bay area
    Dec 2, 2018 0
  • Amazon ldnQ68
    Can you share breakdown of Google's new grad offer? This is with masters degree?
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Eng

    Facebook Eng

    Congrats op, very good offers!
    Nov 30, 2018 0
  • Amazon aCnX26
    Could you please share tc at the hedgefund? Are you PhD for quant researcher role?
    Nov 30, 2018 0